After the rush of holiday business at our store, I decided to get everyone (all 5 of us) involved in cleaning up, fixing up and sprucing up. So I tried playing “Go For Broke.” (I remembered reading about a version of this game in Paul Hawken’s book, Growing a Business.)
I took the little cork board and covered it in money: $5 bills, $10 bills, and a few $20 bills. Then I posted an explanation:
- Find anything that needs to be fixed, cleaned or straightened
- Fix it
- Write a note with what you did
- Take the right bill for what the task was worth
I realize now that this is a bit of a small town idea. It’s based on the fact that I trusted everyone who worked here.
Once we got going, I listed a few tasks I’d noticed, like straightening up all the gift wrap supplies, dusting the silk flowers in the office, and cleaning the window frames inside and outside. (I should have done this right at first.)
How did it go? Here’s the project board mid-way through. Notice all the colored notes with completed tasks!
Everyone pitched in and did at least a couple of things. A couple of people did lots. Most times, people took less money than I might have offered for a task, and they would combine several tasks together to add up. Lots of creative ideas came up as people looked for things that needed attention. It got everyone looking around the building with fresh eyes. On each note of accomplishment, I gave some encouragement. Bigger tasks got more encouragement. When even bigger ideas came out, I added a couple of $50 bills.
My friend and coach Rob Hatch said it was a way of establishing the culture. I just thought it was fun, and it worked. As we get ready for the holidays this year, I’ll be posting a new version with all new tasks to get us in shape for the big rush to come.
- Downtown is your town’s core: How to make your case - February 22, 2021
- Zoom Towns: attracting and supporting remote workers in rural small towns - December 10, 2020
- In an economic crisis, spend your brainpower before your dollars - November 25, 2020
- Video: How to fill empty car dealership buildings for the holidays - November 6, 2020
- How has 2020 changed the challenges rural small towns face? Tell us here - October 20, 2020
- The Idea Friendly Method to surviving a business crisis - October 6, 2020
- Join me for the Rural Renewal Symposium online Oct 13 - September 26, 2020
- Cheap placemaking idea: instant murals - September 11, 2020
- Refilling the rural business pipeline - July 7, 2020
- Huge vacant buildings: grants to renovate? - June 9, 2020