The number one rule of running a business is “know thy numbers.” We depend too much on accountants, bookkeepers, CPAs, controllers, etc. to inform us on our numbers. In my experience these folks, as necessary as they are, mostly look in the review mirror. We can’t do anything about the past.
What if you, and your entire team could see through a clean windshield and forecast the financial performance of the business? Would your business be more financially fit? This conflict between the past, present and future is holding back great people in great businesses. Nothing is worse than feeling like you are not living up to your full potential.
The real scoundrel here is the status quo of how “we think” or “we were told” businesses should operate. We need to value and empower the real assets of the business, the people. When you power the people “in” the business, and not just rely on people outside the business who only consider you when they get to your name on a list, you will break the status quo.
The adventure we set out on at Mojo was to challenge this status quo. We felt that the people in the business truly cared and would do anything they could to help beyond what was written in the four corners of their job descriptions. And guess what? We were right! This adage of everyone is in sales is kind of antiquated. Everyone is in the building of a financially stable business.
Our first step was to find a business operating system, a like-minded partner and an ecosystem of like-minded practitioners who were on the same quest as us. We looked at and tried many different systems. And, with each start and failed attempt, we felt that maybe challenging this status quo was impossible. The temptation to give up and do what we’ve always done, hoping things would improve, started to be appealing.
Then we found The Great Game of Business and Steve Baker, our coach. They helped us understand that the status quo was a real thing and we were not the only ones out there who felt this way. Other companies had great teams of people who really cared about where they worked and the people they worked with. Steve cleaned our windshield, got in the driver’s seat, turned down the review mirror and took us for a wild ride.
He helped us establish a design team to build out the infrastructure of our open book management operating system, build out mini-games designed to fix issues we were dealing with, design our financial dashboard, create our bonus program and to spread out the responsibility of our break-the-status-quo-vision so everyone in the company could make a difference. The team reluctantly agreed to more forward, for good reason, due to our failed attempts with other systems. Over a short period of time however, Steve and the initial design team helped everyone see the power The Great Game could have on our business.
Furthermore, we met like-minded people in workshops, events, and ultimately the annual Gathering of the Games. We found the ecosystem, the support group who we could rely on to build the financially stable business we all have been craving.
Our journey was challenging. Breaking out and trying something different is difficult. Especially when it involves very sensitive topics, like your financials. But we knew that doing the same thing over and over expecting different results was the definition of insanity.
Now, we meet weekly as a team around our financial dashboard to review how the actuals are aligned to our forecasts. People are telling the story behind the delta between an actual and their forecast. We are getting much better at forecasting (windshield) out each line of the Income Statement. And when I say we, I don’t mean ownership. I mean each person on the team is forecasting and reporting on actual line items in the business, from office supplies to travel to revenue line items.
I now don’t feel like the entire financial weight of the business rests on my shoulders anymore. We are truly establishing stability as a team. Everyone plays a part. Once the responsibility is handed over to the team, they will surprise you in ways you never thought possible. And when the company benefits, everyone benefits. If you don’t think you have the culture for this, think again. People care about where they work more than what you may think.
To learn more about breaking the status quo with OBM and GGOB, join Mike Rose at the 25th Annual Gathering of Games, where he will present an educational session on the topic. The Gathering of Games takes place September 6-8, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. To learn more about the conference or to register, visit the Gathering of Games website at http://www.openbookconference.com.