29.05.2017

Barry Dodd CBE
– addressing an audience of local business leaders at SREG’s Newby Hall Garden event, Barry  talks about his experience of building a successful business and some of the lessons he had learned along the way.

Barry is amongst Yorkshire’s most successful entrepreneurs and wealth creators. Amongst his many entrepreneurial achievements is the Global Service and Manufacturing Group. GSM Group is a multinational with four manufacturing plants in the UK, which he created from a two person start up in North Yorkshire.

Barry Dodd CBE

When recruiting and managing staff, Barry considers eight words that makes leading a business easier.
1. The Big Picture: Ensuring that your staff are clear about what it is the organisation is trying achieve will help them to focus upon the important things that affect the business and not get bogged down in trivial aspects of their job.

2. Communication: Keep staff informed, not just about things that concern their role, but also about the wider organisation. At GSM, staff are briefed daily on the immediate issues affecting that day’s work and anything that may be going on within the GSM Group.

3. Consistency: That is not to say that the organisation should not develop and change as it grows, but if things are continually changing and staff are always having to remember what happens to be the latest ‘flavour of the month’, this will only go on to create organisational stress, conflict and confusion.

4. Optimism: Maintaining a positive approach to business will permeate throughout the organisation enabling all staff to more effectively overcome the challenges they will encounter.

Assess People. The next four words relate to how one should assess candidates when recruiting staff.

5 & 6 Attitude vs Aptitude: You will already have shortlisted your candidates according to their skills and experience, but their ability to fit the culture of the organisation is essential. An attitude that does not fit with the ethos of one’s colleagues will not only make it difficult for them to do their job effectively, but can seriously disrupt the workplace.
7 & 8 Innovator vs Operator: Different roles within your organisation will require a different balance of abilities. An imbalance here will lead to frustration and incompetence.

Ten years ago Barry decided to devote one day per week to unpaid public service, amongst which is his role as Chairman of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership. The appointment followed a long and impressive record of public service. Barry’s past appointments include
– Board membership of Yorkshire Forward,
– Chair of CONNECT Yorkshire,
– Chair of Yorkshire and Humber Sustainable Development Company
– Vice Chair of Business Link, York and North Yorkshire.

His current public sector activities include Member UK Automotive Industry Council, and Chair and Pro-Chancellor of University of Hull. In 2006 he was awarded an OBE for services to business and the economy in Yorkshire, followed by a CBE in the 2014 New Year Honours list for services to the UK economy.
In 2014 Barry was announced as Lord-Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, the Queen’s official representative for the district

Barry is also Chairman and major shareholder of a number of high tech software and systems companies, including Varlink, a fast growing distributor of mobile computing products

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