Press Releases

ZingTrain’s 2-Day “Fun, Flavorful Finance” Seminar Helps
Business Leaders Involve Staff for Improved Financial Outlook (10/08)

For immediate release
December 3, 2008
For information contact: Ann Agler
[email protected]

Business leaders from across the country come to Ann Arbor to learn about the system that has Zingerman’s Community of Businesses forecasting a $2.5 million increase in sales over last year – despite facing the most challenging economy in decades.

Taught by subject-matter experts from throughout the organization, including Zingerman’s co-founder Ari Weinzwieg and Vice President of Administration Ron Maurer, ZingTrain’s exclusive “Fun, Flavorful Finance” seminar reveals all the details of Zingerman’s common sense, open book approach to operating the organization. This program is guaranteed to provide tools to reduce leadership stress and help businesses create an environment where all staff  are committed to, and deliver on, improving financial performance.

“Open book finance is one of the two or three keys to creating a great and enduring business and a culture that attracts and keeps the best people around,” notes Bo Burlingham, editor-at-large of Inc. magazine and author of Small Giants: Companies That Choose To Be Great Instead of Big. “Never has open book finance been more important than right now, when you need the brains of everyone in your organization to ride out the rough economy and make sure you emerge from it stronger than ever.” He adds, “This seminar should be at the top of every company’s list of can’t-miss training courses. Once you implement what you learn here, your only regret will be that you didn’t do it sooner.”

Zingerman’s Community of Businesses first became acquainted with open book finance in the mid 1990s when co-founder Ari Weinzweig read contemporary business experts Jack Stack and Bo Burlingham’s insightful book on the subject, The Great Game of Business.  Zingerman’s has now been practicing open book finance for over a decade, adapting an approach that is designed to help manage through all kinds of circumstances, including the current economic turmoil.

In the open book system, an organization’s entire staff participates in the financial workings of the business. Staff members don’t just passively see the numbers — they’re actively involved in managing them and are responsible for results. Huge surprises are avoided and when the numbers aren’t great, everyone can make informed decisions to help improve the financial bottom-line.

“When it’s done well, open book management is about teaching everyone here how business really works and then about actively involving them in the running of that business,” explains Weinzweig. “We see the difference in our finances, and also in the way people here feel about their work.  If you ask most any of our staff about how ‘being open book’ alters the way they respond to the economic challenges of this time, they’re going to pretty likely say something like, ‘If things aren’t good, we all know. And then we can all work together to get back on track.’”

Upcoming sessions of ZingTrain’s 2-day Fun, Flavorful Finance seminar are scheduled for  March 9-10, 2009 and May 18-19, 2009. Cost for each session is $945 and seating is limited. Call 734.930.1919 or go to to reserve space.