Critical Numbers™: Gross Profit
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Critical Numbers™: Gross Profit
Menold Construction & Restoration specializes in disaster recovery for any kind of building or property that may have suffered anything from fire damage to mold. The company also does commercial and residential remodeling. With three locations, the business services some 27 counties in the state of Illinois.
Tom Menold, a bricklayer and mason by trade, founded the company in 1977. While he first encountered Jack Stack and The Great Game of Business® (GGOB) in 2005, it took until 2011 before Menold and his team got serious about playing The Game for themselves. After a several years of effort to engage the principles of The Game, they recommitted at the beginning of 2018 to fully integrate GGOB as a part of their culture of trust, transparency, and camaraderie.
The team enlisted coach, Jack O’Riley, for help in rebooting their Game. As a way to reinforce a sense of renewal inside the business, the company also invested in renovating its office space—replacing drywall and doors with glass and open spaces—at the same time they recommitted to the principles and practices of GGOB.
“GGOB is not a game we go and play,” says Neihouser, “It’s become part of who we are, part of the fabric of our culture and how we go about running our business every day together.” In the past, for instance, only the management team participated in High-Involvement Planning™. Now a large team, made up from members in the field to those serving in administrative and sales positions, plays a key role in influencing the company’s strategic plan. Perhaps even more inspiring is how associates have taken the lessons of The Game and applied it to their personal lives. “Employees are now going as far as playing MiniGames™ and rewarding themselves with vacations and gifts after reaching their financial goals,” says Neihouser.
“GGOB has impacted everyone in such a positive way. I know employees that take what they have learned in our GGOB meetings and use it in their daily life. For example, their own financials. MiniGames bring all the employees together. Everyone is interactive and works as a team to accomplish these goals we set for our company. In return, it's making our company better in multiple ways - culture, cash flow, teamwork, sops (standard operating procedures), etc... It's fun and there's a little bit of competition, but healthy competition. We keep stats and you can see how much these Minigames and open-book management have really helped our company.”
~ Rachel Butler, Inside Project Manager
In 2019, Menold had a phenomenal year—but the team lost momentum heading into 2020. Then the pandemic hit. “We knew we were already behind and uncertain about what was to come,” says Neihouser. “Fortunately, GGOB gave us the mechanism to have frequent and transparent conversations about what we were going to do to change things. The Game forces you to forecast and to look ahead.” The whole company moved to Huddling twice a week over Zoom and quickly identified cash as their new Critical Number to help ensure they could keep everyone employed and working. “Everyone rallied around that,” says Neihouser. “And then we shifted to prioritizing our backlog while also making sure we kept everyone safe from a health/COVID standpoint.” As things began turning around by June, the company was on its way to logging a record-setting second half of the year. “I would never want to relive everything what happened in 2020,” says Neihouser, noting that the company actually began hiring during the pandemic. “But one positive thing it did for us was that it gave us the unique opportunity to think about our business differently, to be nimble, to collaborate often, and to break out of old patterns. People like knowing how their role fits in the big picture, they enjoy having A Stake in the Outcome®, they appreciate being informed on the highs and lows of the business and coming to work every day knowing what to expect—nothing is a mystery. None of us like surprises.”
The Menold team loves playing, and winning MiniGames. In 2020, the team tackled five games—targeting improvement in areas like generating more leads from plumbers, improving cash flow, driving sales and backlogs, and encouraging customers to leave positive reviews for the company.
“GGOB has affected me in many ways...how I look at things from a business standpoint and how I look at our company as a whole. MiniGames motivate me to help our company meet goals and allows employees to engage in friendly competition. GGOB really allows employees to stay engaged and see how what we do helps our company.”
~ Mandy Winkler, Restoration Technician
Improving the accuracy of their forecasts is one of the top priorities for the Menold team heading into the next year. “We admittingly relied too much on the ‘I think’ and ‘probably’ way of forecasting and want to be more active in driving to the results and less passive in accepting what comes,” says Neihouser, which has led to a few unwelcome surprises. To attack that, the team is adding another level of checks and balances by launching a new MiniGame aimed at improving departmental Scoreboards. Neihouser says they’ve also revised their Stake in the Outcome bonus as a way to pay out at a more advanced level sooner, to reward employees faster. “By affecting the company velocity, we also want to increase the velocity of getting them their rewards,” he says.
“Transparency in business means operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. This is what The Great Game of Business provides to Menold's employees. We get to see how solid our business is and how it functions. Every employee knows how their individual role affects Menold as a whole and the best part is how it gives back to those individuals financially. When Menold succeeds, we succeed and that drives us to be the best.”
~ Heather Childers, Business Development Manager
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Tapping into the universal human need to win, GGOB educates your people in the rules of business, rallies them around a common goal, empowers them to see and improve the score, and engages them by giving them a stake in the outcome.
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