Open Bookies

The 'Open-Book Management' trend and businesses devoted to helping other companies open their books.
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WE'VE WRITTEN FOR SOME TIME NOW ABOUT THE EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS OF COMPANIES THAT PRACTICE WHAT WE REFER TO AS "OPEN-BOOK MANAGEMENT." NOW IT APPEARS THAT THE TREND IS SPAWNING BUSINESSES DEVOTED TO HELPING OTHER COMPANIES OPEN THEIR BOOKS. ONE SUCH EXAMPLE IS ROOT LEARNING, IN PERRYSBURG, OHIO, WHICH WAS IN THE BUSINESS OF PROVIDING TREND ANALYSIS FOR CORPORATE CUSTOMERS. THE PROBLEM, SAYS VICE-PRESIDENT JIM HAUDAN, WAS THAT "ONLY 20% OF THE PEOPLE IN OUR CLIENT COMPANIES UNDERSTOOD WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT, WHICH REALLY UNDERMINED THE IMPACT OF OUR WORK." SO ROOT LEARNING STARTED INVENTING DEVICES LIKE GAMES AND VISUAL DISPLAYS TO COMMUNICATE COMPLEX INFORMATION TO RANK-AND-FILE WORKERS, AN ENDEAVOR THE COMPANY NOW PURSUES FULL-TIME. "IT'S VERY MOVING," SAYS HAUDAN, "TO WATCH PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN GIVEN THIS KIND OF INFORMATION BEFORE SUDDENLY SAY, 'SO THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT! I CAN THINK OF LOTS OF THINGS TO DO ABOUT THAT PROBLEM.' IT'S EVEN MORE POWERFUL TO WATCH THE RESPONSE OF MANAGERS WHO ARE DUMBFOUNDED BY THE INTELLIGENCE OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE."

Last updated: Dec 1, 1992




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