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Using Unprecedented Uncertainty to Reinvent Ourselves

It’s been interesting to hear about how people are spending their time at home in isolation amidst the pandemic. Some folks I’ve talked to have spent the time looking through old picture albums and letters to reminisce about the past. Parents have had to learn how to juggle their roles as caretakers with the new added job of schoolteacher. Others have taken up new hobbies like baking bread (if they can find enough yeast). Then there are those who have used their time indoors to tackle home improvement projects of all kinds. I came home from work one day, for instance, and my wife asked me if I noticed anything different. I looked around and admitted that I didn’t see any changes. Had she bought a new kitchen appliance or something? Wrong answer. Turns out she had spent the whole day cleaning out all our closets and drawers. Whoops. I was suddenly facing a radical version of social distancing inside my own house.
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Flattening the Economic Curve

The last six weeks feels like six years. It’s incredible how much has changed so fast. There have been so many new federal and state programs rapidly pushed through, all with the intent of helping our people and companies through this crisis. The speed of the legislation has been great to see—but it’s also caused confusion in the details for implementation and administration of the various programs and benefits. It's forcing us, as a company, to do everything we possibly can to find ways to keep our people safe while our factories remain open. We’re the type of company that likes to get out in front of a situation rather than react to it. That means we’ve needed information; lots of it. So, when the crisis hit, we started making calls—hundreds of them—to our local contacts at places like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to get answers to our questions about creating a safe environment for our people. But we didn’t stop there. Even though our factories remain open for the moment, we continue to take a big hit.
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5 Tips to Keep Selling During a Crisis

Apr 21, 2020 by John Williams 3 Comments
A large number of company’s revenues have been affected negatively by COVID-19. Even worse, some have had their revenue shut off completely. One might ask, “Why should I worry about sales? Especially when my company is struggling and my potential customers are distracted by their own struggles?” If you've asked yourself this question, realize you're only thinking about the current situation and not the future. You're not considering all your options or the “What if’s?”
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When the Virus Hits Close to Home - A Tribute

Apr 13, 2020 by Jack Stack 2 Comments
Even on days when there might be a glimmer of hope in turning the corner on this pandemic gripping our country—when it seems like we might actually be flattening the curve—bad news can hit in an instant. We learned on April 8, we lost one of our own. Warren Burros, a longtime Springfield Remanufacturing Company associate passed away after battling Covid-19. Warren was part of the SRC team right from our start in 1983 and was with us until the day he retired in 2006 at the age of 65.
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There Are ALWAYS Positives - Even During a Pandemic

Apr 10, 2020 by Jack Stack 2 Comments
There’s an unspoken rule of thumb in the news business that says, “If it bleeds; it leads.” Bad news, it seems, helps move newspapers, sell ads on TV, and generate clicks or “likes” on social media. I can remember a different time when professional journalists and broadcasters prided themselves on taking a more balanced approach to report the news. They were careful to never be too positive—or too negative. Things are very different today. Maybe social media has brought about this change. Now it seems that everyone’s first instinct is to look for the negative angle on an issue—especially when it relates to business.
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The Four P's to Remember During Crisis

As it did most companies out there, the 2009 recession hit Springfield ReManufacturing Corporation like a ton of bricks. But, as I’ve discussed a few times, there were a number of key decisions that helped us pull through to the other side. Now that 2009 is more than 10 years behind us, it’s clear those decisions didn’t just help us survive – they're what helped us thrive. We needed something to help us focus on surviving the recession and all the heartache that comes with a downturn.
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Taking the Fear Out of the Workplace

Mar 17, 2020 by Jack Stack 3 Comments
Listen to an episode covering this topic on the Change The Game Podcast: Fear. Uncertainty. A growing sense of panic every time the president delivers a national address filled with increasingly bad news. Even with interest rates at essentially zero percent, the stock market (and 401(k) balances) continues to tumble. Chatter around the workplace is filled with questions like: Should I get married? Can I afford to pay my rent? Will I get sick? Will I have a job tomorrow? Sound familiar?
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Business Planning: Expect the Unexpected with Contingency Plans

Too many organizations get into trouble because they don’t have a proper planning structure. Even companies with a planning rhythm often only plan for what they expect to happen and the business they expect to deliver. In our experience, life (and business) is “like a box of chocolates”, you really can’t be sure what you’re going to get next! So, how do you prepare for the unexpected? What’s your backup plan? In business, you need to prepare for surprises in the marketplace by having a robust, proactive, and continuous contingency planning process. By business contingency planning, we mean a proactive process of planning for both the short-term and long-term security of your company. Our definition of contingency is a product or service that has already been researched, developed, and cost-justified, and can be activated on very short notice. It’s a key part of your sales planning process. So, what would you do if 10% to 20% of your revenue suddenly disappeared at this moment? Would you be ready to activate contingencies—a plan B?
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4 Steps to Prepare for an Unpredictable Economy

May 15, 2019 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
Every day brings a confusing mix of news about the economy. It can be tough to gauge how things are trending. Just when things look like they might calm down enough for everyone to get back to business, a trade war escalates or economists decide to lower their forecasts for future growth, or most recently a pandemic hits. It's interesting that when 60 economists where surveyed by the Wall Street Journal they expect the next downturn in either 2020 or, more likely, 2021. I guess they didn't foresee the pandemic either or they might have leaned more heavily on the 2020 wager. Now that you have weathered the shock of recession caused by the pandemic, all this turmoil should serve as a kind of alarm—a red alert to take action. If times are good in your business right now or in the foreseeable future, you should be putting plans in place so that you’ll be able to handle the next inevitable downturn to come, which historically happens about every 10 years or so. That’s where playing The Great Game of Business® can help. Here are four tips on how to prepare your organization to handle future turmoil:
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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.