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Leadership Springfield plays Great Game of Business

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Capping off her first year as Leadership Springfield’s first executive director, Carrie Richardson is leading the organization’s implementation of the Great Game of Business.

Speaking this morning as Springfield Business Journal’s guest for the monthly 12 People You Need to Know live interview series, Richardson said the nonprofit community-based leadership development organization will officially start utilizing the open-book style management system on July 23. GGOB calls on companies and nonprofits to open their financial books to employees, giving them a feel for how they can impact the bottom line.

The rollout next week is an extension of what the Leadership Springfield board started last year, when it began projecting year-end financials. The organization’s 3.5 full-time equivalent staff members, who operate within a $300,000 budget, will begin weekly projections of month-end financials, Richardson said.

“I know every single day, the staff knows every single day, every board member knows every single day where we are with our money. We know how much we need to bring in. We know where we’re at with forecasting,” she said. “It drives decisions that we make and it drives overall how we operate.”

Richardson said the board last year projected where Leadership Springfield wanted to land financially after the group became an independent organization in March 2018 after 34 years as an affiliate program of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. Richardson started in July 2018 as Leadership Springfield’s first executive director.

“We knew in December where we wanted to end the year,” she said. “We just found out we’re maybe a couple hundred dollars off our forecast, which is amazing.”

Richardson credited Katie Davis, a GGOB coach who previously implemented the open-book system as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, with helping Leadership Springfield transition to the management style. Richardson added Leadership Springfield is a pilot organization for how small employers can implement the GGOB.

“How do we take the Great Game of Business and apply it to such a small staff and a nonprofit?” Richardson said. “We’re really excited about that.”

Next month, Richardson will be busy as Leadership Springfield launches its next two Signature Class programs for business and community leaders. The two classes are scheduled to start Aug. 28 and graduate June 9, 2020, SBJ previously reported. Richardson also pointed to the organization’s new Access Class that offers a two-day, extensive leadership development and community engagement session.

“Our mission is about forward impact,” Richardson said, noting Leadership Springfield can help employers with talent recruitment and retention.


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