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The Trucking Industry and The Great Game of Business

February 21, 2020

KSM Transportation Services

“Can you be the best in the world at something and lose it all?”

The answer, according to the 2020 Trucking Owners and Leaders Roundtable keynote speaker Steve Baker, is yes. Baker, vice president for The Great Game of Business, presented at the event hosted by Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Transportation Services Group, the law offices of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, and KSM Transport Advisors on Feb. 4 in Indianapolis.

Trucking companies that do not implement systems and processes that provide transparency or encourage investment or a sense of ownership in a company are at risk of failure. During his engaging presentation, Baker highlighted several key points that businesses must consider to ensure long-term success. These include:

  • Understanding the Company Is the Product: Businesses that succeed understand the steps required to build something sustainable. “Why not tie education, accountability, and incentives to building a great organization,” said Baker. The more people you have on your staff who are engaged in fortifying company results, the better your odds of positive outcomes. “You must teach your employees the rules of the game, including financial transparency, education in high-involvement planning, and then how to keep score.”
  • Numbers Don’t Have to Be Scary: Baker said that it is likely your employees do not understand your income statement and balance sheet. Why would they? They are hired to do a specific job, while the higher-ups sweat the details. Baker encourages building a business of people who think, act, and feel like owners to create systemic accountability and establish a culture of ownership. He believes you should share company financial information with employees and ask what they can do about it. By opening the door to financial information, you help enact lasting cultural change.
  • Shared Goals Are Imperative – What if the employee and owner have the same goals? Whether you are new to the company or have an executive role, issues like job security, revenue growth, job appreciation, and meaningful benefits affect everyone. Baker believes that including all employees in forecasting and goal planning creates a community effort toward lasting achievement. Together, all members of a team have a shared incentive and personal stake in outcomes.

Trucking companies are learning that in today’s economy, even when all signs point to lasting success, the eventual outcomes can be unpredictable. By engaging in The Great Game of Business, organizations can lay a more concrete foundation, engaging all members of their team, resulting in lasting change and accomplishment.

Learn more about topics discussed at the 2020 Trucking Owners and Leaders Roundtable: Indianapolis, including our five key takeaways and an economic outlook for 2020.

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