Check out what drove the best of the best in open-book management to implement the Great Game as we asked companies from our 2018 All-Star Team, "Describe your Aha! moment. When did you know that the Great Game of Business was what your company needed?"
I read Jack’s book in September 2017. The following notes I took during that initial reading reveal my first Aha! moments:
Key Point: The Big Picture is all about motivation. It’s giving people the reason for doing the job, the purpose of working. If you’re going to play a game, you have to understand what it means to win. When you show people the Big Picture, you define winning.
Key Point: The payoff comes from getting the people who create the numbers to understand the numbers. When that happens, the communication between the bottom and the top of the organization is phenomenal.
After finishing the book, I attended a Get in the Game workshop in Springfield (November 2017). The SRC plant tour and the stories told by the Paul Mueller Company panel were compelling and when I heard shop-floor employees speaking about their experiences with the program, I knew this was something I wanted to do. I vividly remember calling my business partner. “Dave, this could work,” I said. “This isn’t just a management system. This looks like us. We can do this. Our people can do this!”
Venturity Financial Partners
Venturity’s “AHA!” moment occurred at the 2016 Gathering of Games. This was six months before we implemented and we were in the final stages of evaluating the Game and how we might roll it out. Within a few hours of the start of the Gathering, we knew we HAD to do it to become the company we envisioned.
And we knew it not because of a particular presentation we heard, but because of the people who we met at the conference. We immediately felt at home as these people and companies were like us, values driven and focused on achieving collective success that is shared by all, not success focused on and benefiting just a few.
The moment that I began seeing net profit margins growing to around 10% from where they had once been at or below 1%.
Advanced Services Pest Control
We were very leery at first about the success that GGOB was going to bring to our company. We truly are “trust but verify” type of people at heart. After our very first quarter the evidence was there. This system was going to work and our people were going to get it. The first quarter our net income had a $56,000 increase over the prior year! Our employees engagement was high through our MiniGames™ and every one seemed to be having fun! Every quarter since it has continued to show the results we have hoped for.
We had an employee leave the company, and after they left we found out that they had a whole bunch of misconceptions about how the company was doing financially that caused them to leave. Because the company wasn’t sharing financial information, that employee had created a totally inaccurate alternate reality.
There have been many AHA moments on our GGOB journey (and I’m sure there will be many more). One of the first was around GGOB being ‘the only sensible way to run a company.’ Holding onto the financial information and the stress that goes with it (especially when it’s not good) had been impacting our founder, constantly trying to put a positive spin on the results and looking at ways to continue to fund the business. Knowing what we know now, it was unfair to the team to not share this information, let them make the decision whether they want to pitch and help right the ship or move on to safer waters.
Slowly (at first) starting to share that information and connecting the team to the results and lightening the load and stress that he felt, and it was a huge relief (it took a few years). The team all pitched in we were able to make it through.
The AHA moment was that the more we share, the more we teach, the more connected the team becomes, the more committed the team becomes to working together achieving greater results.
While we’d been considering playing the Great Game of Business for years, we knew it was time to take a leap of faith after imageOne’s revenue downturn in 2014. We had run out of excuses of why the GGOB wouldn’t work for us and decided to commit to long term financial training and transparency with our team.
Kris Maynard, our CEO, was attending the ESOP Association Technical Seminar in Las Vegas, NV. Having become a 100% S-Corp ESOP, in 2011, he was searching for ways to get our employees to really “think & act” like owners – a big shift from the way the company had been led historically. That model was very paternalistic where the staff was “protected” from the worries and challenges regarding company finances. Steve Baker was hosting the session on Getting in the Game and it became obvious during the presentation that GGOB was the solution that we had been searching for to help make the shift.
Before GGOB, PV focused solely on the company’s core values: team player, positive energy, continuous improvement and client wins. PV learned through GGOB that two key factors were missing-- sense of ownership and accountability.
For example, our revenue cycle management team (RCM), which houses the largest group of PV employees and also drives a significant portion of PV’s net income, had no idea how their daily duties impacted the overall financial health of the company. Dr. Stern felt very strongly that if hourly billers understood how important they are to the overall success of the company, they would work harder. Guess what? He was right!
Other articles you might like:
- A Checklist Every Leader Should Be Thinking About
- Last Year I Was You
- An Outsider's Perspective on the Gathering of Game