I remember vividly that moment four years ago, after many months of management team discussions, when we finally pulled the trigger. We knew that committing to practicing open book management through the Great Game of Business (GGOB) would be transformational, but like any change, it was new and scary. We were all very excited, but also nervous and dare I say a little apprehensive. What if the time commitment is too great? What if our team members don’t embrace this new way of thinking? What if it just doesn’t work? BUT WHAT IF IT DOES!?!
I think all of us had these thoughts and many more going through our heads. As accountants, we live and breathe numbers, day in and day out. So, unlike many practitioners new to the Game, that wasn’t the scary part. We had a good hold of our numbers - especially at the partner level. We were apprehensive based on a previous failed attempt with a different profit-sharing plan. We knew buy-in from our people would be the key to success, but we were unsure how to best make that happen. Our coach helped us see that the game needed to be built from the bottom-up with our people empowered to make decisions that have an impact. Picking a coach and using his guidance to tap influencers from all levels to help design our game would prove to be the best course of action for us.
We launched the game and experienced immediate success the first year with a 7% increase in gross margin and a doubling of operating income. Year two wasn’t quite as successful, as we hit a few roadblocks and learned very quickly that it’s not just about the money - emotional wellness is important too. You can’t have one without the other, It’s simply not sustainable. We settled into our groove in 2019 after two consistent years of weekly forecasting and a diligent focus on the key drivers of our business – a defined sales process, proper capacity utilization and reduced client attrition.
Venturity has spent years working on our culture, experimenting and fine tuning to find what works best for our people. Implementing open book management through the GGOB system was the final piece to the puzzle. Little did we know that this past March we would be calling on our learnings from the prior three years to get us through an unprecedented time like nothing we have ever seen before. Thank goodness for the Great Game of Business. We are extremely grateful.
With weekly forecasting for the month already in place, our team was quick to act and assess client level situations which were changing daily. In addition, to forecasting for the month, we implemented tools that now enable us to re-forecast for the remainder of the year at the beginning of each month. We may not like what the information tells us, but staying on top of it enables us to take actions now that impact the numbers later. The best part is that this isn’t a top down approach – our team is driving this process as they have been trained to think and act like owners. Plus, the transparency that comes with owning the financials gives our team insight and stability to know where they stand individually. Talk about peace of mind knowing that we’re all in this together. You can’t beat it.
If you’re thinking about opening your books, but aren’t sure and don’t know where to start, give us a call. Our weekly huddles are open to guests and our Venturity team members are available to share their experiences.