The Great Game of Business Blog

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A Dose of Positive Energy and Hope

Why I Flew To Dallas For The 29th Annual Great Game Of Business Conference Boy, did it feel good to get out of town for a few days. Like many people around the country, I’ve cut way back on my travel since the pandemic hit March 2020. While I thought things would open up once vaccines became widely available, the Delta variant threw my forecasts off quite a bit. But one event I wasn’t willing to take off my calendar was the 29th Annual Great Game of Business Conference held in Dallas a couple of weeks ago. While the team was forced to host the entire conference virtually last year, this year, they planned from the beginning for the conference to be “hybrid”—meaning folks could attend in-person or online.
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One Sentence Employee Engagement: 20 Words To Gain Emotional Commitment

Sep 14, 2021 by Kevin Kruse 1 Comment
One Sentence Engagement? Is it truly possible to condense the science of employee engagement into a single sentence? It is and I’m about to convince you of that. But first I need to explain why I’m taking this extreme exercise in reductionism. Studying leadership and employee engagement has been a passion of mine for the last couple of decades. As an entrepreneur, I used engagement to chase and eventually catch a Best Place to Work award. As an author, one book on engagement somehow turned into three. One speech turned into a global tour. And this article on engagement is number one hundred and something.   <> I know of no topic that is more important to the long-term success of a business than engagement.
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Building A Great Place to Work with the Help of The Great Game of Business

Sep 14, 2021 by Darren Dahl 5 Comments
  How The Jaybro Group is leveling up its culture by teaching their employees to think and act like owners. As the War for Talent continues to rage across the global workforce, a few companies have made bold moves to make themselves what we might call “employers of choice.” In other words, they’re building the kinds of organizational cultures that allow them to attract and retain world-class talent even in the face of tremendous competition. A prime example of a company leading the way in building a standout organizational culture is the Jaybro Group, a full-service supplier of consumables, safety, geosynthetic fabrics, temporary fencing, and barriers to the infrastructure and construction sector in Australia and New Zealand. In April 2021, Jaybro received an award that simply made official what everyone at Jaybro already believed. Jaybro was officially certified as a great workplace by the Global Authority, Great Place to Work®—an organization recognizing the best places to work in Australia for more than 14 years. “Being a Great Place to Work gives us an advantage as we continue to attract the best talent and build brand recognition in the civil and infrastructure supply sector,” says Alison Passey, Jaybro’s Group HR Manager. “The employees who are an excellent fit for our culture remain with us for longer, are happier, and are more engaged in their work because they have found their ‘tribe.’”
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Are ESOPs Really More Complex and Costly Than Other Ways to Sell a Business?

Using an ESOP for Business Transition Can Be Complicated, But Selling to an Outside Buyer Is Often Uncertain and Even More Complicated with Less Flexibility and Fewer Tax Benefits When people describe the pros and cons of ESOPs, often they note that the plans are complex. ESOPs are somewhat more complex than 401(k) and similar retirement plans and do cost substantially more to install and somewhat more to operate, mostly because an annual appraisal is required for closely held companies. But ESOPs are not more complex than selling to a third party. The table below compares what issues come up in the sale of a company to an ESOP compared to a sale to a third party. It was prepared with the advice of professionals who have done both kinds of transactions. The table indicates that the overall level of complexity is similar, but ESOPs are much less risky in terms of the likelihood of finding a buyer. They are also considerably less costly, mostly because in the case of a sale to a third party, in addition to substantial legal, accounting, and sometimes other fees, the price paid to the seller is usually reduced by brokerage commissions paid by the buyer.  Sales to third parties also do not qualify for special tax benefits, as is the case with ESOPs.
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6 Best Practices for Creating a Recognition Culture

Sep 2, 2021 by Donna Coppock 1 Comment
A strong corporate recognition culture motivates employees as well as attracts and retains top talent—a win for the company and a win for the employee. There’s nothing we like better at The Great Game of Business®! A recognition culture doesn’t happen by accident and it doesn’t happen overnight. Looking at best practices and tips can save you the trouble of reinventing the wheel—here are 6 best practices for you to consider when creating a recognition culture in your organization. 
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Are You Really Opening the Books?

Sep 1, 2021 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
Inspired by Rich Armstrong & Steve Baker's new book, Get in the Game: How to Create Rapid Financial Results and Lasting Cultural Change. For nearly forty years, Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation (SRC) and subsidiary The Great Game of Business, Inc. have been known as the “open-book people.” The term open-book management (OBM) was coined by John Case in reference to SRC's "maverick" management practice in an Inc. Magazine article back in the 1980s, and the name stuck. With SRC and Great Game’s approach to OBM, Jack Stack, our CEO and founder, was even dubbed the “Father of Open-Book Management” by Inc. But if you ask Jack what he thinks of OBM, he’ll tell you that opening the books is only part of the story... financial transparency is worthless without education, accountability, and reward. The only way to see your people AND your organization grow and transform is by teaching employees how business works.
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10 Surprising Things Successful Leaders Do Differently

Aug 24, 2021 by Kevin Kruse 0 Comments
Over the years, I’ve interviewed over 200 highly successful CEOs, military officers, entrepreneurs, and leadership gurus including John C. Maxwell, Ken Blanchard, Stephen M.R. Covey, Liz Wiseman, Kim Scott, Patty McCord, and others. I always get them to reveal their number one secret to workplace leadership; what advice would they give to a younger version of themselves? After analyzing their answers 10 themes emerged.
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“It’s not my fault!” A Poisonous Employee Mentality

Aug 18, 2021 by Bill Collier 0 Comments
How many times have you been a customer and heard that line? It usually happens right after you bring a product or service defect to the attention of someone at an establishment where you’re spending your hard-earned money. I was on the receiving end of this statement recently. It was tempting to give a customer service lecture to the person in front of me, faultless as he may have been.
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14 Tips for a Productive Meeting (aka Huddle)

Great Game Huddles (what others may mistake for typical staff meetings) provide a communication rhythm where everyone is kept informed, involved, and engaged in the progress of The Game.
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Funding Your Employer Brand Plan—A Numbers Game You Need to Win

Aug 16, 2021 by Kathy Steele 0 Comments
In almost every business, the cost of human capital is one of the biggest expenses, sometimes as much as 70% of a company's annual budget. Despite this fact, many organizations don't invest in an employer brand plan. Similar to lead generation campaigns that target new customers, this brand communication plan focuses on the talent audience. With unemployment continuing to trend under 4%, and companies' focus on employee recruitment and retention as we all fight in the war for talent, savvy leaders are starting to invest in employer brand strategies as part of their growth plan and competitive advantage. Here's How to Play by the Numbers:
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A Contingency Plan Template for Business

If you’re an owner, president, or leader in your company, anticipating setbacks or failures isn’t an easy task. Even if you can foresee these unfortunate circumstances, developing a strategic plan may not be on the top of your to-do list. What’s your “Plan B” if you lose a big client or a client needs you to increase your support significantly? What happens during difficult times when the economy takes a downturn? Do you know what you would do if a critical team member were to leave during a busy season? If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that your business can’t wait until that moment occurs to find out.
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How One SRC Associate Pursued His Version of the American Dream

Aug 4, 2021 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
    In October 2019, Rick Hedden retired from SRC after 36 years. He was 59 years old. At the time, his shares in the company’s ESOP plan were worth seven figures. But the lessons he learned from playing the Great Game of Business over his career at SRC might be even more valuable. It helped him live his version of the American Dream. Here is his story.
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About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.