Register Now! The Great Game of Business Conference starts in just:
: : :
dayshrsminsec

The Great Game of Business Blog

Sign up to receive our blog posts conveniently in your email box

Why Isn’t The Front Line Treated Like The CEO?

      A company is only as good as its people. Everyone knows that. So why is that in so many companies the vast majority of the information-hoarding and decision-making happens only at the top? Why have we been holding onto a managerial system invented decades ago to fit an industrial society that tells us that only the CEO and the rest of the C-Suite are smart and capable enough to drive the company forward?
Read More

How One Entrepreneur Learned How To Create More Good Jobs

Feb 16, 2021 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
When Martin Babinec founded the San Francisco-based company TriNet, a professional employer organization, back in 1988, he thought he was starting a small business that could help other small businesses thrive. Little did he know he was about to embark on a decades-long journey that would lead him to start a movement to bring good jobs back to his hometown—a journey that he credits Jack Stack and the Great Game of Business for helping fuel along the way.
Read More

6 Core Beliefs Business Leaders Should Live By

Jan 26, 2021 by Michele Bridges 4 Comments
    I was listening to the January 3, 2021 sermon from Good Shepard NY. We were given the homework of intentionally remembering what brought you light in dark times of 2020. One of my points of light was my work with The Great Game of Business (GGOB). There is no better work than to have the opportunity to build businesses from the Frontline to the back office, enabling all in an organization to learn, develop and grow.
Read More

Facts Matter More Now Than Ever

Jan 12, 2021 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
      We live in a strange time. It’s not always clear what’s true or what’s a figment of someone’s imagination—like a made-up story that people think is true that then spreads like wildfire on social media. When people can’t agree on facts anymore, it creates all kinds of problems.  
Read More

How The Great Game Gave One Business Hope At Its Darkest Time

Dec 17, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
Back in mid-March 2020, Chris Hurley, the co-owner and CEO of Russell & Abbott Heating and Cooling in Maryville, TN, was in a dark place. The COVID-19 pandemic had begun its rampage and the country was beginning to shut down in response.
Read More

Missed Opportunities

“Maybe that meeting was my missed opportunity,” Ron told me, beating himself up a bit. “The fact that the president hadn’t even reported the actual results from the quarter should have alarmed every one of us board members into taking action.” That never would have happened at SRC. We work with our financials in real-time and through our constant huddling, not to mention our bi-annual High-Involvement Planning (HIP) meetings where all of our divisions get together to compare our progress on achieving our plans and forecasts. Paranoia can be good for you—unless you don’t do something about what scares you. You can’t hide from the solution and be successful.
Read More

If You Work At Netflix, You’re Going To Get Wet

Sep 22, 2020 by Darren Dahl 2 Comments
Why the online streaming company doesn’t believe in keeping secrets from its employees. In his new bestselling book, No Rules Rules, Reed Hastings digs into some of the cultural aspects that make the company he co-founded, Netflix, so successful. In the book, which is framed as a kind of conversation with Erin Meyer, a professor at the INSEAD business school, Hastings writes that one of the cultural values he instilled in Netflix from its very beginning was that there weren’t going to be any secrets. As he puts it, embracing transparency and letting go of secrets—what Netflix calls “sunshining”—brings incredible advantages in terms of building trust and empowering employees to think like owners. What’s interesting is that Hastings acknowledges it’s easy for leaders to say they are pro-transparency. No one goes around saying they want to promote organizational secrecy, right? But why then, he asks, do so many organizations not walk the walk when it comes to sharing things like the company’s financials with their employees?
Read More

Does Opening the Books Mean Sharing Everything?

Jul 16, 2020 by Great Game Team 0 Comments
    One of the main concerns business owners have when first introduced to open-book management is related to what information will be shared. They fear that revealing details of the company’s financial picture will create stress and tension within the organization. For example, owners are often concerned about whether employee salary information is to be revealed. They even worry about the competition gaining access to their financials.
Read More

The Critical Number is at the Heart of The Game

Jul 14, 2020 by Rich Armstrong 0 Comments
      Inspired by Rich Armstrong & Steve Baker's book, Get in the Game: How to Create Rapid Financial Results and Lasting Cultural Change. The original Critical Number™ for Jack Stack and the people of SRC was obvious. With a debt to equity ratio of 89:1, they needed to make the bank loan payment. If they didn’t do that, nothing else mattered— their jobs would be gone. Debt was their weakness and they needed to drive it out of their business.   Jack used that one common goal to rally people, get their buy-in and educate them. Not only why it was critical, but how they could influence it. Armed with a common goal people could understand and buy into, Jack could teach debt to equity, along with all the related financial education in their weekly Huddles. And after a year and fifty-two lessons, you can be sure they learned it.
Read More

Why Timing is Everything

May 20, 2020 by Darren Dahl 2 Comments
When's the best time to start playing The Great Game of Business®? For SRC, it didn’t come down to a choice. They began playing Great Game™ back in 1983 out of desperation. It was a Hail Mary resort to save their business. They used the system to claw their way out of an 89-to-1 debt-to-equity hole. In the years since, many other companies have also turned to The Great Game of Business system as a last resort. Most of us are more open to change during tough times. What’s less common, though, is companies embracing the system during good times. Why fix something when it isn’t broken, right?
Read More

Why Being Open-Book Matters During a Downturn

May 15, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
A conversion with Ari Weinzweig from Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. The pandemic has hit restaurants hard across the country. Even those that have remained open by offering delivery and take-out service have seen sales—as well as profits—drop, often by a lot. There’s also the question of how to manage furloughed or laid off staff—and when to bring them back to work. Finding answers to those questions remains top of mind for Ari Weinzweig, the co-founder (with Paul Saginaw) of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB), a collection of what is now 11 ventures based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  ZCoB includes an array of industries such as a deli, a bakery, a mail-order fulfillment house, a caterer, a training business (that teaches open-book management among other topics), a coffee company, a creamery, a restaurant, a candy maker, an event space, and most recently, a Korean restaurant. ZCob also includes a separate business called Zingerman’s Service Network that provides administrative services to its sister companies.
Read More

It’s Time To Reimagine Your Business

May 13, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
The coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent economic shutdown, has seemed to punish some businesses more than others. That’s especially true for anyone in the travel, hospitality, or restaurant industries—all of whom have been essentially shut down with the economy. For these business owners, the rescue package offered by the government—and the payroll protection program, or PPP, in particular—offered a short-term lifeline to keep companies alive and people employed.
Read More

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.