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The Gathering of Games 2014
Skeleton Key

Skeleton Key

Company Background

Skeleton Key is a technology consulting and custom software development firm based in St. Louis, MO, with additional satellite offices in Columbia, Joplin and Nixa, MO. Founded in 2004 by Mark Richman and Oliver Block, the company embraced the idea of financial transparency early on. But it wasn't until 2009, when they began implementing other elements of The Great Game of Business such as identifying critical numbers and creating accurate forecasting through the High Involvement Planning process, that the company became financially sustainable.

Great Game Solutions

Recognizing that their business was in trouble, Richman and Block turned to coach Bill Collier to help them implement Great Game principles at Skeleton Key – beginning with some intensive financial literacy training for themselves. “The first lesson was having the courage to admit to ourselves and our associates that we didn't have the skills or the tools to easily solve our problems,” says Richman. “We needed to begin holding ourselves accountable for our performance.”


  • Explosive growth: Revenue is up 57% from 2009 to 2011. Revenues are expected to climb to $4.8 million in 2016.
  • Bottom line improvements: Profit margins went from -5% in 2009 to 5.5% in 2011.
  • Hiring spree: The firm has grown from four associates in 2006 to 12 in 2012 while enjoying little to no turnover.
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