Changing Organizational Culture for the Better

CultureCon

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 10. Reduced Inequalities 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Overview

CultureCon is a company which creates experiences that help individuals make connections, grow perspective, and become change agents. They do this through interactive courses, lectures, and their annual event CultureCon. CultureCon’s also has a high level of involvement with local suppliers and their community, thus involving them in SDG 9, which is Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. Reduced Inequalities, SDG 10 is one of the main SDGs which CultureCon focuses on. They consistently aim to involve themselves in community volunteering, and practices. Their core values stem around human connection, diverse perspectives and finding avenues for practical action.

Authors

Michael Fowler

Michael Fowler

Victoria Peltzer

Victoria Peltzer

Lauren Weiss

Lauren Weiss

Rose DeFrank

Rose DeFrank

School

Saint Joseph's University

Saint Joseph's University

Professor

David Steingard

David Steingard

Innovation

CultureCon is a company that was founded in Madison, Wisconsin by Zach Blumenfeld and Nick Lombardino. The mission of CultureCon is to inform and educate others about striving to have positive organizational culture in the workplace. They do this by holding the event CultureCon and courses that teach people how to make the changes necessary in order to promote positive change with culture. The SDGs that CultureCon strives with are Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (16), Reduced Inequalities (10), and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (9). CultureCon is very transparent in all aspects of what they do. They focus on working with stakeholders and sharing information with them about what CultureCon is working on and striving to move towards. When holding the events and courses, CultureCon puts a strong emphasis on social responsibility and justice that employees may be facing while they are at work and potentially in everyday life. An example of this is with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Their advisory board includes women and people of color. When teaching others, they stress the importance of DEI. This also relates to the SDG 10 of Reduced Inequalities as well. When seeing inequalities occur in different areas, CultureCon works to the best of their ability to help. They have signed petitions in support, provided financial support, and publicly advocated for what they believe is right and ethical. They also work with stakeholders to be ethical themselves. CultureCon gives their stakeholders resources and education on what they can do as well to help with the goals of SDGs 16 and 10. At the same time, they work with the community to help them achieve their goals financially and with philanthropy. CultureCon puts their best foot forward in striving to create a positive work environment with education and working with others.

Changing Organizational Culture for the Better

Inspiration

Zach Blumenfeld is part of an emerging generation for whom societally impactful entrepreneurship is a genuine state of mind. This can be seen through his motto, make what you do matter. Zach shows this through his passion for fixing the broken workplace. From his previous business ventures of ThirdSpace, a workplace culture software, all the way to now with his role in running CultureCon. Zach has always approached the issues in company culture with a view of multiple perspectives.

Zach preaches about how much can be solved by workplace inclusion and inspirational organizational culture. He believes every employee has the right to such a workplace environment. Zach’s motto, make "what you do matter" drives multiple aspects of CultureCon’s business model. When talking about one of the many parts of CultureCon’s teachings Blumenfeld says, “The goal is to give people actionable items to go back into the workplace and make things happen.” Giving people actionable items on how to improve their workplace interactions helps to make an immediate impact on their company’s workplace environment.

Overall impact

The overall impact of CultureCon has been positive on not only the Madison, Wisconsin area but the workplace as a whole. Education is the main mission and core of CultureCon in that all should know and recognize what a positive organizational culture is. People of all levels of a business play a role in contributing to the culture of the workplace through their actions. The short and long term effects of CultureCon’s business can be seen through the people they educate and the businesses supported. After the main event “CultureCon'' ends and after all courses taught, the board of CultureCon seeks out feedback from participants on both positive and negative thoughts about what they experienced. The board then heavily reviews this and strives to implement as many changes as they deem necessary to improve the experience that CultureCon provides to its customers. When educating others, CultureCon wants people to be able to understand what they are presenting and be confident that they can implement change in their own workplace. This can be shown also from the feedback form and attendee data collected at the end of an event or course. CultureCon recognizes that people participating in what they offer are looking to gain positive knowledge from them and want to do the best they can in this realm. In the community, CultureCon has a big impact there as well. They contribute financially and support local businesses before the COVID-19 pandemic. When they would choose businesses to help with their in-person event, they would look to those that are from underserved groups in the community and give them the support they need as well. The effects that CultureCon leaves on their customers and community can both be seen in the short and long term of what they do to help others.

Business benefit

Because CultureCon’s founding purpose was to support and inspire workplace culture, they have had a significant impact on employee wellbeing and increased retention in many organizations. When organizational culture is improved, companies begin to see lower rates of turnover, stronger employee engagement, and higher satisfaction rates. This generates happier employees which allows businesses to grow and flourish. CultureCon facilitates these discussions and therefore can create substantial change within organizations.CultureCon organizes breakout presentations, engaging workshops, networking opportunities, and community give-back programs. They have been able to support communities across America by creating stronger workplaces. It is part of their mission to create more inclusive organizations which ultimately benefits our country’s progress towards reducing the gender pay gap, disassembling race inequalities, and supporting the LGBTQ community. CultureCon is a platform that includes virtual series, educational courses, and a space to connect and ask questions about workplace culture. This allows companies to have access to other organization’s best practices which they can learn and grow from. Because of CultureCon’s business model, they have also made a strong impact on SDG #16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). CultureCon’s values align directly with this sustainable development goal. They promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies through education.

Social and environmental benefit

Businesses naturally have a huge impact on the environment and communities across the world. CultureCon benefits these stakeholders by promoting a positive and inclusive organizational culture. When companies have a better understanding of how they affect the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, they are more likely to implement practices learned through CultureCon to make substantial progress towards these defined goals. Although CultureCon doesn’t make a large impact on all 17 SDGs, they can still promote these goals during their forums, discussions, and events. Society can learn from CultureCon and use their teachings to innovate and create business models that work towards the sustainable development goals. Because CultureCon is a tool for so many organizations, they can use their platform to educate businesses on their role as a stakeholder in society and the environment. As CultureCon continues to grow, they will be able to expand their impact. Once they have more workers and create more aspects to their organization, they will have a larger impact. It is important to support organizations like CultureCon because they will be leaders for other companies to follow which could eventually create a chain reaction where environment and societal progress becomes a trend. CultureCon’s triple bottom line business model helps companies and their people to foster this trend. They do this by emphasizing the importance of socially responsible business practices. CultureCon knows that the way to create organizational culture change is by shifting the way employees think about their environmental and societal impact. CultureCon specifically chooses leaders who are environmentally conscious to speak at their events. They bring on people who have the same values as them which includes individuals who support their triple bottom line business model. The companies who attend CultureCon’s events will get exposure to these leaders who have great knowledge about both the triple bottom line as well as organizational culture.



Interview

Zach Blumenfeld, Co-Founder

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CultureCon

CultureCon

Madison, Wisconsin, US

Business Website: https://www.cultureconusa.org/

Year Founded: 2021

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

CultureCon is a business that works directly with individuals to help them inspire positive organizational culture change in their workplace. They hold different events and courses throughout the year to teach others how to become better people in and out of the working environment.