028 – Playing the Great Game of Business | Rich Armstrong

Rich Armstrong is the President of The Great Game of Business, a division of Springfield Remanufacturing Corp. (SRC) – the pioneers of open-book management and business gamification.

SRC developed these concepts back in 1983 when a group of managers at the small International Harvester facility purchased the factory in the worst-leveraged buy-out in corporate history. Facing $8.9 million in debt, CEO Jack Stack wanted to help employees appreciate the financial situation without feeling overwhelmed, so he simplified business concepts into a game. After all, when you break it down, business is really just like a good game of Monopoly. There are rules to follow, goals and targets to hit, and rewards for winning.

Fast-forward 25 years and SRC and The Great Game of Business have perfected the concept of open-book management, breaking it down into four key elements. In this week’s episode, Rich shares how implementing these elements in your organization can have a huge impact on employee buy-in and engagement.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Treat Employees Like Owners: Perception is reality, right? So be transparent and share yourself and what’s under the hood with your employees. This builds trust, which directly correlates to engagement.
  2. Educate: Knowledge is power, so taking the time to educate your people on the front end will save a lot of time on the back end. Plus, you will see employees taking more ownership when they’re more confident.
  3. Have Small Group Challenges: Have teams like departments, locations, or shifts own a challenge and break down the plan to achieve it. Incorporate weekly huddles to report progress. Stay focused and celebrate each win along the way. Expect to see energy grow among these groups.
  4. Provide Employee Stake in the Outcome: Understand what is important to the individual and align their reward (e.g. time off, more pay, time to volunteer, more responsibility) with something they get really excited about. Always circle back to the individual “why”.

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