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Business

B2B Seminar Offers Strategies for Building the Right Team for Your Business

Montecito Bank & Trust hosts John Rodriguez of The Table Group, who says honest communication is the first step to success

Feedback is healthy for any business. Taking it a step further by establishing a foundation for honest communication and recognizing what sometimes prevents it are the keys to building a cohesive team, according to John Rodriguez, co-founder of The Table Group who spoke Thursday night at Montecito Bank & Trust’s Business to Business (B2B) event.

“The question is, do you feel comfortable actually passing it along, and do you know what gets in the way of that?” he said.

About 200 people attended the B2B event, titled “Putting Together the Right Team for Your Growing Business,” at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort.

Rodriguez offered four disciplines of a healthy organization and strategies to overcome a team’s dysfunctions. A panel of three CEOs joined the discussion, including Dr. Philip Wyatt of Wyatt Technology Corp., Gordon Hardey of Jeannine’s Restaurant and Cielito Restaurant, and Jeff Slay of Neovia Insurance Services.

A business’ health receives disproportionately little attention from leaders in most organizations, said Rodriguez, who added that a healthy business requires an environment with minimal politics, little confusion, high morale, high productivity and low turnover.

One of the reasons for Wyatt Technology Corp.‘s average employee tenure of 6.5 years is a weekly rule that each employee send three sentences to the CEO of the company — what they did this week, what’s planned for next week and if there are any problems, Wyatt said.

“Any employee should be able to go right to the top, and sometimes these have been problems they can never see from up there,” he said. “Hopefully, employees can contact the CEO and president with confidence.”

Rodriguez outlined four disciplines each business should practice: building and maintaining a cohesive leadership team by openly engaging in conflict and recognizing strengths and weaknesses, creating organizational clarity through clear guidelines and goals, over-communicating organizational clarity through multiple mediums, and reinforcing organizational clarity through human systems.

When The Table Group asked Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly how his airline differentiates itself, Kelly’s answer was simple.

“He says, ‘I think the things that make us great, most competitors think are below them,’” Rodriguez said.

The five dysfunctions of a team are absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results. Business leaders must help overcome them by being vulnerable, demanding debate, forcing clarity and closure, confronting difficult issues and focusing on collective outcomes, Rodriguez said.

“Do you put greater good of the team above yourself?” he asked. “That’s what we’re looking for.”

The last event of the series, titled “Social Media for Your Growing Business,” will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the DoubleTree. Click here to register or for more information.

Author and entrepreneur Peter Shankman will discuss new ways of thinking about social media in regards to public relations, marketing, advertising and customer service. Local social media experts Lynda Weinman of Lynda.com, Shawn Mulchay of SocialMash Media and UCSB Web analytic professor Nikki Gauthier will join the panel discussion.

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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