The Open-Book Experience: Lessons from Over 100 Companies Who Successfully Transformed Themselves

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Overview


Over the last decade companies have struggled to balance the human dimension of business with the need to be aggressive, competitive, and profitable. Of all the management solutions considered, one philosophy, open-book management, has proven its power to transform organizations and enhance morale and productivity again and again.But what was it about a seemingly risky philosophy, in which all of a company’s financial numbers are revealed to every employee, that compelled companies as dissimilar as ...
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Overview


Over the last decade companies have struggled to balance the human dimension of business with the need to be aggressive, competitive, and profitable. Of all the management solutions considered, one philosophy, open-book management, has proven its power to transform organizations and enhance morale and productivity again and again.But what was it about a seemingly risky philosophy, in which all of a company’s financial numbers are revealed to every employee, that compelled companies as dissimilar as multibillion-dollar RR Donnelley and modest-sized Crisp publications, to undertake such a drastic rethinking of company management? Was it the increased profits other companies, such as Amoco Canada, were experiencing due to their employees’ new financial involvement in the company? Or was it he improved production that Bagel Works, Inc., and Dixie Ironworks, Inc., realized through employee joint accountability? Perhaps it was the enhanced employee morale that still other companies were achieving now that their employees were partners who designed their own bonus packages. Likely, it was all these reasons and dozens more that convinced hundreds of companies to adopt open-book management to help reduce costs, improve quality, and boost sales, all while creating an environment that reinvented and revitalized the role of the employee.In this practical and highly accessible book, John Case, the leading authority and foremost chronicler of open-book management, shows how to put the open-book philosophy to work. The Open-Book Experience explains how to identify critical numbers, how to bring the corporate financials down to earth, and how to set up a system that gets everyone in the business working to improve performance. It describes how companies both large and small have actually implemented open-book management—how they got started, how they overcame obstacles, and how they taught employees to understand the business. Using a step-by-step methodology gleaned from the experiences of more than 100 successful companies, and revealing tools and techniques such as electronic scoreboards and collaborative “games,” Case shows how open-book management can work for any company wanting to bridge the age-old gap between concern for people and the need for rigorous performance measurement and improvement.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Explains and advocates an approach to management that seeks to balance the human dimension of business with the increasing need to be aggressive and competitive by making all the company's financial records available to every employee. Describes the successes companies have had with it over the past decade. No bibliography. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738200408
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 12/28/1998
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author


Chuck Kremer, CPA, is Senior Business-Literacy Consultant for Boulder-based Educational Discoveries. An originator of “The Financial Game for Decision Making™,” he teaches financial-literacy courses to managers and executives around the country.Ron Rizzuto, PH.D., is a professor of finance at the University of Denver, where he co-founded the entrepreneurship program at the Daniels College of Business.John Case is executive editor of the newsletter division at Harvard Business School Publishing. A former senior editor and senior writer for Inc. magazine, he is the author of numerous feature stories and several books on entrepreneurship and open-book management.
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Table of Contents

Preface: A Revolution in Progress
Introduction: Do We Really Need Another New Approach to Management?
1 Transforming a Company through Open-Book Management 1
First Principle: The Transparent Company
2 Overview: The Importance (and Unimportance) of Numbers 11
3 Critical Numbers 19
4 Financials You Can Actually Use 33
5 Scoreboards 43
6 Teaching Business 51
Second Principle: A Company of Businesspeople
7 Overview: On Empowerment and Other Buzzwords 65
8 First Steps: Learning to Take Responsibility 69
9 Continuous Empowerment 81
Third Principle: A Stake in Success
10 Overview: Bonuses, Good and Bad 93
11 Bonus Design: Part One 99
12 Bonus Design: Part Two 109
13 Steal This Bonus! 119
Games: Open-Book Management in Microcosm
14 Overview: The Meaning of Games 129
15 Steal This Game! 137
Implementing: Open-Book Management
16 Overview: The Change Process 153
17 Implementation in a Small Company: The Basics 161
18 Implementation in a Small Company: The Ten-Step Process 171
19 Implementation in a Large Company: The Basics 183
20 Implementation in a Large Company: The Donnelley Experience 197
Conclusion: A Way of Thinking
Resources
Acknowledgments
Index
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2004

    The next step for Open-Book Management

    In his first book on Open-Book Management (OBM), the author builds the case for why a change in management practice is necessary, and why OBM in particular uniquely best addresses the issues needed for successful management today. Once one has read that book and is either interested enough to want to learn more or sold to the point he or she wants to implement it, then this book is the perfect follow-up. <br><br> This book focuses on the details, and they say the devil is always in the details. You could say the authors first book dealt more with the 'WHY' and this deals more with the 'HOW', though there is some crossover. By drawing experiences (both good and bad) from 100 companies, the reader can benefit enormously by not having to deal with as much trial-and-error personally. I highly recommend this book to those who are likely to implement OBM.

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