Learn from the "Best of the Best" - the Great Game™ All-Stars
2020 Case Study - Venturity
Location: Addison, TX
2019 Revenues: $5.75 million
Critical Numbers™: Gross Margin
Founded in 2001, Venturity provides outsourced accounting as well as financial and systems consulting services to privately-held companies, with the goal of providing them with peace of mind knowing that their financial information is accurately represented and tells the story of their business.
Find a way to get the entire company aligned around increasing Gross Margin and becoming more profitable, something they had struggled with moving the needle on for years.
Embrace The Great Game of Business® (GGOB) with the help of their coach, Wayne Whitesell, by truly giving team members A Stake in the Outcome® based on company-wide goals they all helped set combined with a consistent, clearly defined game process. The Venturity team began playing Great Game™ as a full company in June 2017.
As they begin their third year of playing The Game, the Venturity team has hit their stride and feels more invested than ever in the power of open book management and the mantra of “We Are Better Together.” Venturity finished 2019 with almost $5.8 million in Revenue and a record 45% Gross Margin for the year—even posting a 50% Gross Margin for the first time ever in July 2019. Perhaps just as impressive, the team topped its goal to earn a bonus every quarter by earning a bonus every month instead. “In the past two years of practicing GGOB, we have experienced challenges and successes-both of which have taught us many lessons and brought us closer as a team,” says CEO Chris McKee. “By staying true to the process and trusting in each other, we have found that we can reach our goals and have A Stake in the Outcome. As a result of Great Game, I'm much more present with my family as I spend less time worrying about the company. The team is continually improving our operations and striving for more success, and they are the ones who are best positioned to make that a reality and do it every day.”
“When we first started The Game, we had a few team members that considered GGOB to be a distraction. Those team members have either changed their opinion or left the company, and now we make sure that our GGOB commitment is discussed among new-hire candidates during the hiring process.”
~ Karolyn Hampton, Director of HR and Recruiting.
Spotlight on the Pandemic
Little did the team know that they would be asked to dig in deep in 2020 as they faced the operational challenges and uncertainties brought on by COVID-19. The good news is that they believe the last three years of staying committed to the GGOB process has prepared them well for anything that comes their way. In particular, the work they’ve done on more accurately forecasting revenue per client has helped everyone keep a finger on the pulse of the business. “We couldn’t be more grateful for this system and the sense of comfort we derive from having up-to-date information at our fingertips and the shared knowledge of what to do with this information,” says Deanna Walker, who heads up client relations and business development at Venturity. “Thanks to The Game and our huddles, the team is already looking ahead.”
One of the impactful MiniGames the Venturity team activated in 2019 was called “Summitting Gross Margin Mountain.” The goal was to find ways to reallocate workloads and better utilize the team’s capacity as their client load increased. The goal was to improve the company’s gross margin on long-term clients by 4 percentage points over a four-month period. In the end, the team topped its goal by pushing gross margin by 5 percentage points—or some $18,000 per month. “Throughout this MiniGame, we experienced a heightened amount of knowledge shared between teams, load balancing with our resources, and even embraced new technologies,” says McKee.
“GGOB has me 100% invested in the performance and culture of my company. Even though people in our industry are not typically social butterflies, we experience a camaraderie that is unmatched with anywhere I have ever worked before. As an organization we celebrate our wins, and we pull together and build each other up when we have losses. Among the teams we are constantly supporting and building each other up for the purpose of achieving success.”
~ Aimee Abernethy, Implementation Director
The Venturity team has several targets to take their Game and their company to the next level in 2020—perhaps most notably selling 20% of the business to its employees through an ESOP. The company will also be adding an additional service line in 2020 by adding fractional CFO services. They are stepping up their GGOB “game” by further developing what the team calls “MicroGames”, monthly games that award prizes to individuals or teams that put forth extra effort that month in certain areas. They are also working to encourage their entire team to help plan and execute new MiniGames to help tackle issues or opportunities from the bottom up. “Playing The Game has completely solidified our culture and given everyone a voice and the empowerment to speak up and know that their opinion matters and is valued,” says Walker.
“It has gotten everyone to be on the same page and has given us the ability to directly see how our efforts impact the numbers. I am able to think like an owner and not just an employee, which is invaluable experience.”
For nearly 40 years, The Great Game of Business™ has helped organizations reach their highest potential and value.
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.