The Great Game of Business Blog

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We're Suffering From A Gap in Financial Knowledge; It's Time To Close It

There’s an epidemic ravaging communities across the country, and it’s not only COVID-19. People everywhere now face dire economic circumstances where their lack of financial savings or mounting debt is contributing to a crisis of stress and mental health. Despite all the wage increases we’ve seen in the wake of the War for Talent, more than half of all Americans lack the funds to cover an unexpected $400 emergency, like replacing a blown tire or a trip to the hospital. That means millions of us are a mere hiccup away from sliding down into bankruptcy. How did we get here?
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How To Stay On Top of Runaway Inflation — When It Comes To Raising Prices, Timing Is Everything

Any time you write something and send it out into the world, it can be difficult to know if anyone paid any attention to it. While it’s always gratifying to see how many people hit the “Like” button on a blog, or how many views it gets, we think the real mark of whether a piece hits home or not is when people take the time to write comments or questions. When you get those, you know you might have hit a nerve.
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Why We're Focused On Protecting Margins in 2022 (And Why You Should, Too)

It's been two years since Covid shut the economy down. And nothing has been the same since. What's crazy is how things continue to change on what seems like a daily basis. Variances are the name of the game. We were already dealing with supply chain delays and the constant upward pressure of inflation caused by the shortages of parts and people in the marketplace. The price of freight is skyrocketing—and that was all before the war in Ukraine erupted. Suddenly, we need to add in the additional upward pressure on the price of oil and commodities like wheat—did you know Russia is the world's largest producer of wheat and Ukraine is fifth? There are also precious metals like nickel, which is a big Russian export. Nickel is used to make everything from stainless steel to appliances and batteries, which are rising in price because of the shortages. Now mix in the fact that interest rates will be rising for the first time since 2018, and every business is faced with solving a dynamic puzzle with lots of moving pieces.
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How To Have Fun At Work (And Learn Something At The Same Time)

It feels like we’re on some kind of crazy rollercoaster ride. One day we’re riding high, and then, whoosh, we’re hit with school closings and absenteeism due to Covid, shortages of parts, and, heck, even a big ice and snowstorm to contend with. You get to the point where you think you might be too tired to duck from the next punch headed your way. When you add that we were also trying to close out our fiscal year on January 31 amidst all those challenges, it could have been enough just to wave the white flag and surrender. As anyone involved in balancing your books at year-end knows, it can be a royal pain. The pain is only made worse when you put off things during the year because of those challenges you’re forced to deal with. For example, if you ran into a supply chain logjam, you might be forced to place an emergency order—and pay a significant premium for it—which then impacts your cost and pricing structure. Or maybe you couldn’t collect on your receivables because of paperwork errors or maybe because someone was out sick. Have you seen what shipping containers cost these days? That means you wouldn’t get the cash you expected, which is the last place you ever want to be.
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Why Oversharing Information Is The Secret To Thriving In Times Of Great Uncertainty

      Things were looking up there for a while, weren’t they? At least the long-term forecasts still look strong. But this omicron variant is causing us to tear our hair out, worrying about the health and safety of our people (let alone our loved ones at home). Just this past week, we saw 82 of our associates call in sick—that’s 5% of our company. Just as bad, something like 8% of our company has tested positive for the virus in January. Then, we got hit with the news that our school system was shutting down for a week or more because of the incredible wave of infections ripping through our community. That means we have parents forced to stay home or find childcare options at the last minute, which just puts enormous stress on everyone.
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Why We Get Nervous Playing With A Lead

The New Year is off and running. If your business is anything like ours, you’ve got your hands full. The good news is that we’ve begun to see some progress in overcoming the shortages in parts and people we’ve been struggling with ever since the pandemic hit us in March 2020. Getting our supply chain straightened out while also finding ways to recruit new people (and retain our existing associates) has helped us get back on track with our annual plan. In fact, our team has been remarkably consistent in the accuracy of our forecasts. (We’ll see how accurate when we close out our fiscal year at the end of January.) We’re also leaving far less potential business on the table due to the easing of those constraints, which bodes well for our growth heading into 2022. When I talk to other business owners and executives, I hear similar good news. It’s pretty common to hear that 2021 was a record year for many of them. That’s led to a lot of optimism as people looked to 2022.
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How Deming’s 14 Points For Management Can Help Us Thrive in A Post-Pandemic World

To overcome today’s challenges, and build a sustainable business for the long term, it’s time to transform how you get work done The biggest challenges our organization faces, like most everyone else in our post-pandemic world, is shortages of parts and people. With global supply chains snarled, we find ourselves sitting on warehouses full of engines waiting for silicon chips worth a few dollars each. Meanwhile, we were incredibly fortunate to hire 500 new associates over the past year. But, we’re still shorthanded when you subtract the 250 or so employee-owners who retired at the end of 2020. And, despite the superhuman efforts from our human relations teams, that’s not going to change anytime soon.
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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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Why We Are Giving Associates Incentive to get the COVID Vaccine

It’s become apparent that we celebrated the end of the pandemic a little early. Believe me, I was one of the first people who couldn’t wait to rip my mask off. I hate wearing them. You can imagine the sense of relief I felt when I finally got my second shot. Then, as the COVID numbers dropped, and dropped some more, we could finally take our masks off. It seemed like we had really turned the corner on this thing.
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How Ownership Can Power The Pursuit Of The American Dream

  The Company's Largest Shareholder Think about how most people you encounter daily don’t really enjoy waking up and going to work every day if they go at all. When many (or most) people reach a certain age, they find it more comforting to think ahead to retirement than focus on what they might need to do that day at work. And yet there is an associate at our company, SRC, who still chooses to come to work even though he’s seventy-one. His job on the factory floor pays him about $31,000 a year. He doesn’t continue working for the pay; he shows up every day because he sincerely loves his job.
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Going Beyond The Mission Statement

  Words are cheap. What I mean is that it’s easy to say something, but it’s a heck of a lot harder to actually put those words into action. For example, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how it’s become commonplace for companies to trumpet their mission, vision, and values. Everyone says they have a higher purpose with their business, something more than just pursuing profit, which is great. The idea is to show your associates, your customers, and the communities you operate in that you have a higher purpose than just making money at their expense.
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Why Isn’t The Front Line Treated Like The CEO?

      A company is only as good as its people. Everyone knows that. So why is that in so many companies the vast majority of the information-hoarding and decision-making happens only at the top? Why have we been holding onto a managerial system invented decades ago to fit an industrial society that tells us that only the CEO and the rest of the C-Suite are smart and capable enough to drive the company forward?
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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.