Open-Book Management

You naturally get better performance when everybody pulls together…

Suppose for a moment that your company’s employees thought of themselves as businesspeople rather than as hired hands. Suppose that their primary goal every week was to help the company succeed rather than just do their jobs and collect their paychecks.

Here are a few of the many things that might happen. They would—

  • Watch costs more closely
  • Come up with ways of doing things more efficiently
  • Propose better ways of serving customers
  • Share ideas for new products or services
  • Discuss how to boost sales
  • Feel comfortable making more decisions on their own
  • Pull together in a crisis

Of course, they’d need a lot of information about the business and how they contribute to it. They’d need coaching and practice, so that they could make good decisions. They’d want to feel that there was something in it for them—a piece of the action.

In short, they would need open-book management.

Open-book companies share a lot of data with their employees—and expect them to use that information to help the company improve. They create ownership or incentive plans that give everyone a stake in the business’s success.


No doubt about it: OBM improves business results and the lives of employees

The connections are just common sense. You naturally get better performance when everybody pulls together—and when everybody understands how what they do affects business success. Life is better when people feel a part of something meaningful and have opportunities to earn more money.

So it isn’t just about better performance. It’s also the right thing to do.


“What a sensible and timely idea—to treat people like adults and surround them with enough business information to do the right thing. Opening your books will do your employees and your bottom line a favor.”

—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor, Harvard Business School


Learn more about OBM

Brief history                Three key elements                    FAQs                   Resources


Think we can help you?

Open-Book Coaching has been helping people build smart, collaborative companies for more than 20 years. If you think we can help your business, call Bill at 859.331.6925 (office) or 859.653.6472 (cell). Or, drop us a line using the contact form below.