After joining just last year, Focal Pointe Outdoor Solutions hosted the 2nd annual Better Than Both peer group meeting in St. Louis on Aug. 7-9. John Munie, Focal Pointe’s owner, credits the peer group’s networking and learning leading to his company’s improvements within only the past year. Seven companies participated in this year’s peer group event including: Native Land Design, Level Green Landscaping, Duke’s Landscape Management, Focal Pointe Outdoor Solutions, Greenscape Inc., Mike Ward Landscaping and Conserve LandCare.

Focal Pointe Outdoor Solutions

Focal Pointe Outdoor Solutions

Thanks to the St. Louis Cardinals, the three-day event was held at Busch Stadium, which included a facility tour, a Cardinals game and meetings in the stadium’s conference center. A total of 111 people attended the “Home Run” summit, including company owners, employees and sponsors. It was an increase from the 86 attendees last year in Austin.

To kick off the day on Tuesday, Rob Wolff, an executive with High Performing Culture, discussed how important it is for an organization to have a winning culture. Improving the culture of your company helps drive success and performance.

St. Louis Cardinals Stadium

Bruce Wilson, a landscape industry consultant and facilitator for the BTB peer group and others, along with his colleague Pam Stark, spoke with the group about successful cultural traits. Even if a company doesn’t talk about the culture or define it, a culture will still develop. Company leadership needs to decide what direction the culture of the company should take. Cultures can evolve positively or negatively, but a profitable growth culture must be built around company values.

The companies then split up into groups to discuss their own cultures and ways they could improve. They analyzed their company’s good and bad qualities and applied an eight-step framework to make a better culture.

Ben Gandy

Ben Gandy during a presentation at the Better Than Both peer group meeting.

On the second day, the companies split into tracks based on job positions. Christine Soderlund talked to administration teams about building an army of recruiters and the how to interview for hiring success. Recruiting is not a one-time event — companies should always be looking for good people. Good hiring is fundamental to building good teams. Pam Stark spoke with the sales teams about building clients for life. Clients pay the bills and employ the team so their retention is crucial to success. Other speakers included Ben Gandy, who talked about influencing people’s behavior based on personality traits.

Mike Ward Landscaping

Mike Ward Landscaping

Sponsors of the event included: John Deere, SiteOne, the Cardinals, CAT, Exmark, Toro, Super Lawn Trucks, Aspire, Isuzu and Apparel Manufacturing. Many of the sponsors came to the event and even stayed for some of the sessions. Bruce Wilson said the presence of the sponsors at the event really shows the power of partnership.

Greenscape, Inc.

Greenscape, Inc.