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MiniGames Help Generate $475,000 Increase in Sales at Willoway

Mar 21, 2019 by Lauren Haley 0 Comments
Margins in the landscaping business continue to shrink—and it’s harder than ever to grow the top line as well. Willoway Nurseries, a leading US wholesale supplier of nursery products, understands this better than anyone. This nursery, founded in 1954, grows wholesale trees, shrubs, perennials, and seasonal color crops and ships to retailers and contractors across 26 states. With a customer base of more than 1,200 independent garden centers and landscape contractors, this company has personally seen the effects of industry-wide shrinking margins and a need for drastic change in how they operate their business.  To confront these challenges, Willoway needed a way to gain efficiencies and improve quality. They decided to open the books to communicate the realities of operating a business to their team and what it takes to be profitable.
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Forecasting 101: 3 Tips for Success

Mar 19, 2019 by Lauren Haley 0 Comments
A financial forecast in business is a prediction of what’s going to happen. Not what you hope will happen, not what you fear will happen, but your best guess as to what’s likely to happen. While reviewing and analyzing company performance and financials is an important process in the business world, the past cannot be changed. Forecasting is a tool that makes financial reporting a forward-focused, educational process where changes and adjustments can be made to influence the outcomes of the numbers.  What does it take to properly forecast? Here are three tips on making forecasting work in your business:
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The Roots of Open-Book Management with Jack Stack and Jim Canfield

Mar 15, 2019 by Lauren Haley 1 Comment
Let's take it back a few years....14 years before the famous story of SRC's establishment in 1983. Jack Stack is learning the ins-and-outs of manufacturing, the detailed metrics involved in the industry, and receiving training and education provided by his company, International Harvester. But what he doesn't realize is that he's being cheated out of some of the most important metrics in any company: the financials and reporting system. In 1983, everyone is struggling for business, but this company is on the verge of failure. International Harvester owes $6 billion, interest rates are at 20%, and the company lays off  1000 workers weekly for two years straight. Jack and the other managers of the Springfield plant are fully focused on saving the jobs of their 119 employees and keeping the business from shutting down. This critical position allows Jack to take on the company financials himself and understand what it takes to make a great company: 
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Meet the Original Doubter of Open-Book Management

Mar 13, 2019 by Cassie Potts 0 Comments
Through the years, the team at SRC and The Great Game of Business have seen our share of doubters, disbelievers, critics and skeptics - everyone from CEOs, to managers, to hourly employees who said open-book management couldn't work... that teaching employees about business was crazy…that transparency was not necessary in business. Some of the biggest disbelievers came from right here at SRC…the birthplace of open-book management! One doubter with a particularly fascinating story is Denise Bredfeldt, a former transmission rebuilder at SRC during the early days of The Great Game of Business. To be fair, Denise lived through the dismal buyout of International Harvester; a time when trust and morale were at an all-time low. Before SRC was founded, Denise even circulated an underground newsletter mocking the company culture and management, and she wasn’t about to jump on the open-book bandwagon.
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Uber and Lyft Need To Realize That Stock Is Not A Magic Pill

Mar 11, 2019 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
It’s not always easy to work in the so-called “gig economy,” where millions of Americans find ways to earn money on one-off assignments. Prime examples are the folks who spend their time picking up extra fares in their personal cars driving for gig economy stars like Uber and Lyft. While it’s a great way to earn a few extra dollars, few (if any) of those drivers are going to make enough money to retire on. That helps explain the recent buzz around the news that the some folks who have been driving for Uber and Lyft will reportedly get the chance to buy shares of those companies prior to their IPOs (initial public offering), which are expected sometime this year. Lyft, for example, is planning to give drivers who have given at least 10,000 rides a $1,000 bonus they can keep or use to purchase shares of the stock.  
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Why Recognizing Small Achievements Matters and How To Do So

Mar 8, 2019 by Lauren Haley 0 Comments
You asked and we've answered! In this blog series, our experienced Great Game coaches answer questions directly from the open-book community. While salaries and other forms of compensation like employee bonus plans are important, recognition of your employees' efforts and accomplishments is vital in creating a work environment where team members are engaged. Employees have been telling us for years what really motivates them to perform at higher levels is recognition and a reward for a job well done. Recognition comes in many forms, small and large, but how do you recognize small, even minuscule system improvements without seeming trivial?  Here are examples and advice from our GGOB coaches:
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What's My Critical Number and Why Do I Need It?

Mar 7, 2019 by Steve Baker 1 Comment
Right now, there is at least one financial or operational number in your company,  something right at the heart of your business that, if improved in the short term, would have a dramatic effect on your business. But, keep in mind that the real magic isn’t in the number itself; it’s in the process of getting to the number.
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Healthy Budgeting Means Cutting Fat—Not Muscle

Mar 5, 2019 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
 A few years ago, the Wall Street Journal ran an article about a practice called “Zero-Based Budgeting,” which is basically a cost-control process that was being embraced by big-name companies such as Heinz, Kraft, and Burger King. The idea is that companies don’t roll over budgets from year to year, but they have to make a case for new spending plans each year. This philosophy wasn’t new—Texas Instruments experimented with it a few decades ago—but it seemed to gain popularity with investors interested in keeping costs under control. That was especially true when it came to the Kraft-Heinz merger. But things apparently haven’t worked out.
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From Apprehensive Doubter to Passionate Player

Mar 1, 2019 by Cassie Potts 0 Comments
Abby Fuqua had her doubts about open-book management when she was told  Venturity Finantial Partners, a Dallas accounting firm, would be implementing the Great Game of Business. "I thought it was corny. We've all got work to do, meetings to have, and I don't need another thing on my plate." But as their GGOB implementation started to unfold and Venturity started seeing substantial results, it became clear that the impact of the Great Game of Business would reach far beyond performance measures and financial results for the business. And that was exciting!
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6 Tips for Easing Managers into The Game

Feb 27, 2019 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
When companies implement The Great Game of Business, the company's leadership are often expected to get up to speed quickly. They’re asked to teach things they may not know and share information they’ve always kept close to the vest. They’re also expected to change their personal management style, often abruptly. In this situation, it shouldn’t be surprising if some managers leave and the rest feel threatened, confused or angry. Chances are they’re all asking themselves the same question: “As employees learn more about the business and take more responsibility for posting good results, then what’s my role?” Meanwhile, they're being peppered with questions from the front line: “What’s all this about, anyway? Do we really have to do this?” If your managers shrug or answer cynically, your program is over before it starts.
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The Victory Mission Turning Business Around in a Non-Profit

Feb 22, 2019 by Rhonda Chapman 0 Comments
Charities are not like organizations in the private sector because they can’t just sell more widgets or raise their prices to improve the “bottom” line. The reality is that they have inflows and outflows just like any other business and do have a “bottom line", it just can’t be called the “p-word” (profit!).
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Jack Stack on Retention and SRC's Critical Number: People

Feb 20, 2019 by Lauren Haley 0 Comments
In 1983, International Harvester was in deep financial trouble. Jack Stack and his fellow managers at the company’s engine remanufacturing facility in Springfield, Missouri, were scrambling to protect 119 jobs at the plant. Fast forward 36 years and SRC is struggling to find enough people to sustain the business over the long term.
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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.