Historically, businesses using traditional management styles have been reluctant to give all their employees the knowledge they need to make good business decisions day in and day out as they do their jobs. Open-book management takes a much different approach. It’s all about capturing and sharing both financial and organizational knowledge with every employee and empowering them to use that knowledge to contribute to the long-term success of the organization, as well as their personal success. The benefits of knowledge sharing are numerous, and here are just a few:
1. Knowledge Overcomes Fear
No fear is worse than the fear of the unknown, and reality is rarely as bad as the “water-cooler” talk.
2. Knowledge Breaks Down Barriers and Facilitates Communication
Knowledge promotes communication between management, employees, and departments. Seeing the “big picture” reinforces that we’re all in this together.
3. Knowledge Reveals the Reasons Behind the Actions
Understanding why ownership or management makes the decisions they do fosters cooperation. Better yet, providing the education to help all levels of employees contribute to decision-making allows them to understand and experience the reasons behind the numbers themselves.
4. Knowledge Leads to Intelligent Decisions
Understanding how our job affects our workgroup, department, and the company allows employees to make better, more effective decisions on a daily basis.
5. Knowledge is Motivating and Empowering
Knowing what’s going on and understanding that we can make a difference with our actions every day is motivating and empowering! Show each employee the power they have to affect the outcome of the company in their daily tasks, large and small.
6. Knowledge Encourages Involvement and Breeds a Feeling of Ownership
We tend to support what we help to create. We get on the bandwagon faster if we help build the wagon.
7. Knowledge Creates Opportunities
No matter what else we do, part of our job is to create opportunities for success—for ourselves and our company. Business author Roger Von Oech said, “Things are changing quickly. What worked last week may not be the best way to solve today’s problems or the best way to take advantage of next week’s opportunities.” The more we know, the more opportunities we can create.
In today’s competitive marketplace, we’ve got to raise the level of knowledge in our organizations. In the Great Game of Business®, “opening the books” is just the beginning. The Game is a total management system with proven processes for educating, empowering and engaging employees at all levels of the company to create a thriving business.
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