Open Book Management

If you don’t know where you’re going, any vehicle can take you there. If your team doesn’t know where they’re going, how will you move your business forward?

Owners are always looking for great employees – the kind of team players who act like owners. No matter what role they have, these employees walk around with an entrepreneurial eye, constantly on the lookout for ways to improve the business. Rather than walking by that piece of trash on the ground, these are the kind of employees who pick it up. These employees could be right under your nose.

If we want employees to act like entrepreneurs, we need to give them enough information to understand the big picture and feel like they are contributing towards it. We can’t expect someone with limited information and limited authority to participate in the business in a strategic and important way. It starts with a philosophy called Open-Book Management. It involves trust and inclusion. Done properly, it gives everyone a stake in the success of a business.

At WISE, we believe all employees should have access to some financial information. Once everyone sees the big picture, you can start examining departments and activities. Get team members involved in creating metrics that help them connect their individual actions to business results.  Then, communicate regularly. Sure it takes time and effort, but it’s worth it.

We can’t give employees access to a single porthole (revenue) on the organization’s ship and then blame them when the ship runs aground. Do you have all your crew on board and steering in the same direction?