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Creating An "Open-Book" Organization: Where All Employees Think And Act Like Business Partners

Creating An Open Book OrganizationThis how-to-do book describes in detail the open-book concepts and provides models, templates, processes and examples of how to transform your employees into business partners...focused on profit and cash.

Thomas McCoy
Published by AMACOM Books


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Also Available in German!


The purpose of this book is to provide your company with an unstoppable competitive advantage...the ability to transform your employees into business partners.

 It describes a detailed model of key management practices that creates the capability and desire within each employee to think, act, and be treated like a business partner. Once transformed, these employee partners focus their efforts and energy on the profitability, growth, and cash position of the company.

In order for employees to think and act like business partners they must have the same perspective as business partners. They must be provided the same business information as business partners, receive the same emotional job satisfaction for participating in goal setting, problem solving and decision making, and share in the financial reward as business partners.

 An "Open-Book" organization refers to the state an organization is in when:

1. Each employee understands what the organization must do to be successful.

2. Each employee understands their role in achieving those financial and operational objectives.

3. All employees are involved in the goal setting process.

4. Problem solving and decision making are conducted by those closest to the issues.

5. Success is celebrated and rewards shared by all who participate.

 This book offers insight and techniques that integrate your human resource initiatives such as compensation, education, quality focus, and customer satisfaction into a single cohesive force. This integration aims directly at the source of employee involvement and participation. It transforms the workplace and the employees in it. It creates a working environment that enables each employee to reach their true potential and rewards them for doing so.

Future Thinking Now

The future of employee involvement is portrayed in this book. The models, templates, and management practices presented in this book help employees make the transition from a job mentality to a career mentality. They create a satisfaction system within the company culture that offers the opportunity of ownership and partnership: ownership of a career and partnership in a company.

In any successful organization, every employee has to be committed to the business process if it is to exist past the first change of direction caused by the economy. This commitment comes from a partnership that is developed through implementation of key management practices...a partnership in the design & management of the business process and a partnership in the results.

In the end, an employee partnership can only be developed if the people decide for themselves to participate in the effort. And they will do so only if they see the potential for their needs to be met by partnering with the organization. The model of key management practices creates an open organization with a culture that can weather the storms of economic change and emerge from each one stronger, faster, and more intelligent than the competition.


The focus of this book is on the issue of transforming employees into business partners. Key elements covered in this practical, how-to book are:

Creating A Partnership: The concepts, theory and practical application defined in this book work to create a workplace that is rich in satisfaction. Each management practice contains within it an aspect that provides either a strong social or material reward for participation and results. These management practices are matched with fundamental laws of human psychology, producing satisfaction systems that provide a basis for the risk/reward relationship which, in turn, creates a partnership.

Creativity is essential to achieving and maintaining a competitive edge. The models and templates inject into the organization the elements needed to create the potential for breakthrough thinking in each employee.

Employee Education is critical to successful empowerment and the ability to make solid business decisions. The Education model takes employee education beyond profound knowledge into the realm of local wisdom, where each employee understands the link between their performance and the company's objectives.

Line-Of-Sight Linkage: The ability to link individual performance measurements to company profitability is fundamental in developing employees into business partners. This ability allows each employee to see how their daily action contributes to the profitability of the company. This linkage of action to profit is called line-of-sight and is clearly represented, perhaps for the first time, in a model called the Line-Of-Sight Linkage Tree.

Real-Time Performance Reporting: Performance information cannot be used to make accurate, solid decisions unless it is timely and relates performance to cost and other financial measure. Until now, this has not been achieved by most organizations. The performance reporting templates provide a tool that each employee can utilize to track and report their own contribution to the organization's plan...and calculate the financial benefit to themselves.

Empowerment & Alignment of Individual Responsibility. Empowerment is clearly defined and put in it's proper place as an aspect of partnership. Each aspect of the management model is shown to embody and support the concrete and conceptual aspects of empowerment. A three step process for actualizing the concept of empowerment is presented for use, complete with forms. This process culminates in the description of a group activity that develops personal commitment on the part of each employee and aligns this commitment with the company's business objectives.

Designing Effective Incentive Rewards. Creating the appropriate incentive that addresses both employee and company needs can be a daunting task. Often, the underlying understanding of psychology is missing and the result is an incentive compensation plan that fails to engage the employees. In this book, key incentive compensation plan designs are compared to the model of key management practices and evaluated for effectiveness. The Reward System Selector process which includes seven forms and templates helps the reader select the appropriate incentive compensation plan for their organization and culture.


Table Of Contents

Chapter 1. Successfully Competing In The New Economy

Chapter 2. Fundamental Alignments Necessary For An Open Organization

Chapter 3. The E4 Management Practices And Employee Partnership

Chapter 4. The R4 Employee Expectations In An Open Organization

Chapter 5. E1-Educate: The Management Practice R1-Roles: The Employee Expectation

Chapter 6. E2-Enable: The Management Practice R2-Rights: The Employee Expectation

Chapter 7. Developing Line-Of-Sight Capabilities Through Information Sharing

Chapter 8. E3-Empowerment: The Management Practice R3-Responsibilities: The Employee Expectation

Chapter 9. E4-Engage: The Management Practice R4-Rewards: The Employee Expectation

Chapter 10. Incentive Compensation Plans: Choosing The Right Reward System for Your Organization


T.J. McCoy & Associates, LLC | 5601 Oak Street | Kansas City, MO 64113 | (816) 333-1261
© 2006, T.J. McCoy & Associates, LLC