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Strategic Discipline Blog

The “M” Game - Open Playing Field

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Sep 25, 2023

In The “M” Game, Shannon Susko shares three things winning teams have in common: a playbook, a scoreboard, and a coach. Whether sports or business, there’s a framework these wildly successful companies follow.

The three components are:Winning Team 3 things Playbook, Scorecard, Coach The M Game

A Repeatable Playbook. A repeatable, structured process actively balances the progression of a highly cohesive team with alignment and commitment to an organizational plan for the whole team.

An Open Playing Field. The team sees each other playing the game, working together, asking for and giving help, and making things happen toward their common team goal. In the business world, this is hard to re-create—especially in our hybrid work environments. We’ll examine its value and importance in this blog.

An expert CEO+ Leadership team coach. This coach understands the playing field and the system to ensure the team is high-performing while remaining connected and aligned with the plan. The coach removes blind spots, unlocks, and creates ease, speed, and confidence in the team to reach goals sooner.

In Alignment – How Will 2012 Play Out for You? I shared a story about my high school basketball team. 14 players voted on what our team’s conference record would be. 12 believed we’d be first. Two (who were starters on the team) believed we’d finish 2nd. Our team finished coincidentally 2nd at 13-3.

Why didn’t our coach, coach us up? Why didn’t he ask the 2 players who said we’d finish 2nd, what it would take for you to join the 12 other 1st place believers?

Had he done that, could we have finished first?

1971 HS Basketball DougHe could have crafted plays, drills, and emphasis, to build habits to overcome their beliefs and strengthen the other 12 so we could beat the first-place team. For example, had they said we needed to handle the ball better and a half-court press, maybe instead of losing at home to the first-place team when we were ahead by 6 points in the 4th Quarter, we would have won instead of throwing the ball away 3 consecutive times?

I can’t replay my senior class year disappointment.

But I can remind you, that by having an open playing field, to see your strengths and weaknesses, assess each other’s contributions, make improvements, and be aware of where to raise team play, you can develop and improve.

Just as we shared in our last blog First Step to Change - Where Do You Currently Stand, knowing where you are, is the first step to change!

An Open Playing Field

A high-performing business team needs an Open Playing Field.Open Playing Field - Basketball, Baseball, Football, Soccer

All sports teams play somewhere: a field, a court, or an ice rink. That’s where they perform together to achieve a shared team goal.

The goal is winning the game by leveraging their competencies, the team’s systems and processes, and their strategized plays.

Every team has a culture, a level of cohesiveness, and clear expectations of the positions each play.

In business, too, a team has a culture, a level of cohesiveness, clarity of expectations, clarity of roles, a strategy, and an execution plan to win their game. But the playing field—or court or rink—is not always clear or open.

Shannon’s first Open Playing Field was captured in the One-Page Strategic Plan from One_Page_Strategic_Plan-1Verne Harnish’s Mastering the Rockefeller Habits execution framework.

She then created metronome software specifically to provide The Open Playing Field as a behavioral accountability platform to allow every team member to clearly see others playing the game: their functional roles, their execution, what they are accountable for, their Scorecards, and how they are measured in the context of the company’s priorities and forecasted metrics.

The Open Playing Field is one of the keys to developing a high-performing team’s transparent and accountable team behavior. Every Winning Team 3 Common things - Metronomics_TrifectaFor a sports team, the playing field is easy to use to play together; in business, this open field is harder to create to achieve the same execution focus and accountability.

The Open Playing Field mimics the sports environment to ensure the behavior required for each individual to easily commit to a team goal and stay focused on it.

The Metronomics Software contains widgets, which are non-fiscal things that flow through your business that a team member owns.

The Open Playing Field allows the whole team to own the strategy, forecast the win, and measure results, or “know the score.” Knowing the score is key to any team winning the game. In this 10-minute video, Shannon Susko lays out the Playing Field 

Need help creating an open-playing field for your business? Visit or contact us to create a behavioral accountability platform that allows every team member to clearly see others playing the game to fuel growth!

To create an environment where everyone is inspired to give their best, contact Positioning Systems today to schedule a free exploratory meeting.

Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

Metronomics Seven Systems - The House-1Metronomics framework is built around 7 systems: 3 Soft Systems, 3 Hard Systems, and the Coach Cascade system. We will share more details on these Hard & Soft systems, in the next blog.

Building an enduring great organization requires disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action, superior results, producing a distinctive impact on the world.

Discipline sustains momentum, over a long period of time, laying the foundations for lasting endurance.

4Dx Cadence of AccountabilityA winning habit starts with 3 Strategic DisciplinesPriorityMetrics, and Meeting Rhythms.   Forecasting, accountability, individual, and team performance improve dramatically.

Meeting Rhythms achieve a disciplined focus on performance metrics to drive growth.

Let Positioning Systems help your business achieve these outcomes on the Four most Important Decisions your business faces:












Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $500M+) businesses Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing! Contact to Scale Up your business! Take our Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.

NEXT BLOG – The “M” Game – Hard & Soft SystemsMetronomics Repeatable Playbook - Hard Edge - Soft Edge


Topics: 3HAG WAY, Metronomics, Winning Team, Open Playing Field, The "M" Game, Winning Teams Share Three Things, Metronomics Repeatable Playbook

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Certified Gazelles Coach

Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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