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Recap of CultureCon West - 5 Key Takeaways

Updated: Jul 25, 2023


With a Certificate of Special Recognition from United States Congress, CultureCon West become the largest inaugural event in CultureCon's history. Hosted at Santa Ana College, attendees traveled from across North America and represented eight different states to build a better modern workplace and fix the $7.8 trillion dollars of lost productivity due to employee disengagement (Gallup, 2022).

Through debrief sessions with conference stakeholders, we've zeroed in on a few core themes, lessons learned and growth opportunities to advance our mission of inspiring positive change around organizational culture.

Here is our recap of the inaugural CultureCon West, broken out into 5 Key Takeaways...

1. Culture from the inside out

(Written by Jessica Holsapple)

Inspired in part by presentations from Rae Kyriazis, Jasmine Bellamy, and Jessica Martinez

When we’re faced with difficulties in our organizations (or elsewhere) we have to look within to see if we can be a part of the change, or be the change…

The answer lies in being the leader you want to see in the world.

If you...

  • Believe in helping those in need, let your actions demonstrate the compassion and empathy you wish to see more of.

  • Understand the importance of taking ownership of your mistakes and learning from them, be a role model for accountability.

  • Recognize the transformative power of uplifting others with genuine compliments and encouragement, be the voice that uplifts and inspires those around you.

  • Are determined to achieve your goals, regardless of the challenges that come your way, let your resilience and determination motivate others to pursue their own dreams.

Here's the key takeaway:

By living your core values and being the leader you want to see in the world, you have the ability to create a positive ripple effect. Your actions can inspire and empower those around you, fostering a culture of kindness, growth, and success.

Remember that living authentically and leading by example might sometimes challenge the norm, but it is through this courageous stance that you can truly make a difference.

Embrace your uniqueness and stay true to your values, to create a positive impact on the people and the world around you.

Be the leader you want to see, and let your light guide others on their own journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

2. Taking action with an agile approach to employee listening

Inspired in part by presentations from Rob Catalano, Jessica Martinez, and L. David Kingsley

It is crucial for companies to be agile with their employee surveys and listening efforts. By swiftly gathering feedback, analyzing data, and taking visible action, organizations can create a culture of responsiveness that everyone notices. This approach demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being, fosters trust, and empowers individuals to contribute to meaningful change, ultimately driving organizational growth and success.

Implementing regular employee surveys allows companies to capture real-time insights into the pulse of their workforce. By leveraging agile methodologies, such as shorter survey cycles and targeted questions, organizations can gather valuable feedback efficiently and effectively. This agility enables prompt identification of emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities, ensuring that employee voices are heard in a timely manner.

It is not enough to collect data; companies must demonstrate a genuine commitment to address concerns and implement meaningful changes that resonate with employees.

Equally important is the emphasis on taking visible action based on survey results. It is not enough to collect data; companies must demonstrate a genuine commitment to address concerns and implement meaningful changes that resonate with employees. By promptly communicating survey findings and transparently sharing action plans, organizations show their dedication to continuous improvement, fostering a culture where employees feel valued and heard.

An agile approach to employee surveys and listening efforts goes beyond gathering feedback; it empowers individuals to become active participants in shaping their work environment. By involving employees in the decision-making process, soliciting their ideas, and recognizing their contributions, companies create a sense of ownership and accountability. This collaborative approach fosters a positive feedback loop, where employees see the impact of their input and are motivated to engage further, driving continuous improvement and innovation.

3. The power of courageous conversations

In today's ever-changing work landscape, where dispersed teams and remote work have become the norm, fostering a positive workplace culture and building interpersonal connections can be challenging. One powerful tool that can bridge this gap is engaging in courageous conversations.

Courageous conversations enable team members to openly address concerns, share perspectives, and challenge the status quo. By encouraging individuals to step out of their comfort zones and embrace vulnerability, organizations can create a safe space for genuine dialogue and personal growth.

These conversations not only cultivate trust and transparency, but also enhance problem-solving abilities and promote innovation. When team members feel heard and understood, they are more likely to contribute their unique ideas and perspectives, leading to a more inclusive, equitable, and creative work environment.

When team members feel heard and understood, they are more likely to contribute their unique ideas and perspectives, leading to a more inclusive, equitable, and creative work environment.

For dispersed employees, courageous conversations play an even more crucial role in fostering interpersonal connections. Through these discussions, team members can gain a deeper understanding of each other's unique life experiences, backgrounds, and challenges. This helps foster empathy and builds stronger relationships, even across geographical boundaries.

4. Growing positive influence through personal stories

Our personal stories, childhood memories, and the role models shape who we are and how we navigate the world around us. These influential factors and figures not only contribute to our character but also have a profound impact on our ability to cultivate gratitude and be positive influences in our workplace and communities.

Personal stories provide us with a deep understanding of our own journey, allowing us to reflect on the challenges we've overcome and the lessons we've learned along the way. These stories serve as constant reminders of our strengths, resilience, and the blessings we have in our lives, fostering a sense of gratitude that extends beyond personal achievements.

Childhood memories often hold cherished moments filled with joy, innocence, and the love of family and friends. Revisiting these memories allows us to tap into the purest form of gratitude, reminding us of the simple pleasures and the importance of nurturing relationships. By carrying these memories into our professional lives, we can infuse our workplace with positivity and a sense of appreciation for the opportunities we have.

Role models play a vital role in shaping our values and aspirations. Whether they are family members, mentors, or admired figures from various fields, these individuals inspire us to strive for greatness and make a positive impact on the world. Their actions and values become a guiding light, reminding us to be grateful for our own unique talents and encouraging us to use them to benefit our workplace and communities.

By recognizing the influence of personal stories, childhood memories, and role models, we can consciously harness their power to cultivate gratitude and become positive influences in our workplaces and communities. Embracing our own narratives, cherishing our childhood memories, and learning from our role models enable us to approach challenges with resilience, appreciate the support around us, and inspire others through our actions.

5. Work Style Alignment

Inspired in part by presentations from Dr. Andre Martin and L. David Kingsley

The compatibility between our individual work styles and the expectations of the companies we work for plays a pivotal role in our success and job satisfaction. When our work styles align with the company's expectations, we experience improved productivity, engagement, and overall fulfillment. Understanding and cultivating this alignment allows us to leverage our strengths, contribute meaningfully to organizational goals, and thrive in our careers.

When our work styles align with the expectations of the company, we experience a sense of synergy and flow. Our preferred methods of communication, collaboration, decision-making, and task management complement the company's work culture, resulting in enhanced teamwork and efficient processes.

Moreover, work style alignment enables us to maximize our potential and deliver our best work. By leveraging our natural strengths and work preferences within a supportive work environment, we can unleash our creativity, innovation, and problem-solving abilities. Work becomes natural, effortless, and invigorating.



This recap is inspired by personal stories and reflections from CultureCon West attendees including:

About Us:

CultureCon, now a Certified B Corporation®, is on a mission to inspire positive change around organizational culture. Through large conferences, online courses, consulting services, and certification programs, we deliver experiences that provide practical tools and motivation for our customers to become cultural change agents within their organizations. Our customers include business owners, CxOs, HR leaders, senior management, individual contributors, and anyone who wants to build more uplifting, inspiring, and healthy workplaces.

We invite you to join our community of #CultureGeeks and support the movement towards more uplifting, fulfilling, and healthier workplaces.

CultureCon 2023

Limited tickets remain for CultureCon 2023, taking place on August 16th and 17th in Madison, Wisconsin. Grab your tickets today to connect with fellow Culture Geeks and learn from global executives at companies including Strava, Gallup, Universal Music Group, Reebok, Harvard Business Publishing, Cisco, Hallmark, IBM, Western Digital, US Bank, Venture Well, and many human-centered organizations.

Photo Credit

Special thanks to Jose Gomez for capturing the essence of CultureCon West.


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