Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Netflix Culture

If you have never viewed this presentation about the Netflix culture, you are in for a treat.  Check it out by clicking here.   I would point you to a few things, in particular, that I find insightful and refreshing.  

1. "Great workplace is stunning colleagues.  Great workplace is not day-care, espresso, health benefits, sushi lunches, nice offices, or big compensation, and we only do those that are efficient at attracting stunning colleagues."  How terrific!  People love to work with other highly talented, reliable, and kind people.    They do not like free riders, jerks, and people who don't invest time needed for self-improvement.  Think about when you went to college.  What made it a good experience?   The best courses were not simply taught by a talented professor.  They were courses in which the fellow students were intelligent, curious, reliable, and hard-working.

2.  Netflix chooses to focus on rapid recovery rather than avoidance of failure.  The firm argues that, in some environments, such as health care, we want to be highly reliable, i.e. avoid failure.  However, in creative environments, we should focus instead on rapid recovery.  

3.  The explanation of the nine behaviors and skills that the firm values in its employees is different than most "competency" models developed by company human resource departments.  The Netflix behaviors and skills are much less generic.  They describe specific behaviors, and they fit together to form a consistent whole.

4.  I like the "Keeper Test" a lot.  Here it is:  "Which of my people, if they told me they were leaving in two months for a similar job at a peer company, would I fight hard to keep at Netflix?"  The document states that you should let go of those who do not meet this test.  Make room instead for someone who will have the potential to meet this test.  It's tough medicine, but it really does make you think about whether you are keeping under-performers around too long. 

No comments: