Creating a Culture of Good - Lessons from Camp Dynamo

Last weekend Lauren and I had the pleasure of being Camp Leaders at the second annual Camp Dynamo, in Dalvay, on Prince Edward Island.

Camp Dynamo? Sounds cool, right?

In their words:

“Our mission is to help entrepreneurs succeed. Our formula is simple; gather a network of like-minded doers, place them in an inspiring environment and provide a curated curriculum that allows them to rediscover the youthful idea that ‘anything is possible.’”

It was as awesome as it sounds and if you are a woman in the business world, stay tuned for next year. Just sign up here.

We were invited to lead a session called “Creating a Culture of Good.” Attendees ranged from entrepreneurs to NGO Executive Directors looking to use their business or organization as a force for good.

We kicked-off the workshop with a quote from Simon Sinek…

“Imagine a world where people wake up everyday inspired to go to work and return home at the end of the day feeling fulfilled by the work they do, feeling they have contributed to something greater than themselves.”

Then we asked "what do the words culture of good mean to you?", both personally and professionally. We heard a lot of the following:

  • Trust
  • Openness
  • Communication
  • Willingness to change

So, what does creating a “culture of good” mean? To us it means building the foundation your business or organization needs to foster happy staff, happy clients and a happy community, and much of this comes from getting to know your core values. In a social enterprise context it means the same as above but with a special focus on the community piece--what community need are you seeking to meet?

Using a slightly adapted version of our Social Impact Canvas we walked workshop participants through identifying their top three values (I know, so hard!), their priority outcomes (changes you’ll seek to make to support values and create a culture of good) and finally, tossed around some strategies (what you’ll actually do to achieve priority outcomes) to help create an action plan.

For some, those strategies looked like giving teams Fridays off to acknowledge their hard work all week. For others, it meant installing a beer fridge to, well, create a relaxed environment. Common across all ideas were things like giving teammates permission to fail and learn, supporting professional development opportunities, giving back to community causes and operating to empower women to change the world.

While we started the conversation, it was the amazing women in the room that finished it, and left us with lots of valuable takeaways as we continue to build our culture of good. 

Key takeaways:

  • Be clear on your personal and professional values, see where they align and where they don't, is it creating a problem? If so, it's time to take the steps to start making a change. 
  • Treat your people as teammates, not strictly "human resources".
  • Creating a culture of good can be supported by:
    • Human Resource practices - hire those whose values align with your business or org. values
    • Your business plan - keep those values present in what you offer and how you offer it
    • Your strategic plan - keeping an eye on what you want your “culture of good” to look like in the next year, three years, five years, etc.

I’d say the PEI Business Women’s Association and the Camp Dynamo team have done a mighty fine job of creating a culture of good for the local women’s business movement, just look at this group!

camp dynamo.jpg

Photo: Cheryl Perry Photography

If you’re struggling with defining your core values and the impact you want to make, contact us to meet with one of our Social Enterprise Developers.


Written By: Maria Wamboldt