We're Jenner Ag and we are a practitioner host for The Great Game Experience. We're very excited to partner with The Great Game of Business team for this event. We wanted to tell you a little more about our story and how we practice open-book management in our organization.
Before we had ever heard about The Great Game of Business, Jenner Ag was a profitable company… but we knew we had more potential.
Although the profit sharing program the company had implemented years ago was quite successful, the management team could feel it getting stale. Worse, the employees had come to view it as more of an entitlement than something they had to earn. It desperately needed reenergizing.
In 2011, we stumbled upon The Great Game of Business and the concept of open-book management.
We initially began by just opening the books and thinking the rest would just take care of itself. When we realized we were just confusing people, we sought the guidance of Great Game Certified Coach, who helped us implement The Game’s core competencies:
- We created monthly Financial Literacy Boot Camps to get everyone in the company up to speed about how the numbers work.
- We implemented weekly “Huddles” to help track where we were and how the company was doing.
- We built a Stake in the Outcome Calculator so employees could understand how the bonus structure was set up and how it applied to each person on the team.
- We set up a structure to help us track and communicate continuing education goals for the company.
- Using Great Games’ High-Involvement Planning, we outlined goals for the company, set by the employees on the front lines rather than having them pushed down from a supervisory level.
- We ramped up employee involvement by outlining clear-cut, realistic goals for every division, every department and every employee. To keep motivation up and encourage engagement, we tracked Performance Points for every employee on scoreboards that we updated weekly.
The results were swift and evident. Jenner Ag had been growing steadily before implementing open-book management (about 2% per year), but with the implementation of The Great Game of Business, we started averaging 10% year-over-year growth - that very first year!
Jenner Ag was able to secure growth and continue to push numbers even during industry-driven “slow down” sales times. When the ag industry hit a downward spiral and corn prices went from historic highs to drastic lows, we continued to excel – simply in a different way. While other dealerships were reporting sales being off by 50% or more, we were “only” down 20%.
Perhaps most importantly, playing The Great Game has better positioned our company for future growth and given us the ability to better analyze how we want to move forward – including the acquisition of two additional companies.
OUR NEW REALITY
Even during what many would call a down market or a recession, we’ve been able to continue to gain market share, acquire new customers, retain loyal customers and strengthen the company’s brand like never before.
- Precision Ag, a division of Jenner Companies, has reached unprecedented levels of success. Not only is this division turning a profit for the first time in its history, but it continually sets new records for sales and income.
- Jenner’s Agriculture Division continues to grow its territory and add new lines.
- Our Application Division has added new partners and has been named the exclusive distributor for several product lines.
We attribute this new reality of growth and success to the level of excellence we’ve been able to maintain as a result of practicing The Great Game of Business. And everybody at Jenner reaps the benefits. Since we began this journey back in 2011, we have paid employees over 18% of EBITDA in 401(k) and cash combined!
Playing The Great Game of Business has not only helped us make great things happen and reach record financial goals, it has helped make Jenner Ag a better place to work. And that’s something no one can put a price on.
We'd love to invite you to attend the workshop and learn more about how you can successfully implement and sustain open-book management. Click here to read more about the details about the event.
Author: The Jenner Ag Team
Post Date: 2/14/2017
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