Jeff Backal and Merrick Rosenberg have been partners in Team Builders Plus for twenty years. Over that time their team of trainers and facilitators has worked with thousands of businesses including over 60 of the current Fortune 100 as well as smaller mid-market companies.
They’ve had lots of successes with their clients as well as being named aPhilly 100 company, an Inc 500 company and New Jersey Business of the Year but Jeff is particularly proud of being one of the “Best Places to Work” in Philly.
“We’ve got a great culture,” says Jeff. “We even spent a New Year’s Eve in the Poconos with all of our staff and their spouses and children, which was a suggestion from a Team Builders Plus employee. I don’t think many people want to spend a holiday weekend with their co-workers and bosses. This says a lot to me about the culture we have created.”
And – like most successful businesses, they’ve also had a few bumps along the way. Or “learning experiences” as Jeff likes to call them.
“Breakdown creates break-through,” he shared with me recently in a conversation. “You can’t grow the company without taking some risks and sometimes they don’t always work the way that you’d like them to.”
One of those “experiences” came back in the ‘90s, when they were doing primarily fun outdoor team building programs. Then, they were introduced to Carlson Learning (now Inscape Publishing) and realized that there was a whole realm of training out there that they could possibly offer to clients.
“So we started offering all sorts of things…for several years. For example, we facilitated time management, the DISC model, stress management, and project management… But in the process we became unfocused. Other than the DISC, all of the other services took us away from our strength around team building and as a result we did not see the growth we were accustomed to.”
So, over a series of conversations, Merrick and Jeff sat down and asked themselves ‘What’s not working here?’ What are we thebest at and how can we really add value to our clients?”
“And – we decided to go back to our core strength which was team building – whether it’s just designed to have a fun team bonding experience or really dig in to the team and the individual dynamics and how those dynamics can be improved to accelerate performance.”
He adds thoughtfully, “We also learned that just because someone is willing to pay you for it, if you can’t knock it out of the park, you should turn it down.”
The Result? The company’s growth got back on track.
“In the end, our clients respected us for turning programs down as opposed to creating something that we had no expertise in and – we became the “go to” company for Team Building. It was a great business decision.”
AND, they’ve recently turned their insights into a new book, “Taking Flight!: Master the Four Behavioral Styles and Transform Your Career, Your Relationships…Your Life”. It’s written by Merrick and Daniel Silvert (one of their trainers) and is a great “business fable” on communication skills and styles. Check it out at by clicking here. Or come see why Ken Blanchard, Marshall Goldsmith and John Gray endorsed their book at their October Book Signing.
And if YOU’VE had some bumps, or even some major potholes over the past year in your business – sign up NOW for the “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” Four Decisions Executive Workshop on Thursday, December 8th and get you and your business re-focused and back on track for 2012!