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Company Culture
By John Kilroy on April 30, 2015

The use of the word “culture” can seem a little airy when it comes to the straightforward challenge of cutting a profit in one’s business. It may become more clear as a value when one takes a look at successful race teams. They may not always have the same words to describe the culture of their organization, but it sure seems like sloppy, lazy, ill-prepared race teams never put a driver on the podium, while teams with hard-working, no-excuses, efficient, effective, prepared, innovative, dedicated personnel win championships. The culture of an organization...the spirit of an organization makes a difference, but it can be difficult to put the precepts into words.

Here’s a look at a small set of phrases that have guided PRI over the years. Developed by Steve Lewis in his years growing as a successful entrepreneur and race team owner, you’re welcome to borrow them. Just make sure you live them, as much as demand them from your team. They don’t seem like big ideas, but they do seem to provide very basic tenets to getting things done, getting them done as planned, and getting them done on time.

Arrive everywhere 15 minutes early. When travelling with the PRI sales team, it’s been years since I had to wait in the lobby in the morning to meet with a fellow team member. We agree to meet at 7:30 a.m., and it happens as planned. Meetings in the PRI office start right on time with everyone present. No one wants to be the person who walks in late. In racing, you’re ready to go when the green flag drops.

Always have a Plan B. If part of a presentation is on a CD or DVD, bring two copies in case one fails. If the laptop computer is key to a presentation, bring the presentation on paper in case the laptop seizes up.

Don’t get caught with your pants down. Before kicking off the PowerPoint presentation, arrive early, set it up, and test it in advance to make sure it works. Before a sales presentation, do the proper homework in advance. Know the new products being released. Know the marketing campaign. Know the customer.

The initiator of a project never loses responsibility for it. One of the most frustrating moments in any project occurs when someone says, “He was supposed to do that.” No. That’s not how it works. One person always remains in charge, and that’s the person who initiates the project. Wherever responsibilities lie for various steps in a project, it is up to the project initiator to verify that all team members are doing their part as planned.

Make the decision; you can tune it up later. It is better to make a decision and take action rather than postpone decisions. If complications arise, you can always take measures to tune things up. Take advantage of time. It always pays off. A company that does not make decisions in a timely manner gets run over again and again.

About the Author
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John Kilroy is the Publisher of Performance Racing Industry magazine.
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