‘Culture determines success,’ Camgian’s Gary Butler tells NSPARC

Contact: Carol Gifford

WEST POINT, Miss. – A great culture is the engine that determines whether or not a business is going to be successful, said Camgian Microsystems CEO Gary Butler.

“Core values make up your workplace culture, and your culture sets the tone for your organization,” said Butler, speaking at the NSPARC annual retreat, held this week at Old Waverly in West Point. Butler was the keynote speaker at the event. NSPARC is an interdisciplinary research center at Mississippi State University that uses smart data, analytical techniques and advanced technology to develop innovative solutions, often for policymakers and state government.

NSPARC Executive Director Domenico “Mimmo” Parisi said Butler would provide insight on how NSPARC, a mature organization that has helped MSU bring in millions of dollars in research funding in 2015, can sustain its success.

Butler said he learned early on the importance of setting core organizational values and making them consistent around all work decisions.

“Everyone should know them cold,” said Butler. “Team, no quit, and win are the three values that drive the Camgian workplace, and we give quarterly awards to individuals who demonstrate they follow these values in their decision-making.” Camgian, a company that provides microelectronics, sensors, wireless communications and real-time signal processing to fill intelligence gaps for the defense and commercial markets, is headquartered at MSU’s Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park in Starkville.

“Team,” explained Butler, is built on the principles of athletic teams and requires all to identify a common mission/goal with accountability for everyone. He wants his team to include people with “the mind of a wizard and the skills of a Navy SEAL,” or be very smart and able to execute well.

“No quit” means being able to persevere even in the face of adversity. It requires developing a mental toughness that can overcome the news of adversity and see it as a challenge.

“Success is a messy process,” said Butler. “It’s three steps forward and two steps back; almost like playing a game of Chutes and Ladders.”

“Win” means playing to win, not just playing to play, he said.

“You have to develop a collective sense of purpose so that everyone’s brought into it, and they all want to be part of the core team,” said Butler, comparing it to a college football team and its fans.

“Our collective efforts are much more than the sum of our individual efforts,” agreed Parisi.  “NSPARC exists as a part of Mississippi State University, and we are very proud of being part of the university so we can create knowledge and innovation, and then work to transmit our information and our solutions.

“We have a product, and it’s research and scholarship,” said Parisi. “We will take the advice of Dr. Butler and use it to help NSPARC continue to grow and provide research solutions that make a difference in real-world issues.”

“NSPARC is doing things that put this university out front in leadership positions,” said David Shaw, MSU vice president of research and economic development.

“Keep doing what you are doing. We are really proud of it,” Shaw said.

For more about NSPARC, visit www.nsparc.msstate.edu. Parisi may be reached at 662-325-9242.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.