We’re a Team, Not a Family

Just finished a read through the NetFlix ‘Freedom and Responsibility Culture’ document.  Bravo.  It’s a world class approach to talent.   Clearly defined Employment Value Proposition and the expectations and accountability that are requisite to building a high engagement/high performance work culture. They define a great workplace by the notion of Stunning Colleagues. A BIG appeal to A players is the ability to work with, for and around other A players in an organization where there is a discipline and rigor around performance.  The notion that “adequate performance gets a generous severance package” has appeal for the kind of talent NetFlix is committed to hiring.
They also make the clear and correct distinction that their workplace is not a family…….and offer a much more appropriate analogy – a pro sports team.  Far too often, leaders lean on the tried and true “we’re a family” default to try and rally the troops toward a common a goal.  It’s disingenuous at best (most families would likely frown on a required RIF or talent upgrade strategy).  At worst, it can create a false sense of security and also impede the consistency that is necessary for leaders  to manage toward a high performance workplace filled with stunning colleagues.
If you are a business leader or HR professional serious about talent and passionate about building a high engagement/high performance work culture, the following presentation is a great review and benchmark.

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