Saturday, August 02, 2014

Reed Hastings' interview and presentation on Freedom & Responsibility Culture

David Bradley did his usual brilliant interviewing – last year, he brought Chris Christie to tears and this afternoon he did a one-on-one with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. A major part of the interview was around this slide presentation Hastings published in 2011, which is posted at:

The presentation was created by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and it was first published in 2011. It's an easy-to-skim slideshow called Freedom & Responsibility Culture that explains the company's management philosophy.

Why does Sandberg feel it is so important?

Hastings mentioned a number of new, controversial ideas in the document. For example, Netflix has a "no vacation policy" for its employees. Its staff is allowed to take off as many days as they want, as long as they do so responsibly.

Other things in the presentation that caused a stir:

·        "Outstanding" employees only. Netflix doesn't accept anyone who does an "adequate" job (Hastings says those hires often lead to "generous severance packages"). 

·        "Freedom and responsibility" vs command-and-control: Employees get to make decisions; managers just give them the right context to do so.

·        No "brilliant jerks." It doesn't matter how good you are at the job. If you're a jerk, you won't stick around Netflix for long. 

The document has been read more than 3 million times on Slideshare and many of Hastings' controversial ideas have been implemented by other companies, including Business Insider.


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