How Netflix Reinvented HR The Woman Behind the…

How Netflix Reinvented HR
The Woman Behind the Netflix Culture Doc

First, it’s totally awesome that she even exists at all.

“As leaders build a company culture, they need to be aware of subcultures that might require different management.”

This is *exactly* the point I tried to make about Valve earlier today.

Her objections to Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) are solidly grounded in Dale Carnegie’s 1st principal: “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.” It’s just not an effective way to get people to change and, just because it’s the conventional way to “protect” the company from law suits, doesn’t mean that’s the best or only way. I really like her idea of hand out a whopper of a severance package instead and call it done. Much more humane all round.

“We taught everyone the fundamentals. They could see payroll versus revenue.”

This is one of my personal likelihood of success indicators…

“McCord’s made Netflix as flat as possible — every engineer was a senior software engineer. Not that this didn’t ruffle some feathers.”

Yup. Interestingly Pixar did a similar transition to this model during the production of Finding Nemo. It drove some people bonkers, to the point that they either left Pixar or rotated onto a different movie. I’ve personally always done best in non-title centric environments, because there’s no implicit expectations about who can or can’t do what needs doing.

“If you no longer want to work with us, we don’t want to hold you hostage.”
Netflix let the employee decide the ratio of salary & options. Furthermore, there was no vesting period on the options (!). (Seems like tax hell really. Wonder how that worked in reality.)

“…some places … focus on getting their firm onto lists of “Best Places to Work” (which, when you dig into the methodologies, are really based just on perks and benefits).”

“Netflix’s talent philosophy: The best thing you can do for employees—a perk better than foosball or free sushi—is hire only “A” players to work alongside them. Excellent colleagues trump everything else.”

Yes and yes.