The Great Game of Business

Why a Game?

pkp_scoreboardTreating business as if it were a game is not our way of trivializing business. Rather, it’s a way to explain business in the most simple and unintimidating way possible, get everyone on the same “playing field” and tap into the universal human desire to win. Business has all the elements of a game: rules, a scorecard, a reward for winning.

“Gamification” is a popular buzzword being used today. We provide gamification but so much more.

Open-book management is not so much a technique as a way of thinking, a process that actively involves employees in the financial life of the company. Numerous companies have already found that employees who are informed and aware of the company’s financial situation are motivated to seek solutions to problems and assume a greater degree of responsibility for its performance. The Great Game builds employee engagement and improves financial performance by answering three of the most common questions, consciously or unconsciously, employees have about their workplace:

  1. What’s important around here?
  2. How can I make a difference?
  3. What’s in it for me when I do make a difference?

So, we teach people about business and give employees the knowledge and tools help them understand:

  1. what winning means in business,
  2. how to track, measure and improve performance
  3. how to share in a self-funding stake in the outcome … to win or lose as a team.

Our ultimate goal is to create a “business of business people” who think, act and feel like owners. Open-book management is one of the key components of our approach, though it is only a portion of our overall process.


Here are the Principles & Practices of The Great Game of Business:


Know & Teach The Rules

  • Business Transparency & Education: Opening the Books only works when people are taught to understand them, which is best done both formally and informally.
  • High Involvement Planning: When The Game is created with broad participation – specifically the people who are closest to the action and who understand the realities – it creates a level of commitment and alignment that just can’t be matched.
  • The Critical Number: This is the financial or operational number that defines winning. When correctly identified through High Involvement Planning, targeted and tied to a reward, the Critical Number becomes the focus of the Game for everyone in the organization.

Follow the Action & Keep Score

  • Keep Score: There’s an old saying, “If you’re not keeping score, it’s only practice.” The objective of keeping score is to simply and consistently inform the players if they are winning or losing, and who is accountable.
  • Follow the Action: Huddles provide a rhythm of communication where everyone is kept informed, involved and engaged in moving the company forward.
  • Forward Forecasting: You can’t change history. Forecasting is the fundamental way GGOB companies communicate the numbers and create forward-looking, educational and results-oriented huddles.

Provide a Stake in the Outcome

  • Rewards & Recognition: All who directly participate in strengthening the company likely do so because they have some form of a stake in the outcome. They come to work to win, because they know their work will result in significant reward, recognition and ownership in the outcome.
  • MiniGames: Short term, intensely focused, rapid improvement campaigns that affect a change, correct a weakness or pursue an opportunity. Like the big Game, there is a goal, a scoreboard and a reward for winning.
  • Ownership: Not all companies who play the Game can or will share equity, nor is it a guarantee of success. But getting employees to think and act like owners is one of the most powerful things any leader can do to create measurable and sustainable success in any organization.

Why the Great Game of Business?

GBHuddleManagement fads come and go … Management by Walking Around, Re-engineering, ISO-9000, Total Quality Management … the list goes on.  The trouble with most of these is they are narrow in focus, meaning each addresses a very specific aspect of business without ever getting to the real measure of business success: financial results.

Make no mistake – some of these help achieve good results in the narrow area in which they operate. But that doesn’t guarantee a “win” in business.

The Great Game of Business is a way of running a company that gets everyone focused on helping the business be successful. Employees’ goals and accountability are tied directly to the success of the company. It teaches all employees the Critical Numbers of the company and how they can make a difference – both individually and as part of a team.

GGOB is a system of learning and a culture of success, and not just about sharing and understanding numbers.

By working on their strengths year after year – while also having the courage to work on their biggest weaknesses – GGOB companies get stronger. And the success becomes contagious

GGOB is one of the only management systems that consistently sticks to the ultimate, perpetual, real yardstick of business success:  Your financials.
Financial statements have always been there and always will be. So, why not adopt a management system that uses your own financials as your measure of true business success?