Thursday, October 13, 2016

leadership dot #1595: freedom and responsibility

In yesterday's dot, I wrote about the ISMs that define the culture at Quicken Loans. While researching that topic, I came across another organization that intentionally shapes its culture through its orientation and widespread understanding of company norms. (A slide share describing Netflix's culture is here.)

Netflix outlines typical behaviors and skills that it values -- including judgment, communication, curiosity, passion and honesty -- but they take it a step further in how they infuse these values into hiring and promotion practices. 

Netflix's model "endeavors to have only outstanding employees." This combination of high performers and good managerial context allows the company to increase employee freedom and "grow with ever more high performing people, not with rules."

An example of this freedom is seen in the vacation policy, or, more accurately, the lack of one. There is no policy for vacation or tracking, but as Netflix points out, "there is also no clothing policy but no one comes to work naked."

The policy for expense reports: "Act in Netflix's best interest." Period. That is the entire policy.

Netflix invests heavily in hiring and retaining people who fit within its culture of freedom and responsibility, and who have demonstrated the self-discipline it takes for both the employees and the company to succeed. It is model that works for them because of its intentionality, integration and pervasiveness.

What you can learn from Quicken Loans and Netflix about the power of values to shape the work environment, and how can you make your values actively drive your behavior?

-- beth triplett

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