No Rules Rules

This is a book that made me want to work at Netflix headquarters. Written by Reed Hastings, CEO and co-founder of Netflix, and Erin Meyer, INSEAD professor, No Rules Rules is essentially a guidebook of how management at Netflix works. It’s like getting an insightful look into what makes Netflix an extremely successful business. What are they doing right? How are they managing to retain talent? What is it about no vacation policy?

While I am just sharing a summary here because there is too much information to impart, I would highly recommend this book for those who have a business-entrepreneur mindset and want to work on ways to excel productivity and innovation their business.

The book is split into four sections:

A. First steps tp a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

Firstly, we learn how to build up talent density. What are some of the ways we can hire and retain great talent.

Secondly, we increase candour, where we get an insight into how to give feedback to others and to say what we really think, with positive intentions.

Thirdly, in what was the most interesting part of the book for me, is about removing the vacation policy, along with the removal of travel and expense approvals.

B. Next steps to a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility.

Next, we learn how to retain the great talent by doing one thing: pay them really well.

Then, we pump up the candour and ask the staff to read the books– in other words, working with transparency at the workplace.

Lastly, the removal of more controls, and in this case the no decision-making approvals are removed.

C. Techniques to Reinforce a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility.

Now, we learn to maximise the talent density.

Then, we maximise the candour— feedback.

Finally, we eliminate most controls, and we lead with context, not control.

D. Going Global

Netflix is a global entity– and in this part we learn how they’ve successfully managed to work out ways to work in different cultures and countries.

Within each of these sections, we have a further breakdown of what should happen at each step to establish the work culture. Along with this, Reed Hastings also talks about connecting the dots to see the larger picture.

Connecting the Dots

The First Dot:

A fast and innovative workplace is made up what we call a “stunning colleagues”- highly talented people, of diverse backgrounds and perspective, who are exceptionally creative, accomplish significant amounts of important work, and collaborate effectively, What’s more, none of the other principles can work unless you able ensured this first dot is in place.

The Second Dot:

If you have a group people who are highly talented, thoughtful, and well-meaning, you can ask them to do something that is not at all natural but nonetheless incredible helpful to a company’s speed and effectiveness. You can ask them to five each other loads of candid feedback and challenged authority

The Third Dot:

Once you have developed a culture of candour, employees will watch out for each other and ensure their teammates’ actions are in line with the good of the company. Then you can begin to remove the controls and give your staff more freedom. Great places to start are the lifting of your vacation, travel and expense policies.

The Fourth Dot:

In order to fortify the talent density in your workforce, for all creative roles, hire one exceptional employee instead of ten or more average ones.

The Fifth Dot:

If you trust your people to handle appropriately sensitive information, the trust you demonstrate will instigate feelings of responsibility and your employees will show you just how trust worthy you are.

The Sixth Dot:

If you have high talent density and organisational transparency firmly in place, a faster, more innovative decision-making process is possible. Your employees can dream big, test their ideas, and implement bets they believe in, even when in opposition to those hierarchically above them.

The Seventh Dot:

If each manager considers carefully, on a regular basis, whether every employee on the team is indeed Thebes choice for that position and replaces anyone who isn’t, performance across the organisation soars to new heights.

The Eight Dot:

If you are serious about candour at some point, you do need to implement mechanisms to assure candour happens.

The Ninth Dot:

Instead of seeking to minimise error through oversight or process, focus on setting clear contact, building alignment of the North Star between boss and team, and giving the informed captain the freedom to decide.

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