The Great Game of Business Blog

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The Four P's to Remember During Crisis

  As it did most companies out there, the 2009 recession hit Springfield ReManufacturing Corporation like a ton of bricks. But, as I’ve discussed a few times, there were a number of key decisions that helped us pull through to the other side. Now that 2009 is more than 10 years behind us, it’s clear those decisions didn’t just help us survive – they're what helped us thrive. We needed something to help us focus on surviving the recession and all the heartache that comes with a downturn.
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During a Crisis – No Idea is Off the Table.

Dealing with this pandemic is exhausting. Whether your business is shut down, or booming, the uncertainty about whether you and your people might be safe is something that doesn’t stop. In our case at Springfield ReManufacturing Corp., we’ve been labeled an “essential” business. We make parts for key industries like defense, health care, and agriculture. And like Steve Choate, my longtime friend, and colleague, likes to say, “Farmers are gonna farm.” If we’re going to keep our factories open we need to do everything under God to keep them safe. It’s got me up at night, and up early in the morning, trying to think through every scenario I can dream of.
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There's No Shame in Trying To Save Your Business

Mar 30, 2020 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
A few days ago, I received a frantic call from a small business owner. This entrepreneur, who I’ll call Molly to protect the innocent, runs two retail shops. Like many similar brick-and-mortar businesses around the country, she had seen a dramatic drop in her sales over the past few weeks. Now, things were about to get worse; a lot worse. The state was mandating all retail shops like hers—along with restaurants, cafes, and other “non-essential” businesses—shut down to avoid spreading the coronavirus. Molly was beyond scared. Of course, she wanted to do the right thing and keep her people and her customers safe. But, by doing that, she wasn’t sure how she would pay her credit card, her rent, her banker, and her vendors. Worse, she wasn’t sure what would happen to her dozen or so employees—some of whom had worked with her for years.
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10 Key Steps for your Business to Survive a Crisis

Jack Stack, CEO of SRC Holdings, is an early riser. It comes from a lifetime of working in factories. But these days, in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, Stack is getting even less sleep than normal. “My day starts at 4:30 a.m.,” he says.  Stack, like most business leaders these days, is trying everything he can think of to help keep the people who work at all divisions of Springfield Remanufacturing Company (SRC) safe and its factories running. It includes coming up with contingency plans to retain SRC’s employee-owners even if the factories are forced to shut down. Survival, to say the least, is a stressful job. 
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Taking the Fear Out of the Workplace

Mar 17, 2020 by Jack Stack 2 Comments
Fear. Uncertainty. A growing sense of panic every time the president delivers a national address filled with increasingly bad news. Even with interest rates at essentially zero percent, the stock market (and 401(k) balances) continues to tumble. Chatter around the workplace is filled with questions like: Should I get married? Can I afford to pay my rent? Will I get sick? Will I have a job tomorrow? Sound familiar?
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4 Reasons Your Employees Aren't on the Open-Book Bandwagon

Do you feel like your leadership team is finally ready to take the leap and open the books? But, you're worried some of your team aren't as enthusiastic as you hoped they would be? If you’re ready to start sharing your financial and operational information with employees, but you get the sense they’re just not ready yet, there could be some very logical – and common – reasons why. Today we discuss the top four reasons employees aren't ready to jump on the open-book management bandwagon. Maybe there's one or two that apply to your team. 
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How a Book Report Changed My Life: A Practitioners Story

Mar 6, 2020 by John Williams 1 Comment
January 30, 2006, was my first day on the job with Central States Manufacturing. During my initial on-boarding process I was given a copy of a book called The Great Game of Business® and was told to "write a book report” on what I thought the book was about. My new employer handed me my first task before the discussion about the companies health benefits, before showing me the videos on forklift safety and blood-borne pathogens, even before they'd gotten all my employee details logged. I’m not completely sure they had my social security card yet! It was THAT important to them. At the time, I had virtually no idea the impact of reading that book and working for a company like Central States would have on my life over the next 14 years. I'm here to tell you about how that book report completely redirected and changed my life. 
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3 Things to Consider When Self Implementing Open-Book Management

Deciding to implement a business system like open-book management is not something business owners take lightly. It's a powerful business tool that takes time, energy and commitment to follow through and keep going if you want to see the benefits. There's two ways to implement:  Do it yourself - aka "Self Implementation". Hire business coaches to help.  If you’ve been following the Great Game™ blog for a while, it's likely you've come across a few articles detailing each of these options. If you’re considering a DIY approach to getting started with open-book management, here are a few things to consider during the process. 
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4 Common Mistakes Companies Make with Open-Book Management

Feb 21, 2020 by Cassie Potts 2 Comments
For more than 25 years, we’ve helped thousands of companies implement open-book management to its fullest capacity. Along the way, we’ve developed a list of common mistakes companies make while using transparency and open-book management in their organization. If you think you are not executing open-book management correctly, or are not seeing the results you expected, then you may be making one of these four common errors:
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To Be or Not To Be (Coached) — That is the Question

Feb 14, 2020 by Jeff Thomas 0 Comments
As a proud self-implementor, we have been trying to take our commitment to become a Great Game™ practitioner seriously for the last couple of years. We’ve been to the workshops, (Get in the Game™, MiniGames™, High-Involvement Planning™) and getting a lot out of each one we've attended. We’ve been training our staff in the business of business, instructing them on how to read financial statements, and have opened our books. We’ve done a few Mini-Games and are even reading the new books (which are extremely helpful for giving us insights and motivations into how to better implement The Game.)
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Practicing What We Preach at The Great Game of Business

Feb 5, 2020 by Cassie Potts 0 Comments
It’s one thing to teach a strategic planning process, but it’s another thing altogether to actually practice what you preach. Here at The Great Game of Business®, not only do we talk the talk, we walk the walk. 
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Four Reasons to Play MiniGames™

Once you’ve seen the transformational power of The Great Game of Business®, your team will begin to grab onto the gamification aspects; and along with it, the language. Words like Huddles and scoreboards will become part of the vernacular of your organization. To us, MiniGames™ are a powerful way to describe short-term, self-funding incentive plans that will make a huge impact on your organization in 90 days or less. They are designed to affect a change, reinforce business training, build teamwork, and develop a winning attitude—all of which lead to success for both your company and your people. 
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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.