Culture Committees

Posted by Krisi Schell on Apr 13, 2021 11:00:00 AM

Krisi Schell, Danielle Rapp, and Rob Shear, discuss with Steve and Rich about culture committees, the benefit of healthy competition, and how SRC Lexington has become an award winning SRC company.

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Episode with guests: Krisi Schell, Danielle Rapp, and Rob Shear

(This episode was recorded in March of 2021.)


Key Episode Take-Aways:

1. The purpose of an ownership culture committee and why SRC and other employee-owned organizations have them. (click to jump to this topic below)  The primary purpose is to educate to be a two-way conduit between our associates across the organization and their management teams, and to really champion that culture throughout, so we can get into the details of that.

2. Healthy competition between employees in different divisions can help find best practices and ideas. (click to jump to this topic below)  So, they came together, they built this competition, for a few reasons, really, to one, leverage that extremely competitive spirit that we all have to recognize our companies that were playing the game at a really high level, and really sustaining the game. And to help bring those OCC chairs from each company together on a monthly basis to really collaborate and share some ideas and those best practices

3. Using mini-games to initiate change, build teamwork and create a culture of winning. (click to jump to this topic below)  And so, my materials and production folks said, hey, let's have a mini game, where we try to rope the customer in to making the improvements. And so, they reached out to our customer and our customer is in Ripley, Tennessee. So, they called this thing Ripley's Believe it or not. And it was awesome. And so, they work together with these guys.  


Continue scrolling to read the full episode transcription.

Announcer 0:03

The "Change the Game" Podcast is sponsored by Prairie Capital Advisors, helping businesses think forward. For more information, visit That's

Announcer 0:32

Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the "Change the Game" Podcast with special guests Krisi Schell, Rob Shear and Danielle rap. In this episode Rich and Steve talk about culture committees, the benefit of healthy competition, and how SRC Lexington has become an award winning SRC company. Here's your hosts Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker. 

Steve Baker  0:55

Welcome to the "Change the Game" Podcast where we're changing the game by doing business differently and highlighting stories of capitalism at its best. I'm Steve Baker, and with me as always is Rich Armstrong, president of the Great Game of Business, and co-author of our new book, get in the Game, how to create rapid financial results and lasting cultural change. Hi, Rich. 

Rich Armstrong 1:17 

Hey, Steve, how are you? 

Steve Baker 1:18

Really good. I'm tremendously excited today, because it's not just a one-on-one kind of podcast. We have three very special guests today with us from SRC, our parent company, and we're talking today bout culture committees, specifically what we call at SRC, Ownership Culture Committees as we're an employee-owned company. And so, our three guests have different roles that have played an important part in making our culture committees, as we call them. OCCs, ownership culture committees really successful. On a wide basis with the between 1800 and 2000 people, I think it's awesome. So, let's welcome our special guests. First, we have Krisi Schell, our executive vice-president of HR at SRC holdings Corp. We've got Danielle Rapp, marketing and communication managers at SRC holdings. And Rob Shear, the champion, the champion of our ownership culture committee, owners cup this year, Rob Shear General Manager at SRC of Lexington. Hi, everybody. 

Krisi Schell 2:20   

Good morning. 

Danielle Rapp 2:20   


Rob Shear 2:22   

Hey Steve, 

Steve Baker 2:22   

It's great to have you here. Look, it's really easy for me to talk about all this great stuff that we've got going on. But this is something that I think you guys need to explain, because a lot of our listeners may not understand what a culture committee is much less an ownership culture committee. SRC implemented culture committees across the entire organization. So, 10 companies, and, again, 1800 people quite a while ago. In fact, Rich and I were both involved in that. Over the past few years, they've gained a lot of attention and traction. Krisi maybe we could start with you if you could explain what a culture committee is a little bit of the genesis of SRCS use of culture committees and what they're supposed to do. 

Krisi Schell 3:08 

Absolutely. So, ownership culture committees are very common among employee-owned organizations. And for those that may be listening, that are members of the NCEO or ESOP Association. That's a big piece, right? You got to find champions within your organization that can help communicate and spread the word about what it's important of being an employee-owned organization. Within SRC, we had a group and I know Rich was a part of that. And Steve and Keith Boatright, and many others, who visited other employee-owned organizations prior to 2011, took some best practices and then established a structure across SRC companies for having ownership culture committees in our organization. All of that was done right ahead of us going 100% employee owned. And it was such a big step, that we wanted to be sure as an organization that people understood the importance of it, what it meant, what the how it was going to change the contribution how it's going to change their wealth, long term and stake in the outcome of the organization. So, and that was put in place in 2011. I actually joined the organization in 2013. And so, this was already, the structure was there. And one of my roles when I came in as organization development manager was to be the chair of the ownership culture steering committee, that is a role that Danielle, who is here with us today now serves in that capacity. But it was a great way for me to come in and learn about our culture, and really, from a holding's perspective, provide support to each of our companies. And we were focused on two things, primarily. One, how can we up our game, right. As the birthplace of the Great Game of Business, it's really important to us that we strengthen and sustain our culture. And so that was one of the primary objectives of our ownership culture committees. Second, make sure that we continue to educate and communicate around what it means to be an employee-owned organization. And we had a fantastic group in that committee in 2013. And they are very passionate about continuing to strengthen our game. And they also talked about the fact that, you know what can we do to leverage that competitive spirit. And so, we're going to talk a little bit later, I think about the game that was created to do that. When you talk about the purpose of an ownership culture committee, we actually have a formal document that lays out, it's our purpose document. And

1. The purpose of an ownership culture committee and why SRC and other employee-owned organizations have them.

the primary purpose is to educate to be a two-way conduit between our associates across the organization and their management teams, and to really champion that culture throughout, so we can get into the details of that. But if someone's interested, that's something we readily share. People are thinking about putting an ownership culture committee together, happy to share some tips as well as that purpose document to kind of give a roadmap to do that. 

Rich Armstrong 6:00 

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, you know, we've gone almost, I guess, probably over a decade, right, with these ownership culture committees. Can you talk a little bit about some of the outward benefits that you've seen from this? And how it has helped the organization in terms of its culture? 

Krisi Schell 6:20

Well, there's so many benefits to having the committee's so far one, it does have you have a group of people that feels that accountability, right. It's not just one person, it's not just the leadership team, it's actually the committees are made up of people from all different levels, and all different areas of the organization. And what we try to do is we look for those informal leaders, I always tell people, as you're comprising your committee, look for the people that everybody goes to when something happens and says, Hey, is this really what's going on? You know, is this is this the truth, because those are your trusted associates in the organization. So, look for those individuals that are really passionate about your culture. And that's a good way to comprise that committee, and we have, through the years, you know, we've got opportunities where you, get people that come in, and maybe they have that want to get ahead and be promoted from within. So these committees not only provide education, and that communication, but they also this, committee gives these individuals a chance to stretch and develop their leadership skills, they get to form a team, right, they have to find their best way to effectively communicate with management, on what the needs are, and how they want to go about meeting their goals, they have to set goals, but also, then they have to figure out okay, how do we communicate back to our peers and the associates on what it is that they're accomplishing? And, and sometimes, what's management's perspective, you know, as you go through, so, and then this past year, it was very beneficial to have these committees because we had a lot of challenges. And we saw our organizations use their ownership culture committees, in various ways to communicate to solve, you know, try ahead in a in a time, you can't get people together, those committees help to figure out how what's the best way for us to communicate the status of our company? What how we're going to, you know, go about keeping things safe, and then how are we going to be successful and make sure that we still have jobs at the end of 2020. And I think we leaned on our ownership culture committees throughout that to try to strengthen those processes, and play many games as we're going to hear, to actually find some quick wins and see some success in that in a year, that was really tough to find some wins. 

Steve Baker 8:38

Krisi, that's awesome. And for our listeners who are new to this idea of culture committees, what I'm hearing you say is that a culture committee, whether your employee owned or not, is a valuable thing for any size company, we happen to have a culture committee at each of the 10 SRC companies, but it's really their responsibilities to be stewards of the culture and almost like a liaison between management and everybody else in a way. And so, you don't have to be employee owned, to have a culture committee at all. But also, the other big differentiator is this is not a group of, you know, established leaders. These are everyday people that I have, what Jack calls the gotta wanna, they want to be a part of something special, they want to contribute, and they're already leading in a way anyway, they're probably influencers in your organization, you probably know people who have quote, unquote, "it" that you look for, right for your first culture committee. So, for everybody listening out there, you know, think about it. It's regular folks doing some pretty unregular stuff. It's volunteering for additional work. It's about taking that stewardship of the culture of your organization very seriously and taking it to the next level. So, as we get ready to go into a deep dive on SRC, I wanted to make sure that it was clear that anyone can have a culture committee and it's not going to be made up of top leadership does that sound about right Krisi? 

Krisi Schell 10:03 

It does. Absolutely. And as we get through and talking about this, though, I think we should share some ideas on how we've had some leaders within our organization. And Rob is one of them, that in order to make sure that the committee was elevated, and the authority was there, he did lead their ownership culture committee for a period of time. So, as you're getting things started, there's nothing wrong with having really strong top leadership support, even to kind of set the tone. But beyond that, we work for this as a as a way for people to create those leadership skills to get that chance to get that familiarity with their management, to get a little bit of face time right in front of in front of, and in big staff meetings. So, it doesn't get down the road doesn't have to be top leadership, it don't as a top leader, I wouldn't want them to be afraid of kind of, you know, grabbing it and getting the tone set in the right way. 

Rich Armstrong 10:58 

I'm glad you point that out. Because it This may help some of our listeners to understand that it is a bit of a transition, right? The idea of these committees, the how you're describing it is a way to kind of turn over the responsibility of the culture to a broader group. But that doesn't just happen automatically. And that you have to have that leadership. You have to begin with that right leadership to really drive it first and show really show how important it is and that it is important for everyone. So, people kind of grab it and run with it. I think that's an important point to make, because a lot of people do kind of make it make that jump and they put a culture committee together and just expect it to happen. Right. And it doesn't it doesn't happen that way. Unless there's a lot of leadership support. Rob, would you mind commenting a little bit on that? A little bit of the story of how maybe how your culture committee has evolved? 

Rob Shear 11:55

Sure, yeah. We, you know, going back, probably, you know, eight or nine years, I think we started our, ownership culture committee like and maybe 12 or 13. And it ran for a couple years with the HR manager being the top person. And after a couple years, she came to me and said, Look, I don't really want to do this anymore. And it wasn't going very well, we had some other issues within the factory in terms of morale, and we just, you know, had some business issues where people were not engaged. And, you know, I, all of my other managers were pretty, their bandwidth was pretty low. And so, I said, Okay, I'm just going to take this thing on myself for a while. And, you know, so I did, I tried to build the committee up. And, you know, one of the things I did was, I called the other chairs of the OCCs, within SRC. So, I called somebody at SRC automotive and talk to them. And I talked to the guy or the lady that was at CNH reman, they're open book committee, and really just tried to get ideas of what worked. And then, you know, we had a chair of the OCC, I work here, I worked with that person, went to the meetings. And, you know, eventually we decided to have two co-chairs, one person who was like a shop floor person and one person who's more administrative. And eventually, I was able to step back from doing that. I mean, I would, I would go to the meetings when they needed me, I would meet more with the chairs rather than with the committee itself. And it became self-sustaining. Those guys would make their own budget, they would come to me, I mean, occasionally, they would have ideas that I was thinking to myself, well, that's, that doesn't seem like a great idea. That seems like it could be a train wreck. But I would just, I wouldn't say that I would just let him do it. And more often than not, it seems like what I thought was a bad idea turned out to be, you know, a great idea. You know, I mean, it's like, I think it goes to the point that management doesn't have all the best ideas. You know, the people, a lot of times will have better ideas, because they're the ones you know, they're doing the work every day. So 

Steve Baker 14:20 

I love it. I just want to point out to our listeners that we can see each other on this, as we record this podcast, and when you said management doesn't have all the answers, everybody nodded at the same time. And it kind of makes me think about what Jack always says, you know, our job as leaders is not to have all the answers. It's to have the right questions, and that's awesome. Rob. Your experience with that I love hearing about the fact that it you know, you need to have leadership but at the same time, enough autonomy to as you say make their own budget and kind of figure things out. And that isn't that about developing leaders, right? 

Rob Shear 14:54 

Yeah, absolutely. And you know, we've had several people on the OCCs who they've moved on to get promoted to be like a first line leader, or they started on the shop floor, and they moved into more of an administrative role, which may be a promotion for them. So, I mean, I think that the committees can be kind of a breeding ground for leaders. And you know, that's a side benefit that you get with these committees. 

Steve Baker 15:21

Mm hmm. I love that. Well, so, at this particular podcast, is about the Owners Cup. And what that means we're going to talk to Danielle about, you know, what is the Owners Cup? And how does that relate. But I think anyone who's read about the Great Game of Business and SRC knows that we are a very competitive group. In fact, I think Jack Stack might be the most competitive individual I've ever met in my life. And it certainly passes down through the organization in a big way. So, Danielle Rapp, tell us a little bit about the Owners Cup. You know, what it is why it is and how we implemented it at SRC? 

Danielle Rapp 16:03   

Yeah, so the Owners Cup was started back in 2014. That was before my time. But as Krisi said, we had Ownership Culture Committees, across all the companies. But there wasn't as much, you know, collaboration across companies as what there could have been, as well as support from holdings for the companies.

2. Healthy competition between employees in different divisions can help find best practices and ideas.

So, they came together, they built this competition, for a few reasons, really, to one, leverage that extremely competitive spirit that we all have to recognize our companies that were playing the game at a really high level, and really sustaining the game. And to help bring those OCC chairs from each company together on a monthly basis to really collaborate and share some ideas and those best practices how Rob was saying he was making phone calls around, well, now we have those monthly meetings that really helps bring everyone together. Also, to really further build that leadership skills. Among those committee members and committee leaders, the competition does have some presentation pieces, you know, they're leading meetings, they're meeting with executives across the organization, so that the competition really helps kind of propel that. But really, it's structured annually. So, each of our companies compete against each other. And we like to say that the Owners Cup is really a tool that helps the OCCs be effective. So, there's really, it's structured to where they're scored on different aspects of the game. So, you know, no one, teach the rules, follow the action and keep score and provide a stake in the outcome. So, they're scored on knowing teaching and how they're educating their associates on financial literacy, strategic goals as well as that ownership piece. And how are they communicating effectively? How are their huddle cycles? Is everybody getting the information they need? Are they using the scoreboards effectively, you know, what scoreboards are they missing? Which ones Are they doing really well? How true are they staying to their forecast? forecast accuracy is a big piece of the points allocation. And then from the providers stake in the outcome, they are scored on minigames as far as they get points for numbers of games played, and their impacts on their critical number from those mini games. as well. As you know, all the companies choose which mini game they feel was their best. And they get scored on that with peer judges of the OCC is good to score each other. And it's really a learning opportunity for them. And then that ownership piece is that ESOP education, you know, what does it mean to be an employee owner? What are the benefits? What's important to know about it? And how can they contribute with that ownership mentality? And then just the other rewards and recognition? The companies have a lot of peer-to-peer recognition programs. So, they are scored on really all of those aspects, and really comes down to how well do they sustain the game? 

Rich Armstrong 19:08  

Danielle I really like the everybody, when we put together committees, I think some of the struggle of ownership culture committees or any committee in an organization is to keep people engaged the whole time, right to really know what the agenda is every month and what we're trying to accomplish. And it's the way you describe the Ownership Cup, it seems like you've not only set the agenda for them, and how they can actually use that to really drive the agenda, the ownership culture committees, but also do it in a fun way. You've gamified it, you know, and you've set it up and structured it. curious about how that drives, you know, success and competition. How has that helped you kind of drive some more engagement across the organization around our culture? 

Danielle Rapp 19:56  

Yeah, well, we all know that things that get scored and measured, get paid. attention to. So, when that scoreboard comes out monthly, I mean, our companies are itching for it our leadership, they want those scores. And the competition is tough. They love the competition. And it is fun. Like you said, it really adds a competitive spirit to it. And it really helps. When we decide what we want the points allocation to be, you know, each year at the end of the competition, our OCCs come together and they decide, okay, what's working, what's not working? What improvements can we make? And how can we update that scorecard to reflect the needs of the organization. And so, the OCC chairs actually make the updates to that scorecard every year, we make a few tweaks based on strategic focuses needs in the organization, like I said, and that really helps make it their competition. And it really helps drive that engagement throughout the year. And it lets them focus on what they need to focus on. Krisi briefly mentioned that they have their own company goals, that's part of the Owners Cup as well, if they pick maybe one to three strategic goals for their OCCs that's really going to drive performance and help their company reach their financial and long-term strategic goals. 

Rich Armstrong 21:14   

So, if I understand what you're saying, you're not setting up the game from SRC holding standpoint, you're really letting them set up the game. Right. And I think that that's probably pretty critical in the success that they have a lot of ownership in terms of how the Ownership Cup is set and scored and all of that that goes with it. Well, let's take a minute then and talk to the winner of this year's Owners Cup. Rob Shear in the team at SRC Lexington Congratulations, Rob on the win. Can you tell us a little bit about the win? And most importantly, just what kind of impact did it have with your organization? 

Rob Shear 21:53  

I would say people are competitive. And they you know, they want to win, especially here. You know, I would say the longer you're in OCC, the longer you're at SRC, the more I think competitive that you become because we make everything into a competition. And people want those bragging rights. Right. And I think that what we've tried to do over the last few years is you know, we focus on the scoreboard that Daniel puts out every year and we think it's the beginning of the year, right? What are we going to do to hit this stuff, but the biggest thing is just constantly thinking about how you're going to improve playing the Great Game? And that's what the ultimate is. I want to just brag on my OCC chair just a little bit, Nina Connelly. She's worked for me for a while she worked for me when we were before we were an SRC company. We were owned by another company before NSRC bought us in 2009. And she kept working for the company that we were previously working for Komatsu and when she retired in 2015, my supply chain director Becky, who's brilliant, and like managing people, she said, we need to hire Nina to work for us because of her knowledge about you know, our customer. So, we hired her and eventually she became involved in the OCC, and she is perfect. But if you want to talk about competitive, she's, uh, yeah, I mean, this is Kentucky. And so, she's a Kentucky basketball fan, which, you know, right now, that's probably not the greatest thing. But they, they're going to miss the tournament, but she's somebody that she listens to the call-in show for Kentucky basketball year-round, you know, college basketball is only four or five months out of the year. She's on that, you know, listen to that call and show you around because she's such a fan. And she's taken that, and she's transferred that to how competitive she is on the Owners Cup and just trying to be the best. So, I mean, she's a big part of it. 

Rich Armstrong 24:13 

That's awesome. Well, a lot of people are going to be gunning for it this next year, so she's going to have even more competition.

Steve Baker  24:20  

Yeah, that's for sure. Rob, you said something I really want to dig into just for a minute. If we go back to what you said about just playing the Great Game of Business better. I witnessed that at Great Game. So, I mean, we're one of the 10 companies and I saw Dan Heisler and Chris Sheldon in the OCC team talk about, hey, we need to re up our huddle. We need to and one of the things that we brought back into it was recognition. So, every week, we brought this one little component that well, they write books about us, we must be the experts. But man, it's so incredible. Just that little extra rank, anybody got any recognition and quickly people are recognizing one another every week that really adds a lot to it. Did you notice anything like that a tweak or something to huddle or to the way you work together? Like a Great Game practice that was really something transformative. 

Rob Shear 25:11 

Yeah, so one of the things that we did with the Owners Cup this year that we embraced was the education about the game, and you know, the Get in the Game book. And of course, you know, we went through the certification, all the GMs, and the VPS, got certified as internal coaches. So that, and the education of the OCCs, those kinds of things went hand in hand. And one of the things that I noticed when we were going through the certification is selection of the critical number was not something that we really emphasized. And so, we do the Great Game survey. And part of that is the input survey. So, we use the input survey this year, as part of our process to select the critical number, which I think was a practice that we hadn't been doing that we'll do from now on. And, you know, Nina use that in the presentation that we did for the Owners Cup, as you know, kind of like a best practice. So yeah, I mean, I think that was one thing that we did differently this year that we hadn't really been doing. 

Steve Baker  26:21   

I love that because it just shows that even people that have been playing for a long-time benefit from revisiting and reinforcing the practices that really bring it to life. I don't know Krisi. you've seen a lot through all the different companies. And Danielle, you as well. Could you have any other examples of one practice that popped up to the surface in one of the other divisions, 

Danielle Rapp  26:45   

Ah, to that a big thing that I saw at Lexington this year, we don't get to travel down there a whole lot from Springfield. But we got to this past year. And I think they saw a lot of a trickle-down effect from those critical number exercises that they went through the engagement. And the mini games that came out of it were just so impressive. And we've had companies in the past, I'll brag on SRC logistics a couple years ago, they were having a bit of a tough year, they were not forecasting to do super well. So they rallied together and said, and their general manager Mike White said, what do we want to do about this? So they ran a ton of mini games. And they actually pulled themselves I don't think they were scheduled to get into bonus territory at all. And they ended up being level 11 bonus, I believe, just from mini games. And a big part of that was the work of the OCC and part of the Owners Cup as well as coupling that with that leadership support at Rob's talked about. 

Steve Baker  27:47   

That's cool.  

Rich Armstrong  27:48  

Very good. Very good. Well, we've, spent a lot of time talking about kind of the concept of ownership culture committees in the cup, and some of the benefits from this, and even some of the structure, I guess this is a question for each of you is that we probably have some listeners that say, Yeah, that sounds like something that we could maybe do in the organization that could help. would each of you provide us just, you know, provide the listeners, maybe one or two tips on how you would go about starting it? You know, how do you get started with something like this? And I'll start with you, Krisi?  

Krisi Schell  28:24   

Sure, I think you got to start with the right people, right? that's the who's the who? Let's start with the right leadership than that. And I mentioned it earlier. But what I always recommend to people is think about who are your informal leaders within your organization, who are the people that already just get it, right, they're passionate about your culture, they're passionate about the company, and they want the long-term success. And think about those individuals at every level of the organization. Because what you're wanting to do is you want to kind of look at your company as a whole. And then identify people in each area, or at least in each, you know, grouping, you know, within your organization. So, whether you've got some within professional some within, in our organizations, I'm production, and these different pockets of your company, and then allow them to come together and really feel that authority and accountability, to help sustain your culture and help improve morale and help improve and people's understanding. There's so much that these individuals can really accomplish and make a big impact on your company. And people want to, right? they just don't always know how. And so, I would just my first tip is you know, start with the right leadership. Think about the who. 

Rich Armstrong  29:41  

So, there's nothing wrong with seeding your first ownership coach or committee in some ways, right where I think some companies think well, I'll just do an ask anybody that wants to volunteer, but you want to put some, you know, some top-notch people in there. They can Give us some momentum is what I hear. 

Krisi Schell  30:02   

Absolutely. And people like to be there's nothing wrong with tapping somebody on the shoulder and say, you know what I see great potential in you, I really believe that you could make a big impact on our company. And I want you to be a part of this initiative as I get it started. And then absolutely ask for volunteers. I mean, I can I have a whole list of suggestions. So, I don't want to or anything, but you know, finding that time to ask for volunteers, but don't just make it. One of the things that I think we've made mistakes over the years is by just saying, you know, anybody, right? We just want anybody who's interested to come and be a part of this, have some guidelines have some things, you know, maybe this set needs to be somebody that who is in, you know, a good performer, right? Doesn't have absentee issues doesn't have, you know, any kind of something that might actually take away from the success of the group. Because as others are looking at your group, they're like, is this really a leader in my company? So, you know, be selective because you want this group to have authority and respect. So, think about who should be a part of that leadership team? 

Rich Armstrong 31:09  

Great, great. How about you, Danielle, a tip. 

Danielle Rapp 31:13   

Yeah, so to piggyback a little bit off of what Krisi said, when you think about that, who think about their experiences and their qualifications as well, there's nothing wrong with taking some time to get them trained up, we actually did that as a bit of a refresh this past year, all of our OCCs went back through the GIG on demand with Steve on the community, and a few other trainings just to really make sure that they have that refresh. Just because they're here for a long time, you can't always assume that it's all part of sustaining the game It's just to refresh on some of that training. When thinking about structuring the competition. One thing that I think I've learned a lot in these past few years is making sure it's there's, it's, especially those type A leaders and in an open-book and a Great Game company, it's easy to want to say I think this is the direction we should go. I'm the one that sends out these documents. And, you know, we've all had those moments where we've had those lessons learned of, you know, this isn't theirs anymore, or they're going to do the best with this. And they're the ones who create, I mean, people support what they help create, we all know that. So that would be a big key is when you have those leaders identified on your OCC, partner them with leadership, and they'll really build out this competition. And understand that it's not you can start small on these competitions, ours is pretty big. But only because it's evolved every year, every year, we make changes and updates to make it the scoring more accurate on an administrative side, as well as scoring to really address the needs of the organization. You know, critical numbers change every year scoreboard and gets updated. The competition should evolve with that. 

Rich Armstrong  32:56   

No, that's great. It's great. How about the champion? 

Rob Shear 33:01  

Who me? I think that, you know, when you're starting up the, like an OTC and this applies to a lot of things when you're trying to do culture changes, the senior leadership has to own that they've got to own the culture. And you know, as the GM, I see my role as being strategy and culture before anything else. And so, you may have to be more involved in the beginning, and you may not be able to delegate as much as you normally would, eventually you can. But you got to send the message that it's important. And the way to do that is to make sure that the senior leadership is involved. They know the Great Game, and they know the culture.  

Steve Baker  33:45   

That's awesome. I've got to say that this has been a lot of fun. But I have another big question we cannot get through a single podcast without somebody bringing up mini games, we can't. I mean, it always comes up because that's where the rubber meets the road where people take ownership of a metric or a number that they're going to have to be driving. And as Danielle wisely pointed out, people support what they help create Rob Shear. I understand you guys had a killer mini game. Could you talk about that kind of did that throw you over the top? Tell us about your awesome mini game? 

Rob Shear  34:19 

Sure. So, the problem we were trying to solve was, you know, we're remanufacturing business where raw material is used parts that come out of the customer machines and they come back from the field. We're in the construction and mining business. So, you know, if we don't get these things back to you, they're called cores, then we don't have a business. And we were from our supplier who's also our customer. We were getting some of these cores back that were wrongly identified. So, we needed part number X and they would send us part number why mistakenly they didn't know because these things can be hard to identify.

3. Using mini-games to initiate change, build teamwork and create a culture of winning.

And so, my materials and production folks said, hey, let's have a mini game, where we try to rope the customer in to making the improvements. And so, they reached out to our customer and our customer is in Ripley, Tennessee. So, they called this thing Ripley's Believe it or not. And it was awesome. And so, they work together with these guys. And so, what the problem was these parts, they're dirty old parts that the customer was getting them in, they're not technical people, they were miss identifying the part X as part Y. And they were sending them to us. And so, we would get them, we would take the time to send them back, and then they were going back to the customer. And in some cases, these parts were getting scrapped. So, we were getting a double hit, it was more work for us more work for them, and then we're getting less sales. And so, we worked with the customer, to create the sheets that help them identify these parts. And so, we worked with them. And now, you know, we were getting 12 of these misidentified parts a month, and now it's down to like one or two. And we're sustaining that. But the great thing is that our customer is now calling us when they see something they call the guy on the shop floor, the team leader, and see him as a source of expertise, which is so powerful. And you know, the customer people, they were so happy, because nobody ever asked them to do improvement projects. And when they won the game, one of the prizes was, you know, an SRC hoodie. And we love to give out SRC swag to our customers, we do these joint improvement projects. And then we'll put something on the hoodie that shows that it was some kind of project we did with them. And so, they sent us a picture of them i their hoodies. And I use that in a we do like a time every month where I spend like 10-15 minutes with every group and talk to him about what's going on. And I said, Look, I want to see more mini games. And I showed a picture of the team leader, that was the main guy in this mini game, you know, just so proud there with his hoodie on, I showed the one with the customers. And I said, Guys, you know, some of the departments never play. And I want to see some of that this year. So, we're going to do something different this year, we're going to have a mini game cup here less intense. And you know, there's got to be some kind of financial reward with that. And of course, it you know, a cup bragging rights, that kind of thing. And I'm hoping that we can get more mini games kick started this year and just held this one guy up as an example. He just did a great job. 

Steve Baker  37:47   

If I could ask a follow up on that. Do you have any idea? Or did you guys quantify the value of that mini game? 

Rob Shear  37:58   

Yeah, I mean, I think they said they saved, you know, it was 80 or 90,000. But you know, I was sort of asking some questions. I said, did you quantify the sales that we were losing? And they didn't think about that. And you know, so if we get 10 more parts a month, that's, something that you know, we're getting those sales in that margin, it's not really in the 80 or 90,000, that we that we directly saved. 

Steve Baker  38:24   

So, when you annualize this thing, because you said it was sticking it was something that you're maintaining and sustaining right now, because of the behavior and systems changes. This thing is probably worth hundreds of 1000s of dollars, and you included your customer. And I just think that's powerful, because you've got the I heard morale, pride, expertise, all these great people issues, but also a financial issue goes right back to the name of this podcast or ever Changing the Game is rapid financial results lasting cultural change. I think it's a great example. 

Rob Shear  38:57   

Yeah, no, it was really awesome. And, you know, we've had the team leader, who he is terrified of public speaking, but he's briefed this mini game several times, you know, to our Jack Stack. He came in and in October and this guy was absolutely terrified. But he did a great job. you couldn't tell. And, you know, we're just so proud of him and the team.  

Rich Armstrong  39:24   

Yep. That's the example of building leaders. Right. So, hey, this has been this has been great. A lot of great information on ownership culture committees, and specifically how you can kind of drive the success of these through competition with the owner's cup. Before we leave you what is something we may be missing? Is there any question we should be asking you? 

Krisi Schell  39:49   

So, I would say I don't I don't believe we talked about what was the total financial impact that was made by minigames throughout the entire organization and 2020 because we did lean on them heavily because we knew our plans were a little bit out of reach as programs and supply chain was acted through that the pandemic so I if I were you, I would ask us, what was the total financial impact? 

Rich Armstrong  40:16   

What was the financial impact?  

Krisi Schell  40:20   

Two point, a little over, well, almost $2.8 million.  

Rich Armstrong  40:24   


Krisi Schell  40:25   

Organization it through the success of many games. 

Steve Baker  40:29   


Rich Armstrong  40:31  

That is that's huge. That is huge. Any others? 

Steve Baker  40:37   

Come on, Rob, what did we forget to ask you? 

Rob Shear  40:40   

So, what's the you know, what's been the sort of lasting cultural change here in our factory? Because we, you know, have these committees and not just the ownership culture committee, but also, you know, we have a committee that are there based on community involvement and that kind of thing. 

Steve Baker  40:59   

Love it. Well, I would just like to say on behalf of Rich and myself and all of the Great Game community that's listening Krisi Schell, Rob Shear, Danielle Rapp, thanks for joining us. We really appreciate it. It's been a pleasure. Thanks. So, let's keep the conversation going everybody. Send us your questions, your stories, your best practices, your ideas, your challenges and your victories. Remember, you are not alone, the global Great Game of Business community is probably the most intelligent and sharing community we've ever seen. And that is capitalism at its best. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you next time. 

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The "Change the Game" Podcast is produced by the Great Game of Business. To learn more, visit

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Topics: Company Culture, Employee Engagement, Leadership, MiniGames™, Teamwork, Transparency

About The Podcast

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Hosted by Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker the Change the Game podcast highlights true life stories of organizations influencing positive change by doing business differently. They’re teaching people how business works and closing the gap between the haves and have-nots. It’s capitalism at its best. Inside each episode, you’ll discover stories of entrepreneurs who are Changing the Game.

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