Who Drives Company Culture?

I have worked at Softchoice for more than 18 years and one of the things that has proven to be most elusive is to define the company culture.  Who creates company culture? Where does it come from? I recently had Myrna Ain at AchieveBlue debrief me on my impact on Softchoice Company culture using the Management Impact survey from Human Synergistics.

I was blown away by how useful the tool was. Unlike many 360 tools, this put everything in the context of how I was impacting my direct reports and how they experienced the culture of Softchoice as a result. For the first time, I could clearly see the impact I was having on the culture of Softchoice. The debrief also helped me to connect that to some of my underlying beliefs and values that drive my actions.

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Making Traditions Part of Softchoice’s Corporate Culture

Traditions are a valuable way to strengthen families and create lasting memories. Often passed on through generations, many rituals can be quite unique; yet also bridge divides and boost the spirit of a family unit. When it comes to the larger corporate family, traditions are also a fantastic way to drive engagement and strengthen coworker relationships. In fact, Human Resources expert Susan Heathfield agrees saying they’re as “important in companies just as they are in families” and a great way to increase employee morale and motivation.  

I quickly realized this when I arrived as a newbie intern at Softchoice’s company-wide, employee conference. Every January this standing experience called Launch, kick starts the year ahead for Softchoice’s employees. What started out as a small gathering of a few employees when the company was founded in 1990, has grown to a 1200-person, weeklong event that has continued even during tough economic times.

Being new to Softchoice, I went on a mission to find out…why has the Launch tradition become so entrenched in the company’s culture? [Read more…]

Named ‘Top Newsmaker’, Softchoice’s ‘Green IT Girl’ Shares Top Tips for Sustainable Business

Toronto, January 27, 2011 – Softchoice is delighted to announce that its Sustainability Programs Manager, Melissa Alvares, has been recognized as one of Computer Dealer News magazine’s  Top 25 Newsmakers for 2010. Ms. Alvares, also known as ‘Green IT Girl’, has been at the forefront of the Company’s efforts to share information and create a richer dialogue on sustainable practices for IT and business in general. 

“It’s such an honour to be recognized for the effort we have put into supporting Green IT initiatives,” says Alvares. “Through our Sustain-enable strategy we’ve focused on sharing our knowledge and expertise with customers and industry peers. Our goal is to inspire others through dialogue and straight-forward, practical advice.” [Read more…]

4 steps to starting a green strategy

Many organizations don’t get going on a green strategy since it can be quite overwhelming. What does it mean to go green? Do I need to measure carbon emissions? How do I do that? Do I need a big budget to go green? Are we too small to go green? Getting caught up in trying to answer all the questions can be quite the big roadblock and discourage even the most passionate of us.

Don’t get caught up in the details. Just get going! Our planet needs our help right now, and even the smallest of steps are going to add up and make a difference. Once you have a few small wins, people will get inspired and it will snowball from there. You will soon realize that going green, means you are saving your company valuable resources. Then watch as your grass roots efforts gain the attention of the higher-ups looking for ways to cut costs and be more efficient. Green is not only great for the planet, but for business too.

Some easy first things to implement are: [Read more…]