The Great Game of Business Blog

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Are You Planning For The Next Recession?

Dec 1, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
Recessions are painful. They cause businesses to close—and billions of dollars in capital to melt away. Recessions are also about more than just a dip in economic activity. They get personal. People lose their jobs and a way to support their family. Recessions strain our social safety net and put lives at risk. The only good thing about a recession is when it ends. But there’s another ugly truth about recessions—there’s always another one right around the corner. Historically, recessions hit the U.S. economy about every 10 years or so. That means even as we struggle to get through the current recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, we can also start the clock on when the next recession will hit. Recognizing that 2020 has been a heckuva year, the question becomes: What are you doing today to plan for the next recession?
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How Do You Build Confidence?

Nov 9, 2020 by Jack Stack 1 Comment
I recently wrote a blog about how, when our company conducted our second High-Involvement Planning (HIP) meeting in October, only 74% of our associates told us they were confident in the sales plan for the company—which was down from an 80% confidence rating when we conducted the same survey in June. Historically, we’ve seen confidence ratings consistently in the high 80s—sometimes into the 90s. Maybe it’s easy to write off the 74% number due to the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic as well as the election and other factors. But it did get me wondering about what truly inspires confidence in people. That led me to conduct an informal survey where I asked our associates to send me their responses to a simple question: “How do you build confidence?” I was blown away by the diverse range of answers we received. I found it interesting to see all the different approaches people recommended, so I grouped them into a couple of categories:
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Can Your Company Stand the Test of Time?

Oct 27, 2020 by Jack Stack 1 Comment
    Every October, we conduct our second sales-and-marketing meeting of the year (the first is held in June)—a ritual we’ve continued every year since 1983. The sales teams from each of our divisions make presentations to everyone inside the company—including our board of directors—and we ask our people to vote on their confidence in those plans. For us, this process—what we call High-Involvement Planning—is the lynchpin of how we build a true culture of engagement inside our business.
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Greatness Comes from Looking Ahead

Jul 28, 2020 by Jack Stack 3 Comments
What a 9-year-old Can Teach Us About Life One Saturday morning, I found myself standing and watching a Little League baseball game. I had a mask on my face and was safely isolated away from anyone else. It was so weird. But I enjoyed being outside in the sun, hearing the familiar sounds of a ball popping into leather and the pings of the bat when hitters made contact. It almost felt like the start of something new.
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Reasons You Should Bring the Marketplace to Your People

May 27, 2020 by Rich Armstrong 1 Comment
Improve Your Year-End Outlook—Through Data-driven, High-Involvement Planning & Strategy Development Every business out there has been impacted by economic conditions in some way. While some have been forced to shut their doors, others have seen demand spike for their products or services. The devastating speed with which disruption has hit forced companies to make dramatic adjustments to cope and survive—or even to keep up and thrive. But short-term thinking will only get you so far. It’s now time to adjust your sights and start to look further out. It’s time to move past the uncertainty of today and begin thinking about what the marketplace is telling you about what your organization faces tomorrow.
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Practicing What We Preach at The Great Game of Business

Feb 5, 2020 by Cassie Potts 0 Comments
It’s one thing to teach a strategic planning process, but it’s another thing altogether to actually practice what you preach. Here at The Great Game of Business®, not only do we talk the talk, we walk the walk. 
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4 Questions to Ask for Successful Succession Planning

Jan 7, 2020 by Keith Boatright 0 Comments
At SRC Holdings, we see our succession management program as one of our most important strategic advantages. It is also one of our greatest challenges because our managers must not only be good at their jobs but also good at building and maintaining our culture. Every year, we dive deeply into our workforce and employment data to evaluate ownership succession planning results while actively supporting the progress and alignment of our strategic workforce goals. During this process, the big objective is to complete detailed strategic workforce planning. The goals of this process can be achieved by answering four basic questions: 
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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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The 4 C's of Long-Term Business Planning

Nov 1, 2019 by Jack Stack 1 Comment
As you likely know, forecasting is an integral part of what we do at SRC Holdings Corporation. We come together twice a year to create a plan of what our organization will look like one year out, five years out, and even 10 years into the future. This is where our organization can, according to the legendary business writer Jim Collins, identify its BHAGs – or big hairy audacious goals. Whenever we wrap these meetings, there’s almost always a sense of euphoria among us: “Wow! We are going to accomplish some great things together!”  It's incredible to see everyone excited about where we’re headed together and what we plan to accomplish. But I want to push the pause button here for a minute because this is where a lot of organizations get tripped up. Putting your targets out there isn’t the conclusion. It’s just the beginning. 
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Why You Need to Connect Your People To Your Strategy

Sep 18, 2019 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
A few years ago, the executives at banking giant Wells Fargo issued a new strategy for their business: the overall goal was to create long-term banking relationships with their customers. And to measure how well the company was executing on that strategy, they began tracking “cross-selling.” In other words, employees would be measured, and rewarded, based on the number of different accounts—from deposits and credit cards to auto loans and mortgages—a customer opened with the bank. The CEO at the time even coined a slogan: “eight is great” to illustrate the optimum number of accounts a customer might have with the bank.  On paper, you could argue that the more accounts a customer had would likely equate with a longer-term relationship with the bank. But, if you’ve been paying attention to the news for the past few years, you know that things went spectacularly wrong. 
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The "Why" Behind High-Involvement Planning™

High-Involvement Planning™, or ‘H.I.P.’, has been critical to SRC’s sustainability of The Game and its long-term financial success. H.I.P. has kept us focused and committed to The Game, primarily because it keeps it fresh and exciting by changing things up, year after year. It redefines our Game each year, with new Critical Numbers™, new financial targets, new challenges to conquer, and new goals to achieve. H.I.P. is also where we leverage the business know-how we have worked so hard to create. We use the collective knowledge of our team to raise our level of thinking from 90-day MiniGames™, to annual bonus plans, to 5 and 10-year visions for the company. The result of High-Involvement Planning is a vision—and a specific plan to achieve the vision.
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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.