CrowdStrike: Culture Can’t Be Copied

Culture affects organizational performance in ways that are hard to measure and predict.

Changing a corporate culture is notoriously difficult to do and inevitably is never a quick fix. Yet, culture can also be the secret ingredient to developing a sustainable competitive advantage — an advantage that simply can’t be copied. Little wonder therefore that the “right culture” is viewed as the secret formula for success, and creating it is on the wish list of every CEO.

Having been honored to work closely with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, I can say that their culture is at the heart of continued success on track. Let me give two simple examples. First, it’s apparent that everyone in the organization, from the engineers to the finance team feel that what they do contributes directly to seconds shaved off track time. That shared sense of performance responsibility is not constrained to only those working directly on the cars. 

The other example is the unique “no blame” culture that accepts failure, learns from mistakes and moves forward to win. The culture within the team is to admit when things go wrong coupled with a culture of brutal transparency and honesty. It’s a seemingly disarming formula: “Failure + Reflection = Progress,” but it patently works.

Shared Values, Shared Vision

High performance organizations like the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team or CrowdStrike have a very clear idea of their values and their vision. Unsurprisingly, our values are remarkably similar: Passion, Respect, Innovation, Determination and Excellence. 

The Mercedes team clearly understands their vision to remain at the pinnacle of motorsport with unmatched performance, reliability and quality. Their mission to win every championship and ultimately, to become the greatest champions in Formula One history.

At CrowdStrike, we’re on a mission to stop breaches.  

Simple to understand and get behind, I am sure you will agree.

Yet success comes from not only having clearly defined and understood values and vision, but by also relentlessly striving to realize them in everything you do. While we may both be proud of our past, we are constantly minded to never succumb to complacency and the only antidote to that is a thirst for constant innovation.

Create, Don’t Copy

You’ve probably heard Oscar Wilde’s quote, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” That’s not the full quote however. The full quote is:

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”

That last part really matters.

It would be ridiculous to suggest that Formula One success is simply down to having enough money to hire people to copy a winning car, slap some logos on it, hire talented drivers and expect success to follow. Long term, it won’t.

It’s just as absurd to think that you can stop sophisticated cyberattacks by copying what CrowdStrike does — although some try.

Sincerity of thought and action are at the root of success and you cannot short-cut the process for your organization by simply copying someone else.

Create YOUR vision, define YOUR values and bring people with you on that journey who can align to this. If you can consistently execute and maintain an unwavering focus on the facets that realize your vision and values.

Success is created, not copied.

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