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Game on! What’s Next?

Jul 4, 2018 by Michelle Gardner 2 Comments

game on! whats next blog

I remember vividly that moment, after many months of management team discussions, when we finally pulled the trigger. We knew that committing to practicing the Great Game of Business would be transformational for our business, but like any change, it was new and scary. We were all very excited, but also nervous and dare I say a little apprehensive. What if the time commitment is too great? What if our team members don’t embrace this new way of thinking? What if it just doesn’t work? BUT WHAT IF IT DOES!?

I think all of us had these and many more thoughts going through our heads. As accountants, we live and breathe numbers day in and day out. So, unlike many practitioners new to the Game, that wasn’t the scary part. We had a good hold of our numbers -- especially at the partner level. We were scared based on a previous failed attempt with a different profit sharing plan that we did not implement in the right way and ended up with unintended consequences. We knew buy-in from our people would be the key to success, but we were unsure how to best make that happen.

Venturity had spent years working on our culture, experimenting and fine-tuning to find what worked best for our people and clients. We believed that for us, the Game would be the final piece of the puzzle so it was imperative that it align with our culture and values. Our coach, Wayne Whitesell, helped us see that while you definitely need leadership buy-in, the game needed to be built from the bottom-up. We had to create a design team that would do this.

One of our keys to success was ensuring that we had influencers from all different parts of the organization on the design team. These individuals have been the key to creating buy-in, orchestrating change, and keeping morale high through the implementation. One of the great things we have loved about the Game is the opportunity it gives everyone to grow and develop as leaders. But, in putting our design team together, we made sure that the team members chosen already displayed leadership characteristics as they would be needed to be successful in their heightened role. What are these characteristics?

  • Respected influencer within the organization – this doesn’t mean they have to be a formal leader, rather, they are people that their peers respect and easily engage with.
  • Engaged – the Great Game is fun, but also requires a commitment of time, and our design team had to be up for the challenge.
  • Motivated – the team members are in front of our entire Venturity team on a weekly basis and must be strong motivators – when we achieve our goals and even when we don’t.

  • Strategic thinker– this team is setting the direction for the Game on a regular basis, being able to see the end goal and figuring out how to get there is critical.

  • Change agent – the Game is about a mindset change, and consistency. These influencers must have the stamina to continue week after week to champion the change and keep the team on the right track.

Wow, in looking at this list, we were really asking A LOT of our team members! But I don’t think we would have been nearly as successful if we hadn’t created this team of incredibly dedicated, committed, and forward-thinking people to forge the way and keep us accountable!  


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Topics: Teamwork, The Annual Gathering of Games, Planning

Michelle Gardner
Written by Michelle Gardner

Michelle re-joined Venturity in 2014 and currently serves as the company’s CFO and GGOB Design Team Facilitator. In addition to her CFO and GGOB duties, Michelle is responsible for management of the company’s third party shared services relationship with India-based Pierian Services, Ltd. In between her two stops at Venturity, Michelle held leadership positions in the finance organizations of NTT DATA, Inc. and Hewlett-Packard. She began her career with Price Waterhouse Coopers and has extensive experience in the IT outsourcing, retail, telecommunications, software, manufacturing, and non-profit industries. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas A&M University and resides in Dallas with her husband Ed.

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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.