We learned about the idea of Open Book Management from the folks at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, MI.
Zingerman’s is a vertically integrated family of food businesses with revenues in the high eight figures. But their revenue isn’t what impresses us about Zingerman’s.
What we find so amazing about Zingerman’s is simply how much fun everyone seems to be having and what an amazing work environment they had created for their team.
Ask them how they do it, and they’ll tell you that it’s because of Open Book Management.
Zingerman’s has built a culture of radical transparency with regard to financial books and company performance. Every detail about the company P&L is shared at weekly meetings and posted on whiteboards for everyone to see. Every employee participates in setting revenue goals, production goals, and cost goals, and then their progress toward those goals is tracked in real time.
If the company is having a great week, there’s no "boss" who comes out and gives a congratulatory speech. Everyone on the team already knows.
And similarly if the company is going through a rough patch, there’s no need to send out the management to give a pep talk. The staff has probably already come up with a plan to get things moving again.
Even though we don’t have a physical office, we’re endeavoring to replicate the culture of Open Book Management that was pioneered by Zingerman’s.
We see Open Book Management as a key addition to our Holacracy practice that contributes to the success of our unique model at Action Verb.
Since we distribute real decision making authority to every person in our organization, we’d better make sure that every single employee has the data they need to make the best decisions possible.
Does working at Action Verb sound like it could be for you?