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Kindermusik International

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Company Background

Kindermusik International (Greensboro, NC) is an award-winning provider of innovative music-education programs for young children (up to age 7) and their parents and caregivers. Its 5,200 licensed educators in 35 countries teach music and movement classes using Kindermusik’s own age-appropriate lesson plans, books, audio CDs, instruments, games, and other activities. The 25-year-old company is managed by its 55 enthusiastic employee-owners.

Great Game Solutions

A few months after stock certificates were distributed at the big ESOP party , owners began learning about Kindermusik’s fiscal health and how each business unit—teacher training, creative services, marketing, and order processing and fulfillment—contributes to it. In fact during Own Zone meetings, owners taught each other about their unique line-of-sight issues by describing their job responsibilities, pointing out where their results show up on the financial statements. In 2003 those weekly half-hour meetings became more like huddles, where people bring their notebooks and calculators and help build the income and cash-flow statements. These gatherings, which are led by different units on a rotating basis, also serve as a forum for discussing business news and personal finance topics such as Getting the Most out of Your 401(k).

RESULTS

  • Revenue: Increased 3% during the first full year of Game play.
  • Key driver: 1,750 new teachers were trained in 2003, a 27% increase over the previous year.