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Open Book Business Management 101:

CEO of PFSbrands Shawn BurchamWhen it comes to an open book business management company, first and foremost you need the right players on the right seat of the bus and you need to properly educate them with some serious business communication! Don't know what that means? No worries, we can help you out!

Today, our CEO Shawn Burcham, tackles that for you! From hiring the right people to help make your vision a reality to properly educating them on open book managment principles, he discusses how these same strategies have helped PFSbrands rapidly grow to new heights! So here you go, let's break down some the first steps you need to take when starting open book management at your company! [You can find his full article over at ShawnBurcham.com]

Filling the Bus with "A Players"

This is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to open book management! You have to be working with people who WANT to learn and embrace change. Part of the journey for me over the past five years has been getting the right players on the team. Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, refers to this as getting the right “people on the bus.”

Collins even expands on this analogy by saying “you have to have the right people on the bus and in the right seats.” For business owners, including myself, this means that in some cases you have to kick people off the bus, or encourage them to get off the bus, if they are not a fit.

Some people are simply not comfortable with making these tough decisions. I’ve even had people comment that “we’ve lost some good people.” I couldn’t agree more in most cases. We have undoubtedly lost good people over the years. However, over the past five years I firmly believe that we have not lost anyone that truly fits our PFS culture. This does not mean that they are not good people, because they are. However, they just didn’t fit the team we are building.

Open Book Business Management, Just Do It!

What do I say to anyone who wants to move to an open book management approach? “DO IT!” You have to take some first steps and don’t try to over plan it. Figure it out as you go and be willing to make changes as you learn what works and what doesn’t work. What do I say to anyone that is opposed to open book management? “You’re making a big mistake.”

Business person

I’ve always been a firm believer in the fact that most people come to work and want to do a good job. Yes, there are people out there who want to screw around and screw up in the process; don’t hire those people.

If they are on your team right now, trade them for a better player. When you teach people about financial literacy, when you develop a common goal that everyone can rally around, when you make results visible, and when you focus on hiring the right people, results happen.

Is open book management easy? “Absolutely not”. In fact, I believe creating the open book management framework and the mindset is far more difficult than running a business “traditionally”. However, once you get the right combination of people and once you get these folks educated and focused on continuous learning, everyone is much happier. The side effect–results improve drastically!


When it comes to getting started in open book management, these are the critical steps you need to have in place! Along with education, having the right players on the right seat is crucial to your success. Come back next week as we discuss more business tips to help you company grow and prosper.