Missouri Southern has been named the recipient of the 2017 Pioneer Award during the 25th annual Gathering of the Games Conference in Dallas, Texas.

The world’s largest open-book management conference confers the Pioneer Award each year to a company or organization that is the first in their field to implement and practice the methodology of the Great Game of Business, and do so at a high level. The award was accepted on the university’s behalf by Bill Gipson, vice-chair of the university’s Board of Governors, during the conference on Friday, Sept. 8.

Missouri Southern created the Great Game of Education, a first-of-its-kind initiative, by working with the Great Game division of SRC Holdings Corporation in Springfield, Mo. It seeks to create of a culture of openness, employee involvement and financial awareness on campus.

The Great Game of Education is modeled on the open-book management principles developed by Jack Stack, president and CEO of SRC Holdings. His philosophy of involving everyone in financial decisions was outlined in his 1994 book “The Great Game of Business.”

The objective of the financial training offered through the Great Game of Education is to give all employees the opportunity to understand the university scoreboard and to see how operations in their area impact the scoreboard – which in the Great Game of Business is known as “line of sight.”

Dr. Alan Marble, president of Missouri Southern, said that he was pleased that the conference recognized the university for breaking new ground in open-book management – practices which have already had a positive effect.

“The university has worked closely with GGOB to not only implement open-book management across the Missouri Southern campus, but to break new ground in how it can be successfully adapted in a higher-education setting,” said Marble. “Having the guiding principles of the Great Game behind us put us in a much better position than other institutions given the deep budget cuts seen by colleges and universities across the state.”