Organizational Culture

Organizational culture PowerPoint


Artwork: Freegums, Good Vibrations, 2011, acrylic on wood, 8′ x 15′

Sheryl Sandberg has actually called it probably the most important documents ever in the future out-of Silicon Valley. It’s been viewed significantly more than 5 million times on the net. However when Reed Hastings and I (along side some peers) composed a PowerPoint deck explaining the way we shaped the tradition and determined overall performance at Netflix, where Hastings is CEO and I was primary skill officer from 1998 to 2012, we had no clue it could get viral. We noticed that a number of the talent management a few ideas we’d pioneered, including the idea that employees should really be permitted to simply take whatever getaway time they feel is appropriate, have been viewed as only a little crazy (at least until other businesses started following them). But we had been surprised that an unadorned group of 127 slides—no music, no animation—would become so influential.

People find the Netflix approach to talent and culture compelling for a few reasons. The most obvious one is that Netflix has been really successful: During 2013 alone its stock more than tripled, it won three Emmy awards, and its U.S. subscriber base grew to nearly 29 million. All that aside, the approach is compelling because it derives from common sense. In this article I’ll go beyond the bullet points to describe five ideas that have defined the way Netflix attracts, retains, and manages talent. But first I’ll share two conversations I had with early employees, both of which helped shape our overall philosophy.

The initial happened in late 2001. Netflix was in fact growing quickly: We’d achieved about 120 staff members together with been planning an IPO. But following the dot-com bubble burst and the 9/11 attacks occurred, things changed. It became obvious that people needed seriously to place the IPO on hold and lay-off a 3rd of our workers. It absolutely was intense. Then, somewhat unexpectedly, DVD people became the hot gift that xmas. By early 2002 our DVD-by-mail membership company had been growing like hell. Suddenly we'd much more work to do, with 30% less workers.



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