The Great Game of Business Blog

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We're Suffering From A Gap in Financial Knowledge; It's Time To Close It

There’s an epidemic ravaging communities across the country, and it’s not only COVID-19. People everywhere now face dire economic circumstances where their lack of financial savings or mounting debt is contributing to a crisis of stress and mental health. Despite all the wage increases we’ve seen in the wake of the War for Talent, more than half of all Americans lack the funds to cover an unexpected $400 emergency, like replacing a blown tire or a trip to the hospital. That means millions of us are a mere hiccup away from sliding down into bankruptcy. How did we get here?
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How To Stay On Top of Runaway Inflation — When It Comes To Raising Prices, Timing Is Everything

Any time you write something and send it out into the world, it can be difficult to know if anyone paid any attention to it. While it’s always gratifying to see how many people hit the “Like” button on a blog, or how many views it gets, we think the real mark of whether a piece hits home or not is when people take the time to write comments or questions. When you get those, you know you might have hit a nerve.
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Should Business Owners Be Raising Their Prices Right Now?

We asked the President of The Great Game of Business, Darin Bridges if he thinks business owners should be raising their prices right now. His response, "hell, yes."   Protecting Margins Now, So You Can Fund Growth Tomorrow We've always had a saying at SRC. When the economy goes down — it's not the time to be asking for price increases. You've got to do it while the economy is going up. Everybody knows costs are going up right now — they're creeping up everywhere. We've heard the horror stories of the price of lumber, and surcharges keep emerging. It can be a scary thing, but within an inflationary environment, price increases are regular, and they're a crucial part of protecting margins. So how do you protect margins? This is where the whole idea of engaging your employees in the business and the finances comes together. Educating employees on how they make an impact and getting them to take ownership in what they do is so important. When they're aware of inflation and how that impacts the company, they're able to monitor expenses in their area of the business to help stay on top of costs. One man, one owner, one business leader can't do it all. You have to get your people to constantly and proactively find ways to reduce costs. Getting your costs under control and then going for the price increase will help maintain margins. You've got to be able to protect your margins to continue to fund growth, fund your people, fund the retention, and all the things necessary to see success for your business.
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Why We're Focused On Protecting Margins in 2022 (And Why You Should, Too)

It's been two years since Covid shut the economy down. And nothing has been the same since. What's crazy is how things continue to change on what seems like a daily basis. Variances are the name of the game. We were already dealing with supply chain delays and the constant upward pressure of inflation caused by the shortages of parts and people in the marketplace. The price of freight is skyrocketing—and that was all before the war in Ukraine erupted. Suddenly, we need to add in the additional upward pressure on the price of oil and commodities like wheat—did you know Russia is the world's largest producer of wheat and Ukraine is fifth? There are also precious metals like nickel, which is a big Russian export. Nickel is used to make everything from stainless steel to appliances and batteries, which are rising in price because of the shortages. Now mix in the fact that interest rates will be rising for the first time since 2018, and every business is faced with solving a dynamic puzzle with lots of moving pieces.
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The Difference a Great Culture Made in My Job Satisfaction (And Why That Matters During a War For Talent)

    Like so many workers leaving their positions during The Great Resignation, I wanted it all. Higher pay, remote work, and a flexible schedule were options my former position in a non-profit couldn't offer, so I accepted a new job I knew had these benefits. But here's the plot twist: After six months in my new role, I'm on the move again. As it turns out, I value a company's culture just as much as I value flexibility. The non-profits I left (after five years) offered an incredible culture that my new job lacked.
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Overcoming Talent Shortages In Manufacturing

Mar 8, 2022 by Darren Dahl 2 Comments
There was so much promise for the post-pandemic economy—especially for the manufacturing sector. Many organizations continue to see an unprecedented surge in demand for their products—levels the economy hasn’t seen for 40 years. For many, it’s been a struggle to keep up with customer orders. It’s like trying to drink out of a fire hydrant to keep up with this kind of growth. The forecasts continue to look strong, too, as retailers and dealers increasingly look to insource and onshore production from overseas. The future of manufacturing in the U.S. looks brighter than it has in decades. Yet, there’s a catch. Manufacturers now have emerging pain points to contend with. Supply chains are stretched to their limits. Ships lay docked outside ports while there aren’t enough trucks or drivers to cart products away. Millions of dollars of finished goods may sit in warehouses for months awaiting parts worth mere dollars.
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"If We Watch Our Spending, We Can Save Jobs"

Mar 3, 2022 by Darren Dahl 1 Comment
There's something special about the Midwestern town of Springfield, Missouri. It just seems to breed entrepreneurs. It's been the launching pad for household names like Bass Pro Shops and O'Reilly Auto Parts, among others that help power the nation's economy. Maybe there's something in the water. Or perhaps it's tied to the can-do attitude of generations of farmers raised in the area. While Jeff Schrag wasn't born in Springfield—he moved there in 1995 after he bought a newspaper based there, The Daily Events, a legal notice publication—he's what you might call a "serial entrepreneur." Among his many ventures, he has started a business that sells cufflinks, one that offers coloring books, and he's also rehabbed and flipped real estate.
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Why Humble Leaders Make the Best Leaders

Feb 17, 2022 by Michael Langhout 3 Comments
      At a recent client planning session, the CEO was participating in a discussion about strategy, which led to a challenging question on the overall business model. ‘Should we remain more operationally focused, or redesign to be more outwardly “sales”-focused?’ It was an interesting question for sure, and the discussion yielded many new ideas.  But the most interesting part of the exercise for me was watching the team interact with each other in an intense debate over well-established norms in the business and whether or not to continue with the status quo or disrupt and rebuild with a new business model concept.  The CEO encouraged each team member to think strategically and not defend their own respective roles.  He quietly encouraged each leadership team member to argue for and then against each of the critical points in the discussion. The result was a redesign of the company and a complete agreement on how they will operate going forward.
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Why Oversharing Information Is The Secret To Thriving In Times Of Great Uncertainty

      Things were looking up there for a while, weren’t they? At least the long-term forecasts still look strong. But this omicron variant is causing us to tear our hair out, worrying about the health and safety of our people (let alone our loved ones at home). Just this past week, we saw 82 of our associates call in sick—that’s 5% of our company. Just as bad, something like 8% of our company has tested positive for the virus in January. Then, we got hit with the news that our school system was shutting down for a week or more because of the incredible wave of infections ripping through our community. That means we have parents forced to stay home or find childcare options at the last minute, which just puts enormous stress on everyone.
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28 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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7 Reasons Organizational Knowledge Is Power

Dec 16, 2021 by Donna Coppock 2 Comments
Historically, businesses using traditional management styles have been reluctant to give all of their employees the knowledge they need in order to make good business decisions day in and day out as they do their jobs. Open-book management takes a much different approach. It’s all about capturing and sharing both financial and organizational knowledge with every employee and empowering them to use that knowledge to contribute to the long-term success of the organization, as well as their own personal success. The benefits of knowledge sharing are numerous:
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Kick-Starting your Game: Your Questions Answered

Dec 9, 2021 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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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.