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Are You Really Opening the Books?

Jul 12, 2019 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
Inspired by Rich Armstrong & Steve Baker's upcoming book, Get in the Game: How to Create Rapid Financial Results and Lasting Cultural Change. For nearly forty years, The Great Game of Buisness® has been known as the “open-book people.” The term open-book management (OBM) was coined by John Case in Inc. Magazine 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—it’s not just about opening the books! 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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How Playing the Great Game Helps You Prepare for an Unpredictable Economy

May 15, 2019 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
Every day brings a confusing mix of news about the economy. It can be tough to gauge how things are trending. Just when things look like they might calm down enough for everyone to get back to business, a trade war escalates or economists decide to lower their forecasts for future growth. The good news is that few economists expect a recession to hit anytime soon: for example, 60 economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal expect the next downturn in either 2020 or, more likely, 2021. But even if we aren’t looking at a recession tomorrow, all this turmoil should serve as a kind of alarm—a red alert to take action. If times are good in your business right now, you should be putting plans in place so that you’ll be able to handle the inevitable downturn to come. That’s where playing the Great Game of Business® can help. Here are four tips on how to prepare your organization to handle future turmoil:
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Uber and Lyft Need To Realize That Stock Is Not A Magic Pill

Mar 11, 2019 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
It’s not always easy to work in the so-called “gig economy,” where millions of Americans find ways to earn money on one-off assignments. Prime examples are the folks who spend their time picking up extra fares in their personal cars driving for gig economy stars like Uber and Lyft. While it’s a great way to earn a few extra dollars, few (if any) of those drivers are going to make enough money to retire on. That helps explain the recent buzz around the news that the some folks who have been driving for Uber and Lyft will reportedly get the chance to buy shares of those companies prior to their IPOs (initial public offering), which are expected sometime this year. Lyft, for example, is planning to give drivers who have given at least 10,000 rides a $1,000 bonus they can keep or use to purchase shares of the stock.  
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Healthy Budgeting Means Cutting Fat—Not Muscle

Mar 5, 2019 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
 A few years ago, the Wall Street Journal ran an article about a practice called “Zero-Based Budgeting,” which is basically a cost-control process that was being embraced by big-name companies such as Heinz, Kraft, and Burger King. The idea is that companies don’t roll over budgets from year to year, but they have to make a case for new spending plans each year. This philosophy wasn’t new—Texas Instruments experimented with it a few decades ago—but it seemed to gain popularity with investors interested in keeping costs under control. That was especially true when it came to the Kraft-Heinz merger. But things apparently haven’t worked out.
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6 Tips for Easing Managers into The Game

Feb 27, 2019 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
When companies implement The Great Game of Business, the company's leadership are often expected to get up to speed quickly. They’re asked to teach things they may not know and share information they’ve always kept close to the vest. They’re also expected to change their personal management style, often abruptly. In this situation, it shouldn’t be surprising if some managers leave and the rest feel threatened, confused or angry. Chances are they’re all asking themselves the same question: “As employees learn more about the business and take more responsibility for posting good results, then what’s my role?” Meanwhile, they're being peppered with questions from the front line: “What’s all this about, anyway? Do we really have to do this?” If your managers shrug or answer cynically, your program is over before it starts.
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The Building Blocks of an Effective Bonus Plan

Oct 30, 2018 by Rich Armstrong 4 Comments
If you’ve watched the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you probably remember the failed “Jelly of the Month” bonus program. Picture Clarke W. Griswold daydreaming about the pool he couldn’t afford, based on a bonus he was simply expecting to get. Did the bonus make him work harder? Did it make him feel good about his job? Feel more connected to the goals of the company? No way! The bonus was seen as an entitlement; it was not intended to motivate behavior in any way. Most bonus plans disappoint employees because they’re a mystery, they’re unpredictable and they’re never, ever enough. So what can you do?
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How One Company Is Tackling The Coming War For Talent

May 7, 2018 by Rich Armstrong 2 Comments
  There’s a big elephant in the room business owners need to start looking at if they haven’t already: the looming workforce shortage. While the media seemed to focus solely on the lack of jobs in recent years, the real story that’s going to impact businesses of all kinds in the coming years is the shortage of workers caused by the constant stream of Baby Boomers leaving the workforce. But what can those businesses that are already feeling the pain do about attracting new talent? Just as importantly, how can they better engage and retain the employees they already have?
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Building a Business of Businesspeople at Netflix

May 3, 2018 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
Few companies exploded onto the scene the way Netflix did in the late 1990s.  Perhaps more impressively, the company beat back an 800‐pound gorilla called Blockbuster Video on its way to radically changing how many of us now consume TV shows and movies. What makes Netflix’s success interesting is how it managed to embrace several massive changes in its business model as it outmaneuvered its much larger rival. The first of those big shifts was when co‐founder Reed Hastings decided that Netflix would begin offering monthly subscription plans to its customers where they could rent as many movies as they liked for a flat fee. Even more radical was the notion that it would also eliminate late fees—which made up a large percentage of Blockbuster’s revenues.
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Contingency Planning: Expect the Unexpected

May 21, 2015 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
  Too many organizations get into trouble because they don’t have a proper planning structure. Even companies with a planning rhythm often only plan for what they expect to happen and the business they expect to deliver. In our experience, life (and business) is “like a box of chocolates”, you really can’t be sure what you’re going to get next! So, how do you prepare for the unexpected? What’s your backup plan?
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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.