The Great Game of Business Blog

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Four Characteristics of a Strong Business Goal - Defining Your Critical Number

As a business owner, you know it is important to take the time to assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to your business in order to set goals and priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. But, how do you know which one thing is the top priority to fix? At Great Game™, we talk a lot about the Critical Number™. By definition, the Critical Number is the operational or financial number that represents a weakness or vulnerability that – if not addressed and corrected – will negatively impact the overall performance and long-term security of the business. Overall, the Critical Number is the heart of The Great Game of Business®. Each of our three fundamental processes (Know & Teach the Rules, Follow the Action & Keep Score and Provide a Stake in the Outcome®) revolves around educating, involving and engaging employees to improve the Critical Number.
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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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25 Handy Tips to Keep Your Great Game on Track

Creating an informed and engaged workforce doesn't happen overnight...and isn't sustainable without the dedication and focus of the whole team. To help get your Game off on the right foot in the new year, here's a list of must-know tips from our best blogs to help The Game excel at your company.
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Why “People” Is Our New Critical Number

Oct 18, 2018 by Jack Stack 5 Comments
I might have raised a few eyebrows this past September when I gave my speech at the 26th Gathering of Games in Dallas. I talked about how we were now fighting a war for talent and that, thanks to retiring Baby Boomers and a hot economy, we now face a critical shortage of people. Without people, we will not be able to keep growing the business by taking advantage of the opportunities ahead of us. It’s our belief that by the year 2020, the companies with the best people will dominate their markets. In my speech, I explained that the Critical Number™ for our business for 2019 was going to be “people.” I thought that some members of the audience started to think they were at the wrong conference. (Was this some kind of HR seminar?)
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It's More Than Getting to the Critical Number

When the leadership team asked us a year and a half ago to lead Venturity’s Great Game journey, we weren’t sure what to expect. As a group, we all had visions of success, but also threads of trepidation because a lot of the success was riding on our shoulders. This was a huge responsibility and required us to stretch our own leadership and team-building skills. We knew at the beginning that we would be responsible for leading the entire Venturity team in the Great Game of Business® and helping to set and continue the overall direction. We spent hours every week in those initial months understanding the Great Game and creating it for Venturity. What we didn’t realize at the time was the powerful impact the Great Game of Business would have on the culture of our organization overall, and how this would translate into much more than financial success.
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Do Profits = Success in Your Business?

At the end of the day, can you declare victory within your business if the only thing you accomplish is making a profit? For me, the answer was no, but I worked for a nonprofit - Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks. Not-for-profit organizations like ours are typically created because there is not a market for their services in the private sector.  They exist for more than just making money, but I couldn’t help but wonder whether other companies exist for reasons like this as well.  Some call it their “noble cause,” others call it “triple bottom line,” but typically successful open-book management companies know their “why” and have a Critical Number TM tied to it.
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What's Your Number?

Feb 5, 2012 by Bill Collier 2 Comments
          “What gets measured gets managed.” It’s hard to argue with that piece of wisdom. That said, here’s another old saw to consider:           “If everything is important, then nothing is important.” Between these two valuable quotes is a balance and a guideline for business owners. All businesses have certain numbers that define success. Some, like profit, are universal. Every business must take in more than it spends, so an argument could be made that this number – profit - is a definition of success for every business.
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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.