Carbon Black was recently named a “Top Place to Work” by the Boston Globe for the third consecutive year. I believe one of the reasons we continue to receive this honor is our company culture. At Carbon Black, culture matters. A lot.
From day one, we’ve placed our team in the center of what it takes to build a great company.
We know that the difference between “good” and “exceptional” companies IS the culture.
Culture is hard to build, takes years of hard work, and is incredibly easy to disrupt. It only takes a few bad apples in key leadership roles to spoil the bunch, which is why protecting our culture is a priority at Carbon Black. It’s not just about getting everyone to share the rallying cry or be able to recite our values. It’s a way of being and the soul of our company.
Culture Starts with Integrity.
What drew me to the company in 2011 was the team. I saw a leader in Patrick Morley — our CEO — who possessed deep, core values of integrity, authenticity, and transparency. He truly cared about the team and about leading in an honest and open way. It was clear that the team rallied behind our senior leadership because they were a group of approachable and high-integrity leaders who “walked the talk” when it came down to our values.
In short, I saw that we had a nascent culture based on transparency and trust that I was about to take the reins of. My challenge was to figure out how to scale our culture through our tremendous growth, weave it throughout every corner of the company, and make it even stronger as we grew. This was especially true as we opened new offices and hired remote employees globally. The culture needed to be strong enough to be felt in every part of the world that we had a presence.
Culture is Built from a Vision.
It all starts with clear vision. At Carbon Black, our “people” vision is to continuously be recognized as a top place to work by our people, our friends, our family, our customers, our partners, and, broadly speaking, in the market. We know that if we do the right thing by our people, our customers will be delighted time and time again. The truth is that it takes a lot to achieve this vision and ensure things all work in harmony. It takes a clear philosophy on talent and takes effective people operations when it comes to hiring, assimilating, growing, rewarding and recognizing talent. I like to boil it down to one thing: prepared and effective leaders.
Culture is Fueled by Leadership at Every Level.
My philosophy on building strong culture is pretty simple. I know having great perks, parties, and buzz are very important social elements to creating a social community. However, those elements alone cannot tightly stitch together a culture and team that can sustain exceptional performance year over year. What sustains highly productive teams is gifted leadership at all levels of the company. It can’t just be at the top because it would be only words with no justification. It needs to reach every person at every level because if it’s threaded throughout hearts and minds of the people, then it becomes the company’s soul – something that can’t easily be replicated elsewhere. This is when you realize you have a powerful system that can enable great things to happen. It’s when things start to feel special and when you hear people say things like: “This is the best company I’ve ever worked for.”
Our core value proposition to our people is cultivating a culture of gifted, inspirational and effective leadership at every level of the company. We hire for strong leadership potential, grow this capability, and mentor it. Together, we have developed a networked system that works together to create an environment that makes people feel secure, appreciated, and successful. We are a team of approachable, accountable, and innovative leaders who are empowered to make things happen. Our culture is our team. Our team thrives because of the vision and purpose that is set at the top and because they are empowered to execute against that vision.
Culture is Sustained by Good People.
I am proud to say that today we have more than 700 people operating in four different continents and in more than 15 countries. We hire well. We live our values every day. We promote people who are balanced and effective leaders. We reward results AND how effective you are in building up the people around you. This is the heart of the Carbon Black culture.
We deeply believe and recognize that it’s all about the team. We are stronger together. At Carbon Black, the focus is always on helping others achieve success. This selfless leadership and care and concern for others is fueling this rocket ship. I’m grateful for everyone in our company and for the roles they play every day to ensure this essence is reinforced. At Carbon Black, culture matters. People matter. And this is why it’s a great place to work.