A colleague of mine recently sent me this link and asked what I thought: Reference Guide on our Freedom & Responsibility Culture. The link is to a PowerPoint presentation put together by Netflix explaining their corporate culture. I had so many different reactions while I was reading it (this could be due to the fact that the .ppt had 128 slides)!! There are several points that this presentation makes that I agree with and that I like. However, after reading several comments on several different sites (including entire blogs) on the subject, I began to wonder: Am I the only one not drinking the Koolaid? I decided I had to write a blog on the topic.
As I started writing, I quickly realized that my blog would be 85 pages long (and nobody would ever read it), so I decided I would make my reaction to the Netflix Corporate Culture presentation into a blog miniseries, with multiple blogisodes (I love making up new words). I don’t know yet how many blogisodes there will be, so stay tuned! Here’s blogisode ONE.
It starts out by saying that they have real company values as opposed to nice sounding ones. They quote:
Like every company, we try to hire well, but unlike many companies, we practice “adequate performance gets a generous severance package”
Really? Can a large organization such as this one really practice this philosophy? Where is the room and attention to development or growth? Have they done research on the costs of turnover with or without a generous severance package? Are they saying that every person in the company gets the highest of marks on their performance reviews? I’d like to take a look at their performance reviews and see if they are really practicing this value.
If all of their performance reviews really ARE high, how do they identify the top performers? Who gets the promotion? Does this type of environment breed a culture of competition amongst “top” performers who typically already competitive by nature?
Also, what constitutes adequate performance?
Most companies have a hard time living by this philosophy when the word “average” is changed to “poor!” They won’t admit it, but just ask around and you are bound to find some employees that will tell you that it’s all about “who you know” or “who you are politically connected with” and not your performance that keeps you around (and usually getting you raises and promotions). This is definitely not a good thing and should be something that the organization tries to change. My point here though, is that they preface their statement by saying that their philosophy is a REAL one and everyone else’s is just “nice-sounding” when in fact, I believe that their philosophy is exactly that…nice sounding.
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