Serge Godin, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board

Serge Godin

CGI was founded in June 1976 in Québec City, Canada. In those days, my colleague André Imbeau and I were young practitioners in both business and information technology consulting. We were persuaded that the world would continue to change and transform rapidly. We were also convinced that information technology would be at the heart of these changes.

We wanted CGI to be a high-end IT and business consulting company, recognized by clients as a renowned institution for our ability to partner with them to deliver high-quality solutions and help them leverage technology to create new opportunities for their organizations.

This meant CGI would have to master technologies, be constantly aware of emerging ones and stay abreast of market dynamics.

To do so, we needed to attract and retain highly talented professionals and leaders.

This is why, right from the beginning we made the decision to offer our professionals the opportunity to become shareholders of CGI, a principle which we wanted to be the backbone of all CGI fundamentals. In fact, we wanted CGI professionals to participate as owners of their company. This is the reason why we call ourselves members. The concept being that as an owner you also have a voice, amongst others, in establishing the defining elements of CGI, namely its fundamentals and culture.

Accordingly, through yearly systematic planning exercises both at the local and global levels, CGI members serving clients on a day-to-day basis devoted hundreds of thousands of hours collectively to develop and evolve the defining elements of CGI. These are enshrined in what is called the CGI Constitution, which is comprised of our Dream, Vision, Mission and Values. It defines the CGI culture: who we are, where we want to grow, what we do and why we do it, and how we behave and make decisions.

Equally as important and beyond words, we want the daily life at CGI to be the true reflection of our culture. This is why, over the years, for each qualitative objective of our defining elements, we introduced quantitative measures. For instance, on a scale of 1 to 10 we assess, “to what extent does your day to day environment reflect the pursuit of the dream,” or “the extent to which you live up to the company’s values.” By measuring how we adopt and live our culture, and by making the results visible, we nurture this culture at all levels of our organization. We also review these results systematically as we do for those related to any other strategic indicator.

This document explains the rationale of our Constitution and how it is a reflection of our Culture. It aims to guide all of us, members and leaders, in our day-to-day actions to live the Dream. The world will continue to change. CGI will have to remain close to its clients and continue to evolve. Correspondingly, CGI members will have to continue to evolve our Constitution through the coming decades to support the continuous success of CGI and ensure its perenniality.

Guided by our dream
Our Dream is “to create an environment in which we enjoy working together and, as owners, contribute to building a company we can be proud of.” This is the inspiration for our actions. There are three fundamental aspects to our Dream:
  1. Creating an environment in which we enjoy working together: We assemble and retain, all around the world, extraordinary women and men who share this Dream and who thrive on working as a team.
  2. As Owners: We are shareholders of CGI; it is “our” company; we participate in its growth and development and we nurture an ownership mentality.
  3. Contribute to building a company we can be proud of: We participate in building a highly ethical company, one that reflects our aspirations and where pride comes from the satisfaction of our clients, our members, our shareholders, and from the communities in which we live and work.
Driven by our vision

Our Vision defines where we, the CGI members, want to grow as a team by assisting our clients where they are. We are driven “to be a global world-class end-to-end IT and business consulting services leader helping our clients succeed.”

This Vision is our overarching strategic goal. It is complemented by five specific strategic goals: to be a company recognized by…

  • Our clients as their partner of choice for our commitment to their success and for our track record of outstanding delivery;
  • Our clients as their expert of choice for the depth of our experience in their industry sectors and our knowledge in information technology;
  • Our members as an empowering environment in which to build a career and a company we can be proud of;
  • Our shareholders as a well-managed, financially strong company providing superior returns; and
  • Our communities as a caring and responsible corporate citizen.
Committed to our mission

As a services organization, our members take to heart the commitment “to help our clients succeed through outstanding quality, competence and objectivity, providing thought leadership and delivering the best services and solutions to fully satisfy client objectives in information technology, business processes, and management. In all we do, we are guided by our Dream, living by our Values to foster trusted relationships and meet our commitments now and in the future.”

Living by our values

By embracing the company’s Values, CGI members share the same sense of high ethics and enthusiasm to partner with our clients in delivering high-quality services, working together as intrapreneurs and ambassadors, creating value for our stakeholders (our clients, members and shareholders) and improving the well-being of the communities in which we live and work.

Partnership and quality
For us, partnership and quality are both a philosophy and a way of life. We constantly deepen our understanding of our clients’ business and we develop and follow the best management practices. We entrench these approaches into client relationship and service delivery frameworks in order to foster long term and strong partnerships with our clients. We listen to our clients and we are committed to their total satisfaction in everything we do.

Objectivity and integrity
We exercise the highest degree of independent thinking in selecting the products, services and solutions we recommend to clients. In doing so, we adhere to the highest degree of quality, objectivity and integrity. We do not accept any remuneration from suppliers. We always act honestly and ethically. We never seek to gain undue advantages and we avoid conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived.

Intrapreneurship and sharing
Our collective success is based on our competence, commitment and enthusiasm. We promote a culture of innovation and initiative where we are empowered with a sense of ownership in supporting clients, thus ensuring our profitable growth. Through teamwork, sharing our know-how and expertise across our global operations, we bring the best of CGI to our clients. As members, we share in the value we create through equity ownership and profit participation.

In all we do, we are respectful of our fellow members, clients, business partners and competitors. As a global company, we recognize the richness that diversity brings to the company and welcome this diversity while embracing the overall CGI business culture.

Financial strength
We strive to deliver strong, consistent financial performance which sustains long term growth and benefits both members and shareholders. Financial strength enables us to continuously invest in CGI members’ professional development, our services and our business solutions to the benefit of our clients. To this end, we manage our business to generate industry superior returns.

Corporate social responsibility
Our business model is designed to ensure that we are close to our clients and communities. As members, we embrace our responsibilities to contribute to the continuous improvement of the economic, social, and environmental well-being of the communities in which we live and work.

Our culture in action
Our Constitution is the foundation of our culture, expressed in words. Beyond words and to take its full meaning, the daily life at CGI needs to be the true reflection of its culture. In the spirit of “What gets measured and related results made visible gets done,” we assess the degree of adoption of our culture by continuously gathering the sentiment of our members toward each element of our Constitution. Further, in nurturing our ownership mentality, we always seek the best equilibrium between our three stakeholders, our clients, members and shareholders, while being a caring and responsible corporate citizen in the communities in which we live and work.

Our culture is essential to CGI’s success and perenniality. We are built to grow and last. We are Guided by a Dream, Driven by our Vision, Committed to our Mission and Living by our Values. We are CGI.