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A Manager's Job Is to Come Up with Answers

Apr 17, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
Excerpted from The Great Game of Business. It's very common for managers, especially new managers, to think they're supposed to have solutions for any problems that arise on their watch. That kind of thinking can get you into deep trouble. For one thing, it sets you up to fail because no one has all the answers. For another, it undermines your credibility because everyone knows that no one has all the answers. It also isolates you from people. A big pitfall of managers at all levels is the notion they have to be perfect. I know supervisors who can't hold a meeting because they're afraid someone might ask a question they can't answer. As I mentioned earlier, I know CEOs who can't leave their offices unless their ties are straight and every hair is in place. Managers like that wind up hating their jobs. They feel they have to live up to an image, to be an idol, to be a representative of a position.
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Nice Guys Finish Last

Apr 10, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
Excerpted from The Great Game of Business. We've all heard how you have to be an S.O.B. to succeed in business. How you have to step on other people to get results. How it's okay to throw your weight around because it's a tough world and you win through intimidation. It's all a crock. I've worked on the shop floor. Believe me, nobody there wants to hear a guy telling you to bust your butt if he's rolling around in a Mercedes and beating up the people he works with. When you flaunt what you've got, when you intimidate, when you treat people badly, you lose power. I've watched guys like that throughout my life. I've learned it's just a matter of time before they get theirs.
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Ask the Coaches: Tackling Roadblocks to Transparency

Apr 4, 2019 by Lauren Haley 0 Comments
With different levels of employees, do you structure bonus and reward programs equally? Does GGOB implementation differ between professional and support staff? Are staff privy to others' salary information? Our Great Game coaches answer how to tackle these tricky questions in this segment of "Ask the Coaches."
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Don't Tell People the Truth—They'll Screw You

Mar 30, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
Excerpted from The Great Game of Business. You may wonder if it's possible to play the Great Game of Business anywhere-in a division of a giant conglomerate, say, or in a factory with a dominant union, or in a company that doesn't share equity with employees or have an intelligent bonus system. In fact, The Game started in a place exactly like that, in a very small department at the huge International Harvester plant in Melrose Park, Illinois. It was there that I learned most of what I know about managing, and everything I've tried to forget about leadership.
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Kick-Starting your Game: Your Questions Answered

Mar 25, 2019 by Lauren Haley 0 Comments
You asked and we've answered! In this blog series, our experienced Great Game coaches answer questions directly from the open-book community. What is the best coaching tip you have for companies just starting to practice the Great Game of Business? Be sure the CEO is fully bought in, directly involved, is a main cheerleader, sets the example, and ensures that all involved (especially 100% of the leadership team) are enrolled and on board. Period!  Create a solid communication and business literacy training process via a weekly Huddle rhythm.
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6 Tips for Easing Managers into The Game

Feb 27, 2019 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
When companies implement The Great Game of Business, the company's leadership are often expected to get up to speed quickly. They’re asked to teach things they may not know and share information they’ve always kept close to the vest. They’re also expected to change their personal management style, often abruptly. In this situation, it shouldn’t be surprising if some managers leave and the rest feel threatened, confused or angry. Chances are they’re all asking themselves the same question: “As employees learn more about the business and take more responsibility for posting good results, then what’s my role?” Meanwhile, they're being peppered with questions from the front line: “What’s all this about, anyway? Do we really have to do this?” If your managers shrug or answer cynically, your program is over before it starts.
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People & How It Can Positively Affect Your Game- Part 1

Almost every person has heard of or read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.  To be honest, I had heard of this book throughout most of my life. My dad had the book and I frequently saw it sitting on his desk at home, but I never once took the opportunity to dig into this myself and learn what all the hoopla was about. It was the summer of 2016 when the 7 Habits came into my life in a profound way.  I was the Parent Teacher Organization President at my daughter’s school where they implemented what was called the “Leader In Me” structure.  I had no idea what that meant, but I knew it was going to positively impact our children attending this school. With the role that I was serving in the next two years, the principal asked me to join their training sessions by Franklin Covey.  This was when my life changed significantly.   What is The 7 Habits Promise?
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How the Rules of Improv Can Improve Your Culture and Business

Feb 1, 2019 by Lauren Haley 0 Comments
Fear. It can control any situation, including situations in the workplace. Fear of making mistakes, fear of criticism, fear of losing credibility to your peers and superiors, fear of feeling unprepared.... these all inhibit creativity and prevent what Dallan Guzinski calls "psychological safety," a feeling of safety allowing individuals to be comfortable  contributing ideas and feedback. Based on his experience working as Director of Culture and Engagement at The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO), Dallan introduces ways to build trust among your team and and more effectively solve serious workplace problems through classic improv techniques. 
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The Essentials of Leadership in a Great Game Company

Jan 16, 2019 by Dan Heisler 1 Comment
In this blog series written by Great Game employees, we will highlight some of the highest rated sessions at the 2018 Gathering of Games conference. Account manager Dan Heisler covers the session "Begin with the Right Leadership: The Essentials of Leadership in a Great Game Company" led by certified Great Game Coach Kevin Walter. Based on his years working with Great Game companies, Kevin defines what it takes to become an effective leader in a Great Game and open-book environment. Here, he highlights the difference between traditional leadership styles and the most effective approach for Great Game companies, emphasizing the impact of having the right leadership in an organization.
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Vulnerability and the Great Game of Business

Jan 11, 2019 by Rusty Kiolbassa 3 Comments
Many of you have probably heard of Brené Brown. You may have read her books like The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, or her newest release, Dare to Lead. Or, you may have heard her famous Ted Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” which has scored over 35 million views. If you are not familiar with her work, Brown is a social scientist who studies the concept of shame and vulnerability and how they shape us as human beings and as leaders. She found that those who embrace their weaknesses and let themselves be shown are the ones who live the most fulfilled lives.  But what does vulnerability have to do with the Great Game and open-book management?
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Is Your Team Ready for Open-Books? Take This Leadership Quiz

Over 1,000 business books are published every month. Over 100 of those have ‘leadership’ in the title. It seems that we are always looking for new ways to lead in an ever-changing world of business. But has true leadership in the workplace ever really changed? Here’s another question to consider. Leadership in an open-book environment, how is it different?
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4 Reasons Your Employees Aren't on the Open-Book Bandwagon

Is your leadership team ready to make the leap into open-books, but the rest of your employees lagging behind? If you’re ready to start sharing financial and operational business information with your employees, but they’re just not ready to play along, there are probably some very logical –and common – reasons why. Here are the top four reasons that your employees haven’t jumped on the open-book management bandwagon.
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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.