All-Star Case Studies

Learn from the "Best of the Best" - the Great Game All-Stars

New Belgium Brewing

Organization Background

New Belgium Brewery was started by Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch in their basement in 1991. Today, the business operates two breweries, which has enabled New Belgium to expand its geographic reach to become a national distributor. The company has also steadily added to its stable of employee-owners over the years – with more than 50% of the workforce joining over the past four years.  

New Belgium Brewing is one of the leading craft brewers in the U.S. that is 100% employee-owned and is also a certified B-Corp renowned for its commitment to environmental sustainability. 

 

“If you ask people to think and act like owners, you need them to understand how the business runs.  There's a lot of power in that."

 

 

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Amy's Ice Creams

Organization Background

Amy Simmons started Amy’s Ice Creams in 1984; it’s since grown to include 15 stores in three cities: Austin, Dallas, and Houston. And from the beginning, the company has embraced the mission statement of “making people's day.” When you buy a frozen treat from Amy’s, you’re also buying an experience. Perhaps you’ll be treated to an impromptu dance performance from those making your ice cream, or you might even witness a trick like someone throwing a scoop of ice cream up onto the ceiling and then catching it on their chin.

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Be Found Online (BFO)

Organization Background

Be Found Online (BFO) is a Chicago-based digital marketing agency that delivers organic media, paid media, local search, and digital analytics solutions to medium-sized and enterprise-level businesses. BFO’s roots date back to 2009 when its two founders, Dan Golden (now President), and Steve Krull (CEO) left their big agency careers to create a more nimble and vibrant working environment. The company discovered the Great Game of Business based on its interest in the so-called “gamification” of business.

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Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinkler

Company Background

In 1978, Wayne H. Gey started Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers, a subcontractor in Florida’s construction market that designs and installs fire sprinklers. The business has six locations and also includes inspection, service, underground, site, and alarm divisions.

Rapid Financial Results - Lasting Cultural Change

As long as there have been buildings, there have been fires. But Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers (WAFS) has continued the tradition of making commercial and residential buildings safer with their automatic fire suppression systems.

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Fresno First Bank

Company Background

Fresno First Bank opened in December 2005 by a local group of successful business people, some of whom had experience with the successful Regency Bank, which sold at the end of 1999. In 2007, after the CEO’s position opened up, the bank brought in Rick Whitsell, an experienced banker, to fill the position. Two weeks later, the chief financial officer and chief credit officer resigned, which created an opportunity to Whitsell to bring in his own team. At the same time, the bank’s chairman, David Price, happened to be a fan of the Great Game of Business, so he suggested that the bank’s management team go to Springfield, MO, to see how the Great Game was played.

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Goodall Homes

Company Background

Goodall Homes, a residential home-building company based outside Nashville, Tennessee, wanted to run a leaner and more agile company. They also wanted to find a way to teach their team the discipline to look ahead and take advantage of downturns in the housing market.

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Induction Heat Treating Corp.

Company Background

Induction Heat Treating Corp. hardens steel products through the induction heating process for customers in the automotive, construction, agricultural, and military sectors. The company was searching for a solution to help improve profits. Dave Haimbaugh’s father started the business back in 1946. Three of his other sons and Dave, who is now 60, have played a role in its operations ever since. Dave Haimbaugh now owns the company outright after his brothers, both older, retired about a decade ago. The family legacy promises to continue as Haimbaugh says he has two of his nephews now working in the business.

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AEP SWEPCO Pirkey Power Plant

Company Background

The H.W. Pirkey Power Plant, located in Hallsville, Texas, has been providing low-cost, reliable power to its customers since 1985. The plant’s operators were looking for a way to reduce costs through employee engagement.

Great Game Solutions

Starting in 2013, Drew Seidel, the plant’s manager, began rolling out a system that incorporated open-book and lean concepts that employs daily, weekly, and monthly huddles, scoreboards and MiniGames to create transparency and engagement among the plant’s workers. The team also began the practice of forward forecasting as a way to be more productive rather than remain reactive to unexpected changes as it had in the past.

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Stalcop, LLC

Company Background

Stalcop is a manufacturer of cold-formed metal with a special expertise and focus in copper components. They were looking for a way to re-engage their employees by creating transparency, opening new lines of communication and repairing damaged customer relationships.

Stalcop was founded in 1981 to serve its customer by creating cold-formed and precision machined components and sub-assemblies for a variety of industries, including automotive, heavy duty truck, power transmission and distribution, specialty battery, ordinance and ammunition. Kerrigan worked for the company from 1994 until 2005, when he decided to leave the company because he was unhappy about the direction the management team at the time was taking it. But the ownership group asked him to come back as president in 2012, which gave him the opportunity to implement The Great Game.

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