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Kiolbassa’s Secret Ingredient


Hello there,

Glad to have you back!

This week we are diving into some of the structure of Kiolbassa Smoked Meats to show what sets us a apart as a company. 

Did you know one of Kiolbassa’s most important ingredients does not exist in the product? For several years now, a secret ingredient added to the recipe is Kiolbassa Smoked Meats’ company culture. This ingredient provides the necessary skills each team member needs to become accomplished in their own workplace and supports the success of the company. This ingredient is the Great Game of Business (GGOB).

So, what exactly is The Great Game of Business?

The Great Game of Business is a business methodology demonstrated in a book by Jack Stack, that turns running a business into a game using Open Book Management. This philosophy is “the more people know about the company, the better the company will perform.”

This practice is about “communicating with people via the numbers.” Each department at Kiolbassa plays a part and has a stake in winning the game – if the team members see how they can affect the final score, everyone wins!

How do we play the game?

  • Mini Games (a laser focus on a smaller goal that, if achieved, adds up to long term success) are a fun way to take an opportunity and turn coming up with a solution into a game. There is a theme for the game, a score board, regular reviews to monitor progress and help the team stay on track, and prizes to keep everyone engaged.
  • Huddles – Weekly departmental and company-wide check-ins to review the numbers (are we winning or losing?) and share Teaching Points (short, educational presentations to help the team continually learn more about business). 
  • Ownership – By assigning responsibilities to the lines on the Income Statement to a team member in a department that has the greatest stake in that line, we begin to “think and act like owners” not just employees. It allows team members to see how their job does affect the entire company, no matter whether they are in maintenance or sales, HR or production – we ALL contribute to the critical number.

When a company “plays” the Great Game of Business, all the employees know exactly what they contribute, what they cost the company, and how they depend on one another to be successful. That’s because they are all working from the same scorecard and are aligned on a singular goal for the company. Adopting this Values-Based Leadership and identifying our Purpose and Family Values to guide our daily work has empowered our team with financial literacy and is a great example of how putting people first drives growth and success. What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever worked for a company that practiced Open Book Management? Let us know in the comments below!

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