CultureCon 2019: 5 Key Takeaways

Updated: May 13

Written by CultureCon Co-Founders, Nick Lombardino and Zach Blumenfeld

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Make Connections. Get Inspired. Change Culture.

Figure 1. CultureCon 2019 Group Photo

On July 17th and 18th, more than 400 #CultureGeeks traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to experience CultureCon 2019. As a second-year conference, we were thrilled to see a 50% increase in headcount with attendees traveling from 18 different states and two countries. As organizers, we’ve spent the last month reflecting on the growth and gathering feedback from attendees. Now, we’re excited to share our annual ‘5 Key Takeaways.’


1. The future of work is changing. Fast.


The accelerated pace of the Digital and Information Revolutions have created unprecedented, hyper-competitive markets. According to the 2018 Corporate Longevity Forecast, the 33-year average tenure of companies on the S&P 500 in 1964 narrowed to 24 years by 2016 and is forecast to shrink to just 12 years by 2027 (source: Innosight, "2018 Corporate Longevity Forecast: Creative Destruction is Accelerating). To remain viable, companies of every shape and size are making complex, rapid changes to their personnel, processes and technology. Without an engaged and inspired workforce, these large-scale changes become extremely difficult to implement, manage and sustain. For these reasons, and many others, “culture” has become the single greatest competitive advantage an organization can harness.


Our attendees learned from industry leading professionals with widespread expertise spanning neuroscience, employee engagement, corporate social responsibility, diversity, equity & inclusion, mindfulness, change management and many other disciplines.


Attendees came from organizations big and small, and traveled from across the US and Canada to learn how they can become cultural change agents within their organizations.


Figure 3. CultureCon 2019 Attendee Geography (Red = attended)



2. Human Connection


The number one reason why individuals decided to attend CultureCon 2019: Human Connection. Although the content shared at CultureCon is of critical importance, it is the human element that provides our attendees with the inspiration they need to be cultural change agents. When attendees interact with fellow #CultureGeeks, they're hearing stories, vetting ideas, offering feedback, forming new relationships and creating shared accountability.


See our attendees making personal connections in our CultureCon 2019 recap video:


3. "Be the change you want to see in the world office.”


Ok ok, we know it's wrong to mess with Gandhi, just hang tight...


When we consider shifting an entire organization's culture, it's only natural to think of it as a "heavy lift." We get anxious thinking about all of the hierarchies, processes, policies and procedures that can be so closely intermingled with an organization's culture, and although these are very important structural considerations, the real change effort lies at the individual level. Caleb Campbell, Chief of Staff at BlueTree Network and Opening Keynote at CultureCon 2019, put it best when he said, "If we want the collective to be great, it requires every individual devoting themselves to be great."


Regardless of our respective roles or titles, we must first take ownership of our own thoughts and actions. By taking the time to explore our unique values and intrinsic motivators, we can bring our 'best-self' to work each day. That 'best-self' is an unstoppable, infectious force of positive energy.


CultureCon 2019 attendees came from industries of all shapes and sizes, with titles across the board

Figure 3. CultureCon 2019 Attendee Titles

4. Theory Into Action


During CultureCon 2018, we experimented by offering our attendees breakout sessions that were either grounded in theory ("science") or application ("art"). What we found was that although our attendees appreciated theory, if their wasn't pragmatic application, it wasn't actionable. Through this feedback, CultureCon 2019 was rooted in action. Every session offered 3 Actionable Takeaways that attendees could immediately act upon within their organizations.


5. What's Trending


At the conclusion of each conference, we compile attendee feedback and publish the presentations that garnished the most positive attention. The intent is to not only recognize the speakers for their thought leadership and engagement, but to call-out cultural topics and trends that arise.


For exclusive access to CultureCon presentations, recorded sessions, webinars, discounted tickets, and special events, join our CultureCon Community (CCCommunity) by visiting www.cultureconusa.org/cccommunity.


6. [Bonus] Gratitude


As conference organizers, we're so fortunate to surround ourselves with incredible human beings who are committed to the movement of inspiring positive change around organizational culture, but our ability to commune as #CultureGeeks cannot happen without the generosity and support of our Sponsors. These organizations are leading the change and creating incredible experiences for their employees to flourish personally and professionally. Hats off to our CultureCon 2019 Sponsors...



Figure 4. CultureCon 2019 Sponsors



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About CultureCon:

CultureCon is on mission to impact the workplace by connecting humans to inspire positive change around organizational culture. Our annual conference is hosted in beautiful Madison, Wisconsin. The event includes keynote speakers, breakout presentations, engaging workshops, networking opportunities, community give-back programs, The Innovation Hall, and much, much more.


For more information on our upcoming events, visit www.cultureconusa.org/tickets


Make Connections. Get Inspired. Change Culture.

CultureCon LLC

311 North Hancock Street

Madison, WI  53703

Tel: (608) 291-5055

info@cultureconusa.org

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