image066Waterstone Human Capital recently announced Canada’s “10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2009,” a list that included Aviva Insurance Co. of Canada – sponsor of the RVDA of Canada eBulletin, the National RV Sales Statistics program through Statistical Surveys Inc. and many Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA of Canada) functions, according to The RVDA of Canada eBulletin.

The country’s most admired corporate cultures are outperforming the rest – despite the economic downturn.

“The performance of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2009, in terms of three-year compounded annual revenue growth, has significantly outpaced the S&P/TSX by an average of over 300%– or, three times,” says Marty Parker, managing director of Waterstone Human Capital, a leading executive search and human capital consulting firm that has been running the annual program since 2005.

“This proves that an outstanding corporate culture has a significant impact on performance, and that culture is an incredibly valuable asset.”

The Canada’s 10 program begins annually in the spring with Waterstone’s Canadian Corporate Culture Study, a survey of 500 senior Canadian executives. At the end of the questionnaire, respondents are asked to nominate Canadian organizations they most admire in terms of having a corporate culture that impacts performance.

Parker says that despite the recession, this year’s survey led to a record number of nominations – more than 400 – as well as double the number of organizations that went through with the formal submission, and became finalists, over the previous year. The submissions were then evaluated and voted on by a 15-member board of governors.

“This year’s data reflects the market correction of 2008,” says Parker. “What this tells us is that if an organization’s culture is strong, even with a major downturn, it outperforms the majority of its peers. In effect, many of these organizations understand that their corporate culture represents a strategic competitive advantage”.

Results of the 2009 Canadian Corporate Culture Study show that 88% of respondents believe that their current leadership has led to the evolution of their organization’s corporate culture. Additionally, 82% of respondents also said that “leading by example” is a key strategy used to align culture. Furthermore, when it comes to hiring, 75% of executives surveyed said that cultural fit is more important than necessary skills.

“Our Canada’s ’10’ reflect these findings,” says Parker. “The reason these organizations are outperforming is because of phenomenal leadership and because of the commitment – from the top – to aligning corporate culture. These leaders are focused on behaviour. And behaviour drives results.”