You hear stories from Google, Netflix, R/GA and the like on their “culture”. It invariably looks a lot like fun and consists of swings, slides, pool tables, table tennis, bean bags, beer and coffee. But those are to culture what a billboard is to creativity. Culture is none of that stuff. Culture is performance. Go back and assess the places, the sports teams and companies that have been accredited with a great culture and the one thing they all have in common is, they win. In fact, all of them worked damn hard to get to that win. They held each other accountable. They pushed. They dug deep. The focused on the big picture and let it drive them. They put in the big, hard hours because they wanted to, not because they had to. In fact, we would argue at the time, some of their experiences were quite tough. But, at the end of the day, they won and keep on winning. And why this matters is that people, teams, colleagues, staff, creatives, clients etc, find way more satisfaction looking back at sacrifices made to win than looking back on a time spent with table tennis, bean bags, beer and coffee with little to show for it. We are not saying it can’t exist together, but at the end of the day, the most influential and memorable part of culture is performance, not environment. You will never forget your first Cannes Award but the memory of the hard work that got you it will fade.