The Great Game of Business Blog

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Missed Opportunities

“Maybe that meeting was my missed opportunity,” Ron told me, beating himself up a bit. “The fact that the president hadn’t even reported the actual results from the quarter should have alarmed every one of us board members into taking action.” That never would have happened at SRC. We work with our financials in real-time and through our constant huddling, not to mention our bi-annual High-Involvement Planning (HIP) meetings where all of our divisions get together to compare our progress on achieving our plans and forecasts. Paranoia can be good for you—unless you don’t do something about what scares you. You can’t hide from the solution and be successful.
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Can Your Company Stand the Test of Time?

Oct 27, 2020 by Jack Stack 1 Comment
    Every October, we conduct our second sales-and-marketing meeting of the year (the first is held in June)—a ritual we’ve continued every year since 1983. The sales teams from each of our divisions make presentations to everyone inside the company—including our board of directors—and we ask our people to vote on their confidence in those plans. For us, this process—what we call High-Involvement Planning—is the lynchpin of how we build a true culture of engagement inside our business.
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Getting Started with the Great Game of Business: It's Simpler Than You Think

Oct 21, 2020 by Steve Baker 1 Comment
When practicing The Great Game of Business® (GGOB), the breakthrough comes when companies shift from focusing on an event (bonus plan, financial literacy program, etc.) to using GGOB as an operating system to run their organization. GGOB is a system. It’s a pattern. It’s a strategy. It’s a way of thinking. If you want to fully leverage the power of Great Game™, you must treat it as a system and persistently work it.
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The Original Doubter of Open-Book Management

  Does it really work or is it just a bunch of hype? Boy, I wish we had a dollar for every time someone has asked us that question. I wish we had five dollars for every answer we've given. Let's see— that would be a debit to "cash" and a credit to "other income." Overhead, labor absorption, and materials would be unaffected, so we have raw profit going straight to the bottom line. Wonderful!!! Our stock value would be enhanced and our jobs secure. See, you're already playing The Game and you've hardly begun the book. Would it scare you if your employees thought like this? Would it scare you if you thought like this? 
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Empowerment Tools You Can Use

Oct 7, 2020 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
Surveys show that employees don’t usually participate in The Great Game of Business® until they feel comfortable with the numbers and with the whole idea of the GGOB. Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to build a sense of excitement and empowerment among you and your associates as quickly as possible. Here are some tips that will get your employees engaged and empowered:
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8 Ways to Keep Great Employees

Sep 29, 2020 by Great Game Team 0 Comments
  # 1 - Recognition and Respect Great employees continue to prove themselves every day. Recognition and respect from peers and leadership further solidifies the bond between a great employee and the company. Respected employees stay because they would have to start over at ground zero at a new company. Once again working to earn recognition and respect from a new employer. Respected employees: help set and maintain the productive rhythm of the company. mentor others. step up when needed without being asked. have unique talents and expertise that are obvious. In return, the great employee's work and contribution earns them recognition and respect at all levels of the company, especially leadership. Again, the key word is "earned."
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If You Work At Netflix, You’re Going To Get Wet

Sep 22, 2020 by Darren Dahl 2 Comments
Why the online streaming company doesn’t believe in keeping secrets from its employees. In his new bestselling book, No Rules Rules, Reed Hastings digs into some of the cultural aspects that make the company he co-founded, Netflix, so successful. In the book, which is framed as a kind of conversation with Erin Meyer, a professor at the INSEAD business school, Hastings writes that one of the cultural values he instilled in Netflix from its very beginning was that there weren’t going to be any secrets. As he puts it, embracing transparency and letting go of secrets—what Netflix calls “sunshining”—brings incredible advantages in terms of building trust and empowering employees to think like owners. What’s interesting is that Hastings acknowledges it’s easy for leaders to say they are pro-transparency. No one goes around saying they want to promote organizational secrecy, right? But why then, he asks, do so many organizations not walk the walk when it comes to sharing things like the company’s financials with their employees?
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Why We Want to Do Away with Jobs

Sep 17, 2020 by Jack Stack 2 Comments
How often have you heard this: “All we ask you is to do the job, nothing more.” Well, I don’t want people just to do a job. I want them to have a purpose in what the hell they’re doing. I want them to be going somewhere. I want them to be excited about getting up in the morning, to look forward to what they’re going to do that day. Maybe it’s a matter of tricking people into wanting to come to work. I say “tricking” because I don’t think it’s a natural thing. Most people would rather be doing something other than work—I certainly would—but they feel they don’t have any choice. Companies reinforce that feeling. They not only tell people just to do the job, they set up the work so it is just a job. They say, “Drill as many of these holes as possible, as fast as possible, and don’t think about anything else.” That’s one way to run a company. What you wind up with are workers who think a job is just a job. I call them the living dead.
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Creating Wins with MiniGames

Sep 15, 2020 by The Great Game Team 1 Comment
  "Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is."  - Vince Lombardi Part of the magic behind The Great Game of Business® comes from tapping into the universal human desire to win.  Give people a chance to win early and win often, and you'll capture their interest, keep them engaged and drive the success of your business.  Whether you are just starting your Great Game journey, or just looking for a boost, inject some fun and focus by launching some departmental MiniGames™  and create the wins your team needs.  
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A Time to Reimagine Capitalism

Sep 8, 2020 by Jack Stack 1 Comment
  Every year I look forward to attending the Great Game of Business’s annual conference. Over the past 28 years, it’s always been an opportunity to improve—to receive an education on how we can continually improve upon the lives and those of the people working inside our companies and within the communities that support us. I chuckle when I think back to our first conference—what we called The Gathering of Games at the time—which we held in our hometown of Springfield, MO. We honestly weren’t sure how many people were going to show up. A few dozen intrepid souls did make the trip—so we decided to hold another conference the following year, moving it to St. Louis to make it easier for more people to attend. We built on that momentum year after year—building up our community of like-hearted Great Game™ players with each conference. While I have learned so much from the incredible lineup of speakers and presenters that have blessed the stage over the years, I’ve learned just as much—if not more—from the attendees themselves over a shared meal or a cold beer at the bar after hours. They have been my most cherished friends and teachers when it comes to how we can collectively reimagine capitalism.
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Closing The Gap Between The Haves and The Have-Nots

Sep 2, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
  “Business can be a step to make a positive difference in the world. It empowers people to pursue their dreams.” Those are the opening words that Jack Stack and I wrote in our new book, Change the Game: Saving the American Dream By Closing the Gap Between the Haves and the Have-notes. Our goal in writing the book was to share stories about the brighter side of capitalism. We wanted to show real-life examples about how we can create better lives for ourselves and our communities—and bridge the wealth gap plaguing our society—by teaching people the rules of business, helping them keep score, and by sharing A Stake in the Outcome®.  We wanted to shed light on the positive ripple effect that results when you build a business of business-people who think and act as owners do.
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Sharing the Load by Playing Great Game™ 

Each of these companies; Superior Restoration, SuperSuds, Venturity, and Willoway Nurseries are part of a growing community of Great Game™ companies who have reimagined capitalism as a transformational force for good. Each year, the Great Game Community recognizes companies like these who have the courage to do business differently. They are using the power of business to transform their associate's lives and the communities which they serve, for the better. They are part of a movement that's trying to 'Change the Game'.
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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.