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Agenda and Speakers

Corporate Culture 2018: From Engagement, to Experience to ExecutionJan 29–30, 2018 Toronto

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Monday, January 29, 2018

7:45 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:15 AM Opening Remarks from the Chair
Brewer <br />  
Executive Program Developer
The Conference Board of Canada
8:30 AM Plenary Session 1
Culture May Eat Strategy, But You Still Need a Strategy

Drucker's axiom that "culture eats strategy" may be one of the most overused phrases in management today. And while it is true, there is a danger that its ubiquity will render it meaningless.

Too many organizations fall into the trap of either putting strategy first and adjusting the culture to fit the strategy, or simply pay lip service to the culture in the name of strategy execution.

In this opening discussion David Cohen will share his perspective on some of the common misunderstandings surrounding organizational culture. While you may not agree with everything he has to say, you will have the opportunity to question some of your own assumptions to refine and deepen your own understanding of what culture means in your organization and how best to approach changing it.

David hopes that through dialogue you will engage with delegates to learn from one another and broaden your perspective on the topic.

Cohen <br />  
Founder and Principle Consultant
Strategic Action Group, Ltd.
9:15 AM Plenary Session 2
Cultural Foundations: Trust in Leadership. Transparency and Employee Experience

While you can't mandate corporate culture from the top of the organization, few doubt the influence that leaders have over the work environment—the tone, how work gets done, the level of commitment, a feeling one can innovate…

As President of Intuit Canada, Jeff Cates has made culture a priority. In this session he will discuss how his emphasis on trust, transparency, high performance, and innovation have combined to create one of the best companies to work for in Canada.

He will share the importance of being in it for the long haul as he discusses some of the challenges the organization has faced and overcome as it has sought to maintain a positive culture over the years.

Fudge <br />  
Head of Customer Success
Intuit Canada
10:00 AM Networking and Fitness Break

UPnGO with ParticipACTION will lead delegates in some simple stretching exercises, before we begin our networking break

10:30 AM Plenary Session 3
Waking A Sleeping Giant—How Microsoft Succeeded By Putting Culture at the Heart of Transformation

"Microsoft's CEO has stopped infighting, restored morale and created more than $250 billion in market value. All it took was focussing on what matters most"

—Fast Company, September 2017

The revitalization of Microsoft under CEO Satya Nadella is one of the great business stories of the 21st Century. And at its heart, it is a story of how to change a culture. This is your opportunity to hear this from Microsoft Canada's HR leader Cherise Mendoza.

In this session, Cherise will share some of the key cultural changes Microsoft needed to make in order to adapt to a rapidly changing environment and reconnect with some of the founding principles that had powered its initial growth and made it such a dominant force in technology and business.

This process emphasised learning and innovation and has built the culture on a growth mindset, obsessed with the customer, committed to diversity and inclusion and making a difference. This change has involved both clear decisive leadership from the top and change driven by employees.

Mendoza <br />  
Vice-President, Human Resources
Microsoft Canada Inc.
11:15 AM Plenary Session 4
GoodLife Fitness' Culture Journey: Matching Culture to Strategy and Redefining Hiring for Fit

With over one million members, more than 320 clubs across the country, and over 13,000 employees, GoodLife Fitness is Canada's largest, most successful fitness company.

In this session, Alana Free will discuss how the company culture has contributed to their success. She will also share the challenge of running two brands, GoodLife Fitness and the value oriented chain Fit for Less, and how both cultures share a common core but also differences.

She will also discuss the idea of "hire for fit" and how to align this with a commitment to diversity—a commitment illustrated in their upcoming profile in the new TV series Employable Me.

Free <br />  
Vice-President, People and Culture
GoodLife Fitness
12:00 PM Networking Luncheon
1:00 PM Plenary Session 5
Building a Culture of Character

Building on Jeff Cates' personal leadership story, this session will examine the role of leadership ethics and character, and their impact on culture.

Many of the major corporate crises of recent years are partly the result of poor leader character, including the Volkswagen emissions scandal, BP's failure to deal with the biggest ever environmental disaster in North America, the corruption and fraud scandal faced by the SNC-Lavalin Group, the collapse of Enron, and many problems in the banking sector that led up to the financial crisis in 2008. The importance of leader character to leader effectiveness and organizational performance is undisputed. What remains a challenge for many organizations is how to develop character.

Gerard will focus on four areas. First, ways in which individuals can work on developing their own character strengths. Second, ways in which organizations can contribute to character development of both individuals and the character of the organization itself. Third, these processes must occur if individuals and organizations are to be successful in the contexts within which they operate. Fourth, the results from character development will yield critical benefits to the individual and organization, thereby justifying the effort it takes.

Seijts <br />  
Professor, Organizational Behaviour, Ivey Business School
Western University
2:00 PM Plenary Session 6
Mission Possible: Using Culture to Drive Your Strategy

Is your Strategic Plan merely a poster on the wall? Thriving organizations know that without a creative and comprehensive plan to engage the frontlines, your corporate vision will remain just that— a vision. Wondering how to bring your plan to life, inspire your teams, and ensure strategy is everyone’s job? Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) will share how it is transforming its culture to drive strategy and improve performance. By aligning goals and values, explaining the “why” and connecting the dots, you can unlock your employee’s imagination, boost engagement, and make your mission possible.

Legue <br />  
Vice-President, Strategy, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
2:45 PM Refreshment and Fitness Break

UPnGO with ParticipACTION will take the stage to lead the group through another exercise before the break

3:00 PM Plenary Session 7
Culture Change By Design: Developing an Action Plan For Leaders

Despite all the recent attention on culture, it can remain a murky concept for some. For some it is all about values, for others it is "how we do things around here" while others identify culture with employee engagement.

Within all the definitions lies a tension between culture as something that organically develops once leadership has set a course, and the idea that culture is the conscious outcome of a design like process.

In large part cultures are the manifestation of the intended and unintended consequences of behaviours, policies, procedures and strategies that in turn influences them.

In this session you will learn about a governance model for culture that provides leaders with a tool to guide and direct culture to ensure it supports the organiation's strategy. Because it is not just what leaders believe that matters for culture, but what they do and the systems they support and implement.

Iwasaki <br />  
Head of Corporate Governance, Professional Insights
3:45 PM Plenary Session 8
Leaders as Learners: Why Curiosity Killed the Cat but Creates the Culture

Having discussed in previous sessions the characters and context for leadership, this closing session of the day will look at how leaders need to be learners if they want to create sustainable cultures.

Too often we think of leaders and culture as fixed entities whereas in fact both are subject to constant change. For this change to be progressive and directed, leaders at all levels need to embrace learning as a core of their leadership practice.

Popescu <br />  
Senior Advisory Consultant
4:30 PM Closing Remarks from the Chair
Brewer <br />  
Executive Program Developer
The Conference Board of Canada
4:45 PM Day 1 Adjourns

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

7:45 AM Continental Breakfast
8:15 AM Plenary Session 9
Changing Culture One Game at a Time

Gamification is one of the hottest topics in the area of change, culture, and employee engagement. Employed properly it can be a highly effective tool to encourage behaviour change, which is why many learning and development, and change practitioners within organizations are exploring its use.

Jason Suriano has more than 14 years' experience having created over 200 online, mobile, and game-powered applications for clients. In this session, he will explain the principles of gamification and share examples of how organizations are using this approach to increase engagement and reinforce and support positive cultures.

Joining Jason will be Brad Gerad from UPnGO with ParticipACTION who are running our fitness breaks. Brad will share how they use gamification as part of their wellness initiatives and some of the intended and unintended cultural consequences.

Suriano <br />  
Chief Executive Officer
Trajectory IQ
Gerard <br />  
Program Director
UPnGO with ParticipACTION
9:15 AM Plenary Session 10
Beyond Happiness: Unleashing Results by Letting Employees Bring Their Soul to Work

Scott Moorehead, the CEO of TCC Verizon, hired Ryan McCarty to help create a Culture of Good for the largest Verizon Authorized Retailers, comprised of 3,000 employees at 800 stores across the U.S. The duo started a powerful movement. Employees have done everything from dressing up as superheroes for a children's hospital, to distributing hundreds of thousands of backpacks for kids. This movement has grown into a business, showing other companies that inspired employees can ignite positive change in the world and impact your bottom line - positively.

In this session, Ryan will share how it is possible to put the question, "What happens when companies offer more than jobs or careers and get in the business of offering callings to employees?" at the heart of your organization. The result is that when companies give their employees permission to care, they create a movement of people who share their value for social responsibility. When employees are empowered to bring their soul to work they join a movement that redefines their role in their work that drives retention and drives performance.

McCarty <br />  
The Culture of Good
10:00 AM Networking and Fitness Break

UPnGO with ParticipACTION will lead the group in a final stetching exercise before the networking break

10:15 AM Plenary Session 11
Building and Sustaining a Positive Culture From and For Generations

Urban Systems has been a top ranked employer for well over a decade. During that time the organization has been able to retain highly experienced professionals while attracting the best and brightest next generation of urban designers and engineers.

Urban Systems' President, Steve Frith, will share the organization's story focusing on how it has been able to create a culture that crosses generational boundaries to create a community of collaboration, innovation and celebration.

Frith <br />  
Urban Systems Ltd.
10:55 AM Plenary Session 12
Careers and Cultures: Building Engagement and Performance by Focusing on What Matters Most to Employees

EPCOR is an Edmonton owned utility company that is regularly recognized as a top employer in Alberta. At EPCOR, hard work, dedication, and teamwork are at the heart of what they do. Employees take pride in working for a company that provides essential services and cares about the community./p>

In this session Mark Johnson will describe how EPCOR has achieved breakthrough improvements in employee engagement by focusing on the things that matter most to employees. He will discuss how high engagement and productivity are the results of building a culture of engagement and not just building action plans in response to survey results.

Johnson <br />  
Director, Human Resources Operations and Talent Management
EPCOR Utilities Inc.
11:35 AM Plenary Session 13
Creating and Sustaining a Great Workplace Culture: The Incredible Story of Shopify

"How did Shopify become one of Canada's most successful technology companies? By letting its employees work the way they want"

—Globe and Mail, September 2017

Few would argue with the assertion that Shopify is the most successful Canadian technology company of recent years—and possibly ever. And while great technology, customer focus, and innovation have all played their part in this success, the corporate culture has been a vital driver of growth.

In this session Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh will provide insight into the workplace culture Shopify has cultivated and how it has been able to sustain this core culture while growing dramatically and open locations across North America.

As described in The Globe and Mail, this is a culture "where collaboration, cooperation and creativity can spark in unexpected ways between the most unlikely people." The company's physical locations reflect this openness-office spaces that encourage collaboration, motivate high performance, and exemplify the spirit of transparency and curiosity that drive the business.

Hasfal-McIntosh <br />  
Culture Specialist Lead
12:15 PM Closing Remarks from the Chair
Brewer <br />  
Executive Program Developer
The Conference Board of Canada
12:30 PM Conference Adjourns


We’d like to thank our generous sponsors for their contribution to this event.

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UPnGO with ParticipACTION logo

The Tatham Group logo


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Marketing Partner


Special Contributor

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Travel Partner

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