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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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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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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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.