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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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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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Can Equity Ownership be the Ultimate Stake in the Outcome?

Aug 8, 2019 by Martin Staubus 0 Comments
We all know the fundamental building blocks of the Great Game of Business®: Know and teach the rules Follow the action and keep score Provide a Stake in the Outcome® When it comes to that third step—providing a stake in the outcome—what’s the best way to do that? Two common choices include cash bonuses and equity sharing. Many owners, especially those new to the Game, are skittish about sharing equity with employees. They can’t always put their finger on why it makes them nervous, but the reality is that using equity interests can be a great way to provide a stake in the outcome to your associates.
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Five Reasons Open-Book Companies Should Consider an ESOP

Jul 15, 2019 by Victor Aspengren 1 Comment
Liquidity options are plentiful for business owners: strategic sale, private equity, management buyout, family transfer, and leveraged recapitalization. Which path should you take? We know that 28% of the 2018 Great Game™ All-Star companies and many others walked a different path—implementing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Apart from the fact that ESOPs can be a great exit strategy for open-book companies, here are the top five reasons why open-book management companies should consider an ESOP.
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An Ownership Culture & Mindset: Redemption After Financial Downturn

May 31, 2019 by Lauren Haley 0 Comments
Essential Ingredients was founded in May 1996 in Augusta, GA. This cosmetic chemical and supply distributor has been 100% employee-owned since 2011, after a long history of keeping the financial information and challenges locked away for only management to see. There was one problem: the employees had never had any input or understanding of the company financials, and the financial downturn that followed the ESOP launch proved it. Although an ESOP is a great way to give associates a stake in the outcome® of the company, Essential Ingredients quickly learned that an ownership mindset among the employees may be even more impactful. The Great Game has been the turning point that helped all EI associates think and act like the owners they are and see tremendous results impacting revenue growth, the company's ownership culture, savings equating to more than $750K in sales, and earned EI a spot on the 2018 All-Star Team. 
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Uber and Lyft Need To Realize That Stock Is Not A Magic Pill

Mar 11, 2019 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
It’s not always easy to work in the so-called “gig economy,” where millions of Americans find ways to earn money on one-off assignments. Prime examples are the folks who spend their time picking up extra fares in their personal cars driving for gig economy stars like Uber and Lyft. While it’s a great way to earn a few extra dollars, few (if any) of those drivers are going to make enough money to retire on. That helps explain the recent buzz around the news that the some folks who have been driving for Uber and Lyft will reportedly get the chance to buy shares of those companies prior to their IPOs (initial public offering), which are expected sometime this year. Lyft, for example, is planning to give drivers who have given at least 10,000 rides a $1,000 bonus they can keep or use to purchase shares of the stock.  
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How to Create a Safe Environment for Employee Involvement

The best, most successful companies feature highly participatory cultures in which employees routinely identify problems and share and implement ideas. High engagement cultures take a lot of work—the right information, the right team structure, management commitment, training time, and more. But a key factor that is often overlooked is the need to create a safe environment in which people feel comfortable dealing with conflict, taking risks, and trying new ideas. This blog talks about why this matters and how to get there. 
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Is a Sense of Ownership Enough?

Oct 3, 2018 by Corey Rosen 5 Comments
We often hear it, “You need to give people a sense of ownership—the feeling that they are being treated as if they are an owner, even if they aren’t.” A sense of ownership can include input into decisions on how the job is done, open-book management, meetings with the boss, celebrations of wins, and other techniques well known to Great Game players. But is a sense of ownership enough? 
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Twelve Bogus Reasons Not to Do an ESOP

May 21, 2018 by Corey Rosen 0 Comments
  (reprinted with permission from NCEO.org) ESOPs can be an ideal business transition solution for many business owners, providing a way to preserve their legacy with employees and the community, get a fair price, retain a role in the company if they like, and get unmatched tax benefits in the process. But while ESOPs are not right for many companies, over the years, we at the NCEO have heard a lot of unconvincing or downright incorrect reasons not to do an ESOP. Unfortunately, too many business owners decide not to do an ESOP based on these bogus rationales. Here at the NCEO, our goal is not to convince anyone to implement an ESOP but to help people make a well-informed, sensible decision. With that in mind, below is a list of twelve reasons you might have heard about why not to do an ESOP that are just wrong, followed by seven very legitimate ones.
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The Effectiveness of Equity Ownership

Sep 6, 2016 by Martin Staubus 0 Comments
We all know the fundamental building blocks of the Great Game: Know and teach the rules Follow the action and keep score Provide a stake in the outcome When it comes to that third step – providing A Stake in the Outcome® – what’s the best way to do that?  There are really just two choices: cash bonuses; or equity sharing.
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Join us at the NCEO 2016 Employee Ownership Conference

From April 11–14, the Great Game of Business team will hit the road for Minneapolis, MN, for the NCEO 2016 Employee Ownership Conference.
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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.