Transparency and the idea of "having information at your fingertips" is practically a given with most things today…even business. For some businesses, this means tossing aside the old command-and-control management model and opening the lines of communication with employees.
In a two-part series on companies who play The Game, the Daily Herald reports that The Great Game of Business (GGOB) is a game you might want to play if your company is looking for the next logical step to open-book management. In the series, Kevin Walter, Principal of Tasty Catering and Great Game Coach in Chicago, discusses one of the reasons his company plays The Game:
"The process [of playing The Game] makes employees think and act like an owner, especially when employees realize that they - the people on the floor - are the ones who actually create the numbers." Walter also notes that The Game fosters, "bottom up innovation". "There's a direct line of sight to how an employee's action impacts the numbers."
In the follow-up article, the Daily Herald talked in-depth with GGOB practitioners from Advantax Group LLC and Induction Heat Treating Corp. (IHT) who each discussed how The Game was transforming their company culture. According to David LeVan, CEO of Advantax, while sharing the company financials was "counter-intuitive" at first, employees now "understand the nuances of running a small business." While both companies ultimately saw positive results with GGOB very quickly, Dave Haimbaugh, president of IHT, says that 90 days into playing The Game, employees are just "starting to see that sales and profits are not a linear equation" but that employees are "still learning."
So why exactly is The Great Game of Business "light years" beyond open-book management (OBM)? In part-one of the Daily Herald interview, Walter comments that “The Game is a process"; OBM is only one of nine practices in the GGOB process that successful practitioners implement. In part-two of the Daily Herald interview, IHT's Kelly Ciskowski speaks to the importance of starting the process off right, "[we incorporated] a lot of basic financial literacy education...how the business is run; what cost of goods sold means, and what net profit means."
If you're already actively going "beyond open-book management", what practices have you found to be the most helpful in educating, empowering and engaging your employees in the open-book process?