Back in 1995 I discovered CRC and the Great Game of Business. I was working at my parent’s travel agency in Wichita, KS. I worked with my dad and step-mom and the agents to implement some of the concepts I was learning.
I would say it was not a success. At this point, it’s been so long that I can’t give an honest assessment of why it didn’t work and what areas may have worked. What I do remember is that it was probably more open-book reporting and less management. I’ll have to connect with my parents to think back and get more insight.
Fast forward to 1999 and I’m working at a family owned electrical distributor in Los Angeles. As the owners began to implement many of their changes I implemented more open reporting and keeping score of sales, GM, and orders. These “scores” were reported on a scoreboard at the front of the sales floor.
In addition, I helped the owners create presentations to report numbers and business results in monthly meetings with all the employees. In these meetings we also taught some of the basics of profit and margins and various expenses in the business. There were huddles implemented in various departments to help improve service and operations. The teams also created and worked on various efforts to improve the business. It was not quite open book but was more than my first effort.
All these efforts put forth by the owners, plus several other strategic moves helped grow the company from $5 million to $14 million in 5 years. However, for various reasons (many of which I am unfamiliar) the company had to close it’s doors after 6 years of crazy fun growth. Lots of good memories and friends made from this adventure.
And now up to today. Since 2004, I’ve been working for a Fortune 500 distributor that is employee owned and been in business for 145 years. I’ve done a variety of jobs and for a two-year stint I was able again to instill a few of the open-book principles while in charge of a 20+ person sales team. It was exciting as we improve engagement, inspired people to grow, and all the while grew sales +20% for two years in a row.
However, this time I had seen the Zingerman’s light via Bo Burlingham’s Small Giants. I was so taken with Zingermans, I was able to talk my B2B distributor into sending me to their Zingerman’s Experience class in 2007. This was an amazing experience.
I may or may not have shed a tear or two during this class.
All this time I kept thinking, “Why isn’t there one source of info, news, and encouragement for owners wanting to run a company like this?” Well, sometimes It takes awhile for me to come around to what I need to do. I was always looking for someone else to create this “one source”. However, through another series of books, podcasts, and YouTube videos I’ve been encouraged and finally sparked to a point that I realized that I need to be that change that I want to see.
Thus the idea for Inspired and Intentional Business came to mind and finally began on June 11, 2015.