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Hitting Big Goals Starts with Small Wins

Apr 19, 2019 by Steve Baker 0 Comments

Hitting Big Goals starts with small wins

Once you’ve seen the transformational power of The Great Game of Business, your team will begin to grab onto the gamification aspects; and along with it, the language. Words like Huddles and scoreboards will become part of the vernacular of your organization.

To us, MiniGames™ are a powerful way to describe short-term, self-funding incentive plans that will make a huge impact on your organization in 90 days or less. They are designed to affect a change, reinforce business training, build teamwork, and develop a winning attitude—all of which lead to success for both your company and your people. Heck, it’s just the Big Game, but in microcosm. But until they’ve ‘crossed over’, some newcomers might think the name is trivializing business.

So, you have our permission. If ‘MiniGames’ just isn’t doing it for you, name them something more fitting for your specific company. Several clients call them 90-Day Challenges. One group, working with the military, dubbed them Missions. Very macho and cool, right? Whatever you come up with, just do it. It’s not the name, it’s the practice.

Through the years, many gurus have adapted MiniGames into their own systems; because MiniGames work. You might be familiar with Rocks, RIPs, and WIGs which all include the key elements. They’ve got a goal, measures, scoreboard, an accountability rhythm. Some even tie frontline people back to the larger goals of the organization.

But they miss something important. A Stake in the Outcome®. They miss the importance of driving results and celebrating the win with rewards and recognition. This is the linchpin in teaching people about your business, including them in the design process and executing day-to-day. Remember, people support what they help create!

Having identified your Critical Number™ and the drivers that influence it, how do you successfully start making things happen? With targeted day-to-day improvements that add up to long-term success. MiniGames bring a laser focus to those everyday, small wins that put us that much closer to the big win

In order to design a high-impact MiniGame, we must understand the reasons why we play them:

1. Affect a Change

The primary reason for playing a MiniGame is to strengthen the business through improved performance. MiniGames help companies boost workgroup, departmental, and corporate performance by focusing on an operational or financial number that represents a weakness or an opportunity. MiniGame teams are challenged to find solutions to current problems and take advantage of opportunities—whatever it takes to get to the goal!

Expert Tip: If you aren’t changing a system, process, or behavior that will stick long after the MiniGame is over, you’re just killing time!

2. Reinforce Business Education

MiniGames are one of the most effective tools used to “build a business of business people”.  As a short-term version of The Great Game, they reinforce key components of success—goal setting, mutual responsibility, and performance management by:

1. Teaching players to track, measure, and forecast team activity

2. Showing each member how they can contribute to team success

3. Rewarding them as they progress

3. Build Teamwork

MiniGames provide the members of a team, workgroup, or department with a shared, common goal. While individual contribution is valued, individuals must unite as a team in order to reach the overall goal found in the Critical Number. MiniGame rewards are based on the success of the team and give each player a vested interest in helping his or her team achieve its goal. We win and lose as a team....and we ain't gonna lose!

4. Create a Culture of Winning

Face it. Many people don’t wake up feeling like winners. Life is hard. Maybe, just maybe, we could create a winning environment at work where people are recognized and results are rewarded. MiniGames instill the desire to win and can help you create a culture of winning.

Don't forget that small wins add up to big wins. Everyone should focus on the goal of the big Game—The Critical Number, but the only way we can achieve that goal is by acting on the everyday activities and behaviors that influence The Critical Number.

Need more help with designing and executing effective MiniGames? 

Download the MiniGame Toolkit


This blog was inspired by Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker's upcoming book It's Money. It's People. It's Both. Find out more about the step-by-step guide to implementing the Great Game of Business below.

Pre-order your copy of Get in the Game


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Topics: Critical Number™, MiniGames™

Steve Baker
Written by Steve Baker

Steve Baker is vice president of The Great Game of Business, Inc. Steve coauthored Get in the Game as well as the update of the number one bestseller, The Great Game of Business—20th Anniversary Edition. Known for his engaging and irreverent style, Steve is a top-rated, sought-after speaker and coach on open-book management, strategy and execution, leadership, and employee engagement. His audiences range from Harvard University to the Department of Defense, and he is a regular at Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000 Conference. He has served on the Board of the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) and SRC Holding’s Ownership Culture Initiative. Steve is an award-winning artist and lives in Springfield, Missouri, with his trophy wife, JoAnn, and three above-average children.

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.