As usual, the headlines are incendiary — but the text of the actual strategy is exactly what our Theory of Empathetic Evolution would recommend. More agency and personal development, less rules, and elimination of empathetic disruptors. Netflix is famous for its ‘take as much vacation as you need’ policy, as well as encouraging high performance employees through taking care of them. From the article in Inc. magazine, by Justin Bariso:
In contrast, Kruse explains, Netflix asserts that a business should focus specifically on two things:
1. Invest in hiring high-performance employees.
2. Build and maintain a culture that rewards high performers and weeds out continuous, unimproved low performers.
“Netflix leaders believe that responsible people–the people every company wants to hire–are not only worthy of freedom, they thrive on it,” Kruse continues. “Creating an environment where these individuals are not inhibited by myriad rules allows them to become the best version of themselves.”
In other words, instead of stifling their employees, Netflix uses emotional intelligence to inspire them.
The article’s real takeaway? Give your employees performance-based heuristics, with appropriately set goals, so they can adapt to changing circumstance, and you’ll win. Box them in with algorithms, and you’re on your way to business parthenogenesis. Which means early death. And nothing shows that this works like Netflix, which as the article states, has changed from a DVD delivery company, to a streaming company, to a content creation company.
And whenever you see that term ’emotional intelligence’ — remember that it’s used by people who haven’t pondered the systemic effects of empathy. That’s OK — they’re just getting started.
2 thoughts on “Quickie Post — The Netflix Success Strategy — Scaffolded Heuristics”
Very much agree with your takeaways. The challenge with these business magazines is they paint a very rosey, one-sided picture. I’ve known a handful of people that worked and work at Netflix – and its a very competitive, dog-eat-dog, every man for himself environment. Yes, they hire top performers and reward them financially, but they also feed on these eager to advance people and incentivize them to work long hours, including weekends. I suspect that most Netflix employees take far less vacations than the average employee – for fear of falling behind.
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