What We Are Reading
December 2020

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer

Amy Edmondson’s concept of “Psychological Safety” advocates for a culture where people “feel safe to dream, speak up and take risks”. The company Netflix adds a twist: you damn well better “dream, speak and take risks” or you may be out of a job. In this book, CEO/Co-Founder Reed Hastings and INSEAD’s Erin Meyer refreshingly keep the academia and HR-speak to a minimum as they plainly describe how a culture at odds with so much we’ve learned about business and human behavior can achieve such remarkable results, both in terms of global growth and employee happiness. It starts with attracting the highest-performing (and highest paid) talent on the market. Once you’ve established “Talent Density” then you’re free to increase Candor (feedback), reduce Control (get rid of tiresome policies and rules), and push big decisions out to those closest to the action. It’s the leader’s job to clearly establish Context (strategy, vision or generally what’s best for the company) and then stay out of the way. There’s a lot to strive for here, including a culture so feedback friendly that 360’s are rarely anonymous, and even sometimes delivered openly during group dinners (!)

HIGHLIGHT(S): The authors readily admit the Netflix way is not for every organization or department, acknowledging that the rules-and-process paradigms established during the Industrial Revolution are still essential for many types of organizations. However, as the share of the world’s economy dependent on nurturing talent, creativity and innovation expands, the lessons from Netflix sound increasingly, excitingly, on target.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/No-Rules-Netflix-Culture-Reinvention/dp/1984877860/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1600904552&sr=8-2

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