Improve Your Bottom Line 20 Percent with OBM

Improve Your Bottom Line 20 Percent with OBM

In this episode David shares how the great game interacts with their annual business plan, how they’re in the black for the first time in 6 years, and how everyone is participating in the financial accountability of the Extension office.

David Burton of the Greene County University Extension Office
David Burton of the Greene County University Extension Office

David Burton, Part 2. David is a civic communication specialist for University of Missouri Extension and has responsibilities throughout the 17 counties of southwest Missouri. He is headquartered out of the Extension office in Springfield, Mo. David is an award winning member of the extension as well as an award winning fiction writer.

Social Shareables from Part 2 with David Burton

One small (/sarc) effect of running the Great Game at the Extension – 1st time in  6 yrs in the black.

Another small (/sarc) effect of GGOB at the extension – Council members are engaged and understand the financials.

Effect of GGOB at the extension – Everyone on staff coming up with ways to save on expenses. New ideas on income generation bubbled up from inside.

Aha moment – many/most people don’t understand the financials and maybe timid to admit it. No shame. Start educating.

Learn how a nutrition specialist helped to reign in travel spending.

Literal Notes taken while listening to the episode:

How the great game interacts with their process of creating an annual Business Plan – Business Plan is a Blueprint of what they need/want to do. While the Great Game is more of “how” they will achieve the plan. How they will implement.

Just opening up the books and teaching the team the financials has shown, on average, a 20% improvement in your bottom line. You see more benefits if you’re able to provide an incentive.

Mutli-year team member after implementing GGOB – This is the first time I’ve really understood what these numbers mean and how I can impact them.

Chart – Know and teach the rules, follow the action and keep score, and provide a stake in the outcome, and the Critical Number at the convergence of these three.

Know and teach the rules –  First, agree that you’re playing a “game” and that there is a score that measures the success of your organization. What numbers reflect success for your organization.

Follow the action and keep score – Everyone has a line item they’re responsible for tracking and projecting forward. They meet 30 minutes every week to cover the score. Creates a lot of interaction between team members.

Provide a stake in the outcome – can be as simple as having “dirt cake” after hitting a soil test threshold, to a larger “bonus” of development money if they hit the critical number at the end of the year.


How much would it help your organization if you admitted (if true) that there are elements of the financials you don’t understand? What if you started learning and then teaching on it?

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Greene County Extension Council Business Plan

Greene County Extension Great Game of Business  Presentation

Diagram and explanation of how Greene County Extension is implementing the Great Game of Business.

Explanation of how the Extension began using the Great Game.