Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg paid a remarkable compliment recently to Netflix for its public sharing of Netflix Culture: Freedom & Responsibility. In GQ magazine, Sandberg went so far as to say that their PowerPoint, “…may well be the most important document ever to come out of the valley.” Those are enormous words from an important voice, so it’s worth a look into what she’s talking about.
It explains why no one comes to work naked and some other great questions.
When you look through their slides (slideshare at the end of this article), what stands out is how Netflix stands out. Yes, you read that right. Netflix takes pains to say that they’re not like everyone else. Here are some favorites:
- Actual company values are the behaviors and skills that are valued in fellow employees
- Imagine if every person at Netflix is someone you respect and learn from. They call that Stunning Employees.
- Adequate performance gets a generous severance package. They ask who’d they’d fight to keep.
- Internal cutthroat behavior is rare and not tolerated. More talent = more growth…no need to squabble for jobs.
- No tolerance for jerks…even brilliant jerks.
- …and one of my favorites: “In procedural work, the best people are 2x the average. In creative work, the best are 10x the average.
- Responsible people thrive on freedom and are worthy of it
- Avoid chaos as you grow with ever more high performance people, not with rules
- There are “Good” versus “Bad” processes (great slide 63)
- There is no policy or tracking of vacation…nor is there a clothing policy and no one comes to work naked
- The expense policy is to ‘act in Netflix’s best interest’
- Good decisions come from knowing context and not control. Leaders establish context for their people to make decisions.
- Titles are not helpful. No one cares what you call yourself.
and my personal favorite:
- The best career planning is to surround people with Stunning People