Open Book Management

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Open-Book Management is a management technique originated by Jack Stack and his team at Springfield Remanufacturing and popularized in 1995 by John Case. The method, as the title implies, is to give employees all relevant financial information about the company so they can make better decisions as workers. This information includes, but is not limited to, revenue, profit, cost of goods, cash flow and expenses. [1]



Srijan Technologies

"Srijan Technologies, an New Delhi, India-based IT consulting company engaged in designing and building web applications and IT infrastructure systems using open source software. They practice open-book management, which means that they are open with financial information about the company to their employees. Salaries of all the staff at Srijan, including the CEO, are also recorded in spreadsheets and made accessible to everyone.

And as a company with complete salary transparency, Srijan is committed to an on-going dialogue with all its staff regarding individual salary levels, the process for determining salary levels, and the criteria for performance evaluations. Recently, as a result of feedback from various staff members conveying dissatisfaction with the process for determining salary levels, the company began exploring options and is dialoguing with its employees in order to develop a new strategy

“If freedom to express oneself fearlessly is built into the day-to-day work culture, it brings in greater accountability across the board, including of the top leadership, and pushes everyone to give their best - and a little bit more," explains managing director Rahul Dewan. "The environment demands greater communication, and feedback for improvement.”

The CEO also shares the company’s financial information with the employees, and solicits their feedback for strategic planning. As a result, the staff feels a greater sense of fairness and of shared responsibility.

“Transparency in finances becomes a necessity in this culture, and with it the sharing of profits,” says Dewan. “This brings in a much deeper sense of co-ownership. All of this is working quite well for us, and it just makes our work environment more loving, tolerant, accommodating – and even spiritual.” (

BetterWorld Telecom

Traci Fenton:

"At BetterWorld, the pay scale is not defined by traditional definitions of authority and power. For example, the president of BetterWorld, Matthew Bauer, is not the highest paid employee. All internal data is available to any employee anytime, including salary information. BetterWorld’s salary transparency helps guarantee that the difference between the highest and lowest paid employee remains less than a multiple of four, the maximum allowed by company policy.

BetterWorld embraces other workplace democracy practices. Every Sunday evening, BetterWorld employees, including top management, email their Achievements & Objectives reports to all other staff members. In the report, they share what they accomplished the prior week and their specific goals for the upcoming week. This practice helps provide accountability, transparency, and focus for the team. Then, at the Monday morning all-hands meeting, each team member reports on their top three Achievements and top three Objectives.

BetterWorld determines all major decisions and initiatives through the lens of its triple-bottom-line focus on people, planet, and profits. The company donates 3 percent of company revenues to social and environmental causes, and each employee donates 1.5 days per month during work hours to community causes. In addition, BetterWorld is the first carrier in the U.S. to achieve carbon neutral status. All of these elements combine to provide a simple reference for each employee to make decisions that will affect any of the company's stakeholders.

"BetterWorld Telecom has a unique business model as the only triple bottom line telecom carrier in North America focused on serving organizations with similar missions," says the company's president, Matthew Bauer (pictured left with the rest of the management team). "Corporate democracy is key to everything we do. One of our key elements of success is transparency, breaking down the age-old, hierarchical and insufficient service model in the $1.5 trillion voice and data carrier industry. By not functioning in the traditional, assembly line mode as most other carriers in the world do today, our customers are able to interact with us on a much more meaningful level. We actually help them do what they do best, making it a better world." (

More Information

Listen to Bill Witherspoon on Open Book Management