All-Star Case Studies

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

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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Wall-tech

Company Background

Wall-tech has been providing exterior painting, interior painting, metal stud framing, drywall, taping, finishing, EIFS, stucco, plaster, sandblasting, firestopping and fireproofing services since 1984. After CEO Pete Braun led a buyout of his company from its other shareholders in 2013, he saw the opportunity to create a more employee-focused culture for his business. 

Pete Braun originally started working at Wall-tech 20 years ago as a project manager. More recently, as a reward for his hard work, he was given the opportunity to become one of the shareholders in the business along with the charge to help grow the business, which had revenues of about $4 million at the time. “People thought I was crazy,” says Braun.

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Agape Construction Company

Company Background

Agape (pronounced ah-ga-pe) Construction Company, a Christian family owned business, is a design and build firm that focuses on residential projects in the St. Louis, MO, area. Founded in 1985 by Kevin O’Brien in the basement of his home as a one-man show, the company grew to 30 employees (including the addition of his wife Amy in 2004) before paring back to 15 employees as a way to survive the Great Recession of 2008, which claimed many similar companies across the country.

Business Challenges

Like many business owners struggling to grow their companies, Kevin O’Brien was search-ing for a way to engage his associates and get their help in finding the path forward. “Everything fell on my shoulders; it was wearing me out,” he says. “I wanted to find a way to change everyone’s mindset and attitude and get them to take more responsibility and ownership.” The company was also plagued by cost overruns that were only diagnosed af-ter a project was completed.

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Anthony Wilder Build/Design Inc.

Company Background

Anthony Wilder Design/Build Inc., a $7-million home remodeler based near Washington, D.C., provides high-end architectural design and construction services. The firm launched The Great Game in 2006, after six years of practicing its own version of open-book management. Managers read Jack Stack’s book The Great Game of Business and attended an event to hear Stack speak. “It was a forehead-slapping moment,” recalls General Manager Mark VanDeWege. “The Game gave us a proven, standardized format to capture and covey our company information.”

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