Netflix Has One of the Most Acclaimed Company Cultures. Patty McCord Created It.
It’s hard to overstate the central role Netflix plays in modern American life. As a fast and efficient DVD delivery service, it was among the most buzzed-about new businesses. And though there’s been at least one well-publicized misstep along the way, it’s now the world’s largest subscription streaming service, with original shows that are 2016’s Must-See TV.
A key element to Netflix’s explosive growth is believed to be its culture, a brilliant set of principles established by the company’s chief talent officer at the time, Patty McCord. (McCord is now an independent consultant.) It’s codified in a remarkable slide deck that’s been shared 13 million times on Slideshare. It’s a great read — you can see it for yourself below.
The deck grew out of an experience McCord and co-founder Reed Hastings had at a previous company. “We didn’t like how that company was when we left,” McCord recently told Fast Company. Instead of inventing their own collection of vague human virtues as values the company was supposed to care about, McCord and Hastings deliberately ignored other companies’ culture statements and got serious about what they themselves really considered important, and what they expected from employees. Throughout the years-long development of the culture statement, McCord deliberately ignored the outside world to concentrate on Netflix’s specific goals.
What they wound up with is a culture designed to work for “fully-formed adults,” to use McCord’s words. “I had had it with the baby attitude. No, you don’t get to whine about your T-shirt, you’re 40 years old. And you have a mortgage and family and car. And I’m supposed to tell you the policy on how much money is wise to spend in your department? That’s just stupid.”
Here’s the Netflix culture deck: