All-Star Case Studies

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2019 Case Study - KAAPKE Holding GmbH


Location:         Emstek, Germany 

2018 Revenues:    $2.2  million

Employees: 35

The Critical Number™: Financial Reach (Operating Capital Balance)

Organization Background

KAAPKE Holding is currently organizing its business model into two operating subsidiaries: KAAPKE Strategie GmbH and KAAPKE Marketing GmbH. They are a leading brand developing company in Germany, specializing in working for companies in the “German Mittelstand.” The company devel

ops strategies for brand positioning, brand-conforming design, and communication campaigns.


Founder Timo Kaapke wanted to create a framework that allowed everyone inside the business to be able to make decisions as independently and as decentralized as possible—which he hoped would result in more decisions made more rapidly.


Having tried numerous individual solutions, consultancy, training, and tools, Kaapke realized that his organization needed an operating system that would create the framework for successfully connecting different challenges, goals and aspirations—

both culturally and financially. The answer he came upon was to embrace The Great Game of Business® (GGOB), which the team treated like playing the sport of soccer, where everyone needed to learn the rules, follow the action, and share in A Stake in the Outcome®.


Since Kaapke introduced Great Game™ to his team, the talks during breaks have changed noticeably. He’s noticed that business issues are increasingly being addressed—including among “creative” roles like designers, copywriters, programmers. “It is nice that these conversations are completely relaxed, rather casual, characterized by lightness and joy,” says Kaapke. “It develops a kind of team sport feeling—all together!”


Since they began playing the Great Game, everyone at KAAPKE also thinks more entrepreneurially. “A winning team spirit has emerged in our company,” says Kaapke. “It’s true to the motto: We want to win. We call it the “WinWinWin feeling”: Our customer wins. The customers of our customers win. And we win... Wow!”


“Through scoreboard management (SBM), everyone knows the effects of their work and recognizes situations in which new potentials must be activated for the success of the company. The common success visible through the scoreboard leads to a positive mood in the team. But also in stressful situations or before challenging tasks, the team challenges and the SBM help us to solve the situation positively and with a good feeling for everyone.” ~ Frauke Spille, Marketing Consulting


MiniGame™ Spotlight:

In 2018, the KAAPKE team played several MiniGames: one was called “Get Rich or Die Tryin,” the goal of which was to increase gross profit; and the other was called “Stundenhotel,” which was designed to get associates to more accurately record their billable time to clients. Both MiniGames had a significant impact on the company’s financial success.


“I think that SBM has a very positive influence on KAAPKE. It creates a completely new management culture that I don't know from other companies. You move away from an authoritarian Taylor-style understanding of leadership to a cooperative leadership style that allows employees to participate. In my opinion, the most valuable thing about scoreboard management is the transparency it creates, which enables us to identify bottlenecks. Those bottlenecks can be tackled independently and as a team, enabling us to lead the company in the right direction.” ~ Sönke Tempel, Trainee Brand Consulting


What’s Next?

To get even better at playing The Game, the next step for KAAPKE will be to continue to focus on teaching GGOB to new employees—as well as to fine-tune their High-Involvement Planning™ process. “We want new employees to get into the Great Game as quickly as possible,” says Kappke. “In Germany, by the way, we call this "scoreboard management" or SBM for short.”


"Problems are seen as challenges—which are solved together. KAAPKE has become real team players. In my private life, too, I now approach problems in a more relaxed and not so headless way. Because personally, I simply trust myself to do more." ~ Inga Bröggelhoff, Copywriter


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