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The Secret to Creating an Ownership Culture: Hint—It's Not Just About Equity

Oct 29, 2019 by John Williams 0 Comments
Ownership Advantage: Financial Literacy is Key  to Creating an Ownership Culture Over the years I have talked to several business owners who want their employees to think and act like owners. They want them to be engaged and passionate about their jobs. They want them to enjoy coming to work. These owners often see setting up an ESOP as a way to change the organization’s culture and instill the aforementioned traits of thinking and acting like an owner. Two or three years later, I talk to some of the same owners, who at one time saw the ESOP as a cure for their culture problems and now are blaming the ESOP and the employees for their inability to create an ownership culture. They say: “I started this ESOP thinking that it would make all my employees care about their jobs. It hasn’t done anything. In fact, their behavior is worse now.” One would ask: “Why is it worse?” The answer is that these owners were using leadership to manage employees before the ESOP and after the ESOP they quit leading and managing them at all because they thought the ESOP would do this for them. I’ve heard of several cases like this. So, if the ESOP is not going to be the magic potion, what is?
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How One Company Saved $270K in MiniGames™ & Educational Training

Oct 25, 2019 by Lauren Haley 0 Comments
Giving employees equity is one thing. Getting employees to think and act like owners is an entirely different story. That’s why SRC Holdings Corporation has an Ownership Culture Committee (OCC) responsible for challenging each company to stay true to the principles and practices of The Game and spreading the culture of ownership to every employee in the SRC family of companies.   With two major changes in leadership, a dip in the core business, and no sales manager, SRC Logistics, a division of SRC, knew 2019 would hold its challenges. In order to meet their annual plan and the metrics they needed to have a successful business year, their five-member Ownership Culture Committee helped facilitate MiniGames™ across all departments, provide educational trainings, promote cost savings and revenue opportunities, and ultimately close the gaps and have a successful 2019 year. Here’s how SRC Logistics turned their year around:
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What's My Critical Number and Why Do I Need It?

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. Does everyone in your organization know what that number is, and how important that number is to the success of the business? A Critical Number™ is: ‘The One Thing’ that, at any given time, is going to have the greatest impact on your business. ‘The One Thing’ you must achieve – or nothing else you achieve really matters much. ‘The One Thing’ that clearly defines winning! Critical Numbers vary from business to business and industry to industry. They change and evolve over time depending on business conditions and strategic goals. So how do you know what to select?
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5 Golden Rules of Teaching Financials to Employees

If you approached an employee at your company and asked them who creates the financial numbers in your company, what would they say? Odds are, they’d probably point to the accounting department. Sure, accounting has a lot to do with your company financials, but they don’t really create them. Your employees create the financials through the decisions they make and the actions they take. So how do you help your employees understand their part in creating the numbers and how their actions can affect those numbers? We recommend you follow the five golden rules of teaching employees about company financials:
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Using MiniGames™ To Drive Open-Book Leadership At H-E-B

Oct 17, 2019 by Darren Dahl 1 Comment
“Open-book management” was one of the popular phrases that got applied to the leadership system, The Great Game of Business®, that Jack Stack and his associates at SRC created back in 1983. But as Stack himself has said many times, most people don’t like to be managed. They like to be lead instead. In that spirit, perhaps it’s time we start thinking of the Great Game as a form of what we might call “open-book leadership.” A fantastic example of open-book leadership in action comes from the front lines of a grocery store in Austin, Texas—H-E-B. Starting back in 2016, the large grocery chain began sending managers and employees—who H-E-B calls “partners”—to the Gathering of Games conference to help inspire them in rolling out Great Game™ practices throughout the company.
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A Buried Treasure Where You Least Expect It

Oct 14, 2019 by Jeff Thomas 0 Comments
­ While I am a voracious reader, I also listen to a lot of books on tape. A couple of years ago, as I first listened to The Great Game of Business on Audible on a cross-country road trip, I was captivated by Jack Stack’s rich voice as he described the transformation of his business through a totally new concept of how to run a business. Having been at the helm of a business for 28 years at that time, I thought I had seen—and tried everything. I will confess that through the years, my staff understandably would start rolling their eyes every time I launched a new initiative, planning process, or management approach that sprung from my latest read. But The Great Game of Business® was different. I asked everyone on my staff to make a priority of reading or listening to the book. I was committed to changing the very nature of our business this time, starting with training the team in financial literacy, and opening the books.
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Time is Money: Playing The Game in a Service-Based Company

Oct 11, 2019 by Heather Carbray 0 Comments
I have often heard that The Great Game of Business® seems like it is geared toward manufacturing companies, or organizations that are more product-based. That was my initial impression when I first read the book. While the practice of open-book management seems versatile, some of the rules may seem like they do not apply to a service-based company. But once you open the books and start playing The Game, it is easy to adapt.
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Are You Too Afraid to Open the Books?

If you are reading this and haven't already "opened the books" to share company financials with your employees, my guess is it's because you are scared. What are your real concerns about open-book management? Financial transparency in business is a concept so new, so counter to the way business has always been done, no wonder it scares people. Just the thought of opening the books is followed by a whole list of what-ifs. The thing is - it's not actually that scary when you break it down. Here are our answers when people hit us with the what-ifs:
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Why Choose an ESOP? Benefits of an ESOP Exit Strategy

Oct 8, 2019 by Stephanie Carlin 0 Comments
When it comes to deciding upon an exit strategy, owners of closely held businesses have a lot to think about. Faced with the frightening prospect of turning over the business they have worked so hard to build to new ownership, they might worry about what will happen to the company—and their employees—once they’re gone. Selling the business to a third party isn’t always a welcome or viable option. But if there isn’t a qualified management team or successor in mind, what’s a business owner to do? Fortunately, there is an alternative that can help ensure the continuation of the business while providing significant financial rewards for both the owner and the employees: selling the business to employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
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Why Has Profit Become a Bad Word (And What Can We do About It)?

Oct 4, 2019 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
The word profit can mean many things to many people—especially in our current political climate. But for an increasing number of folks, profit has become a negative term—a dirty word—which has huge implications for the economic sustainability for businesses across the world.  At a time when company values and purpose have gone mainstream, and when even the Business Roundtable has begun prioritizing stakeholders over shareholders, the basics of what goes into making a profit has come under fire.
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The Myth and Magic of the Critical Number™

Imagine a number, that if identified, would represent the single most important thing in your life; the one thing that would change everything. Whoa. That would indeed be awesome. But there’s more to it than that. There’s myth and magic that surrounds what we call the Critical Number™—that one operational or financial metric that represents a weakness or vulnerability that impacts the long-term security of the business. This clearly defined, company-wide goal will indeed change your business. And yes, it will change your life.  But the Critical Number is not magic.
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To Teach the Numbers, Show the Human Story Behind Them

Oct 1, 2019 by Tom Strong 0 Comments
At the Great Game of Business®, one of the most common questions we coaches get tends to go along these lines: “I’d love to open the books and share the numbers with my people, but I’m just not confident they have the education or training to understand them. How can I teach them the financials effectively?” In starting on the path of open-book management, many business and organizational leaders worry about this. Most employees at most companies have not had formal business education, and many may lack much formal education at all. So, it’s not unreasonable to wonder whether most employees will ever be able to understand your finances and business model. When my clients ask a question like this, I like to ask them in return: “Do any of your employees like baseball?”
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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.