The Future Of Company Culture Development: Notes From Toronto’s First #CultureConnect Event

Toronto’s first ever #CultureConnect  brought together the city’s best company culture experts, founders, manages, HR experts, and startup teams for casual networking over drinks and snacks, an expert panel, followed by lively and engaging participant-driven breakout discussions.

The event was designed to help participants reflect on their company’s culture, and provide them with tools, resources, and support to boost employee engagement, and increase employee retention, productivity, profitability and happiness at work.

Dovetail Canada and Shopify partnered to plan and host the event, with event space, drinks, and snacks generously donated by Shopify.  Our media sponsors at Now Creative live-tweeted the panel and breakout session discussions, and took photos.

The amazing team of expert panelists included:

Dave Holmes, Mayor of G-Adventures

Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh, Culture Ambassador at Shopify TO

Robyn Ross, Country Manager at Tilt

Adil Dhalla, Director of Culture at The Centre for Social Innovation

The breakout sessions were hosted and facilitated by panelists at stations around the venue, with guiding questions to help participants gain as much as possible from the event. Guiding questions included:

Robyn Ross, Tilt: Remote Employee & Office Culture. How can you maintain culture as your company expands, with remote/ satellite offices and employees? How similar to headquarters should the culture of remote offices be? How much autonomy should remote offices have, in the building and development of their culture?

Dave Holmes, G Adventures: Engaging Millenials + Why Purpose Matters. How can company culture best engage Millenials? What are some specific action steps that you can take to engage Millenials in your workplace? Why does purpose matter, and how do you align employees with your company's purpose?

Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh, Shopify: Shared Ownership of Company Culture. How can you and your senior leadership team/ culture team move your culture from “me” to “we” format? (Culture shouldn't be owned exclusively by one person/ team, it's something that employees should all feel comfortable participating in and impacting).

Adil Dhalla, Centre for Social Innovation:  Breaking Broken Cultures. How do you fix a broken culture and what are the signs that it's broken to begin with?

The discussion groups were highly interactive, and participants benefitted from the opportunity to share challenges, successes, and experiences around building company culture, and developing successful teams in a wide range of industries and companies.

Here are some of the highlights from the event, courtesy of our media and live-tweeting sponsors at Now Creative, and a few tweeting participants: