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Veronica Farmer
Director of Operations
Kanata North Business Association

Knowing I would be writing an introduction on the hugely important topic of culture for our Kanata North community initially caused me to sweat profusely. I agonized about how little I knew – which then prompted me to engage in my own anecdotal

I spoke with a handful of tech and business leaders from our community to gather their perspectives on the importance and impact of culture and community. I wanted to validate my hypothesis that culture does play a key role in the overall success of a non-tech business or tech company. From employee to CEO, I got a
resounding “YES!”

Culture matters. However, culture is not about being cool or even being a “best place to work.” I learned it’s about being successful. Successful companies directly connect their culture to what drives their success.

Check it out – there are multiple studies that indicate culture is strongly tied to financial performance and business results. We intuitively know this. But what’s the secret sauce?

Determining what culture was informed my next steps. The description that most resonated with me described corporate culture as the beliefs and behaviours that determine how a company’s employees and management interact.

More specifically, your company culture defines for you and for all others how your organization does business, how your organization interacts with one another and how the team interacts with the outside world – specifically your customers, employees, partners, suppliers, media and all other stakeholders.

Other experts have said culture is the DNA or the soul of a company that provides guidelines, boundaries and expectations for teams and their stakeholders. Another perspective is that culture is the primary platform to inspire and motivate employees, and that is the most powerful resource we have to attract, recruit, hire and retain the highest level of talent. It makes sense that the best talent wants to work with the best companies, and that the best people are the catalyst for creating ongoing business success.

Companies in our Kanata North tech community deal with a variety of pressures, from
global competition to rapid tech changes to a persistent need for talent and a means to retain that talent. Companies with strong business models and innovative tech or services often succeed. Those with strong cultures, however, soar.

Fostering a unique or robust corporate culture is a vital component to business success. Kanata North business and HR leaders tell me culture starts at the very beginning of the employment cycle, but really gets engaged at the onboarding stage. Talking candidly, they felt that in between the on-the-job training and “meet the CEO and the management team,” there’s a critical knowledge transfer of the company’s history, values, traditions and direction. Companies and businesses need to make culture real, permanent and clear to all.

My take? Culture matters, and those companies or business that make culture a priority and invest in it, can make a big difference to productivity, performance and success.

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