The Great Game of Business Blog

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4 Secrets of Survival You Should Learn from ESOPs

Jul 7, 2020 by Corey Rosen 0 Comments
    Research shows that companies who share ownership widely with employees survive recessions better than ones that do not. They lay fewer people off, they recover faster, and they often end up able to buy other companies who have not done as well. So what is their secret, and what are they doing to survive the most extreme crisis any of us has ever faced? That was one of the topics covered in a recent book I wrote for the NCEO, Dealing with the Economic Crisis: Lessons from ESOP Companies. About half the book looks at issues specific to ESOPs (plan restructuring, executive pay, refinancing, interim valuations, communicating valuation, etc.). The other half looks at ideas on organizational culture that any company can use—albeit they are likely to work better if you do share ownership. Several key themes emerge from companies we looked at:
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Do You Play The Game...Even When You Lose?

Jun 30, 2020 by Robert Isherwood 0 Comments
      I’d like to tell you a story. Let me begin with a disclaimer, it’s not about winning big or how The Great Game of Business® instantly made us hugely profitable and loads of fun. It’s a terrible story about losing. Also, I have not been involved in open-book management or The Great Game of Business very long. Truth be told, I’m about as green as anyone can be. Here’s the 10 second backstory – AMBAC International has been manufacturing precision engine components for over 100 years. The men and women on the shop floor know what they’re doing. I’ll tell anyone they’re the best in the world, and I’ve got the data to back that up. But, the shop floor wasn’t really connected to the ‘business’ and everyone suffered from poor corporate performance as a result. In fact, we were in real danger of losing the company.
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Four Reasons to Play MiniGames™

Once you’ve seen the transformational power of The Great Game of Business®, your team will begin to grab onto the gamification aspects; and along with it, the language. Words like Huddles and scoreboards will become part of the vernacular of your organization. To us, MiniGames™ are a powerful way to describe short-term, self-funding incentive plans that will make a huge impact on your organization in 90 days or less. They are designed to affect a change, reinforce business training, build teamwork, and develop a winning attitude—all of which lead to success for both your company and your people. 
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Hitting Big Goals Starts with Small Wins

You and your team have come up with your Critical Number™: the one metric 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. But now what? How do you successfully start making things happen and impacting that number? With targeted day-to-day improvements that add up to long-term success. MiniGames™, are an engaging, short-term activity designed to pursue an opportunity or correct a weakness within a company. They bring a laser focus to those everyday, small wins that put us that much closer to the big win and help drive short-term performance metrics that contribute to a year-end revenue goal or Critical Number. Take this example from Get in the Game. By focusing on something as simple as spoons, the chain reaction resulted in a $1 million impact in revenue in just one year at Kerbey Lane Cafe:
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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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Using MiniGames™ To Drive Open-Book Leadership At H-E-B

Oct 17, 2019 by Darren Dahl 1 Comment
“Open-book management” was one of the popular phrases that got applied to the leadership system, The Great Game of Business®, that Jack Stack and his associates at SRC created back in 1983. But as Stack himself has said many times, most people don’t like to be managed. They like to be lead instead. In that spirit, perhaps it’s time we start thinking of the Great Game as a form of what we might call “open-book leadership.” A fantastic example of open-book leadership in action comes from the front lines of a grocery store in Austin, Texas—H-E-B. Starting back in 2016, the large grocery chain began sending managers and employees—who H-E-B calls “partners”—to the Gathering of Games conference to help inspire them in rolling out Great Game™ practices throughout the company.
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Our 10-Step Approach to GGOB Implementation

In more than 35 years practicing The Great Game of Business® at SRC, as well as three decades helping thousands of companies implement The Game in their own companies, we have determined the fastest, most efficient and most reliable path to Rapid Financial Results and Lasting Cultural Change™ follows a set process.  We honed and developed the 10-Step Approach to GGOB Implementation to guide companies implementing The Great Game of Business in their organizations. 
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3 Efficiency MiniGame™ Ideas & Examples From the 2019 All-Stars

Jul 19, 2019 by Lauren Haley 0 Comments
Looking for some MiniGame™ inspiration? A MiniGame is a targeted day-to-day improvement challenge aimed at correcting a weakness or pursuing an opportunity in your company. We've got three examples from our the 2019 Great Game All-Star Team demonstrating how they took advantage of opportunities and found solutions to their efficiency problems in these MiniGames:
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MiniGame™ Showcase: GUY Engingeering's Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Jun 19, 2019 by Lauren Haley 0 Comments
In order to get the most out of your MiniGame™, it's essential to clearly communicate all elements of the MiniGame to the players to ensure that everyone is on the same page, has a line of sight toward the goal, can easily tell if they're winning or losing, and who's accountable. GUY Engineering, a professional services firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, presented an excellent example of a MiniGame at the "Show Me Your MiniGame" session at the 26th Annual Gathering of Games. Their MiniGame hits all the essential MiniGame elements: establishing a specific, timely, achievable goal through a MiniGame, making the information available for everyone, motivating their team with fun and memorable prizes, and rallying everyone around the goal to achieve results.
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8 Awesome MiniGame Ideas Generated by Practitioners

By definition, a MiniGame™ is a short-term activity designed to correct a weakness or pursue an opportunity in your company. MiniGames motivate employees to make day-to-day improvements that will add up to year-long success, and when implemented correctly, MiniGames are proven to: Affect a financial or operational change: Drive results through improved performance. Increase business literacy: Reinforce key components of business success such as goal setting, mutual responsibility and performance management. Build teamwork: Rally employees (players) around a common goal in order to achieve a shared reward. Develop a winning attitude: Create an environment where winners are recognized and rewarded for generating results.
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Employee Ownership Culture and Mindset: Redemption After a 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, but is a sense of ownership enough? Essential Ingredients quickly learned that an employee ownership culture and 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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MiniGame™ Showcase: GRC's Galaga Doubles Planned PBT

May 17, 2019 by Lauren Haley 0 Comments
Global Recovery Corp, an engine and part supplier for the agricultural, highway trucking, industrial and automotive sectors, has seen the benefits of opening the books firsthand as a result of their dedication to the Great Game of Business® methodology. In addition to MiniGames™ like their recent $100K+ MiniGame featured on the GGOB Blog, GRC regularly practices the Huddle Cycle, rewards and recognition, and the High-Involvement Planning™ process to maximize engagement and involvement among their staff.  Here are some of the most recent advancements in their Game that have helped them double their planned PBT for the first quarter at 55% above plan. 
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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.