This slideshow was on a number of blogs over the summer (see here) , but I wanted to make sure that everyone saw it and, frankly, to get a post here so I have a record of it. Apparently, Reed Hastings, the amazing CEO of Netflix, put-up a set of 128 slides that is a "reference guide to our freedom and responsibility culture." I realize that most 128 page slide decks are deadly dull, but this is an exception. You may not agree with all their values and approaches, but on the whole I think you will be fascinated by the detail and thought. Now, I have no inside knowledge of what it is like to work at Netflix, but if this is accurate, it is a pretty impressive company -- frankly far more enlightened than most in Silicon Valley.
They also don't pull any punches, the second slide says that these principles only for salaried employees not hourly. Before laying out their values, they acknowledge that most companies are unaffected by their written values. After laying out their values, they end by saying that a related core value is to question actions that clash with the values. Indeed, that is the real test of any social norm, what happens when someone breaks it? Are they applauded, do people look the other way, and when people speak-up against the violation do they get slammed? Or do bosses actually listen and try to make repairs? Indeed, if you are or were at Netflix insiders, I would love to know if this is hollow rhetoric or a real living and breathing social norm.
I could go on and on, but this is such an impressive document, you will find many things to get you thinking. I doubt you will agree with everything -- I didn't, as there was a bit too much emphasis on superstars. Indeed, there was a lot of debate in the comments about that. Of course, I did love the assertion that, unlike many companies, they would not tolerate brilliant jerks. So it is nice to see another company with an (albeit polite version) of The No Asshole Rule.
Tell me what you think about the deck. I am probably going to assign it next year in my introduction to organizational behavior class and ask the students to write a little on essay on it.
P.S. Thanks to Whitney and Yosem for telling me about this slideshow.