My Thoughts on the NetFlix Culture Deck

I just finished reading “How NetFlix Reinvented HR” in the January-February 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review and learned about the NetFlix Culture Deck that was created by the company CEO, Reed Hastings and Chief Talent Officer, Patty McCord. The original 2009 presentation was 126 slides and is packed with thoughtful ideas about how to create a healthy corporate culture.

Honestly, every executive should look at this slide deck. Here are my take away ideas that I am contemplating for my organization:

• Actual company values, as opposed to nice-sounding values, are actually demonstrated by who gets rewarded, promoted or let go
• Leaders need to live the following skills: Wise decision-making, effective listening and communication skills and treating all people with respect independent of their status in the company. They accomplish amazing amounts of work and learn rapidly and eagerly. The ability to simplify, create new ideas and make tough decisions without agonizing. There is a thirst for excellence, and demonstrate candor and directness. Leaders are selfless and continuously seek what is best for the company.
• There are two necessary conditions for promotion: The job has to be big enough and the person has to be a superstar in their current role. If both tests are not passed then, the individual is not ready to be promoted.
• Companies are more like major sports teams and less like families. They keep their best talent and move low performers on to other opportunities.
• When talented people do something wrong, then leaders need to ask themselves what context they failed to set.

As we consider a new year, and assess the culture of our organizations, it is always good to study the work of our peers and competitors and assimilate ideas that we may be able to successfully implement. It is time to go back and review our policies and the kind of culture that is fostered as a result.