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3 Things to Consider When Self Implementing Open-Book Management

Self implementing open-book managment

Deciding to implement a business system like open-book management is not something business owners take lightly. It's a powerful business tool that takes time, energy and commitment to follow through and keep going if you want to see the benefits.

There's two ways to implement: 

  1. Do it yourself - aka "Self Implementation".
  2. Hire business coaches to help. 

If you’ve been following the Great Game™ blog for a while, it's likely you've come across a few articles detailing each of these options. If you’re considering a DIY approach to getting started with open-book management, here are a few things to consider during the process. 

1. You might pull the wrong lever sometimes.  

We all know running a business is well...complicated. And implementing a business system like open-book management is simple, but it isn't easy.

When deciding on your key business metrics it’s easy to focus on one BIG metric without recognizing the potential effects it could have in other areas of the business. Be aware of how different metrics might effect each other.

Huddle ChecklistWill creating a new product jeopardize the success of another? Will changing one process hinder the progress of something else? 

When identifying your metrics be sure to analyze them from all angles. This is exceptionally critical when it comes to determining the components of your bonus program.

Try to remember there could be aspects you might not be able to anticipate and sometimes, you might pull the wrong lever.


2. Make sure EVERYONE understands your “why”.

Business Huddle MeetingAs a business owner or a leader in your organization, you either have all of the information or at least have access to it. You also know the story and understand the context of how it all fits into the bigger picture. You're a fish in water. The temperature is comfortable to you because you breath it and live in it every day. 

Most likely, your staff doesn't. That's why it’s vital to present the ENTIRE team with that same context so they'll understand why a change needs to be made. 

Show them the vision and help them understand how they fit into that big picture.  Explain why it's so important to make a change and ask them for their ideas about where they think you should focus or make improvements. Give them the same line of sight you have and help them realize that the "why" is important for everyone.


3. Get ready to get real.  

People sitting at desk discussing numbersDepending on your perspective, sharing what happens behind the scenes in your business with your staff can be a challenge. You might be tempted to sugar-coat reality or paint a pretty picture instead of sharing the truth about the situation. Don't do this. Don't hide from reality. Get real!

It's important to treat your team as adults and trust they will respond as such. Don't give them a 'watered-down' version of the truth. Celebrate your wins! Discuss where you could improve. Notice opportunities and understand where you messed up. Both sides create a chance to learn and grow together as a team. 


After it's all said and done, self-implementing open-book management might feel like a never-ending obstacle course but try and remember there's always somewhere to turn when you need help.

We hope you will take advantage of the resources we provide and if you'd like some in-person open-book learning opportunities we have those too. Good luck and enjoy 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.