One of this year’s most discussed business books is Reed Hastings’ No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention. Instead of rules, Hastings believes in building an organization out of top performers. In his view, workplace rules deter innovation and experimentation.
Consequently, Hastings based his entire company on F&R (Freedom and Responsibility). This meant he had to employ and keep only the most talented employees–the keeper test–and he had to create an atmosphere that fostered candid evaluations. Feedback should aim to assist and should be actionable.
In his view, the workforce is not a family: it’s a team. Captains of departments should be able to make decisions, even multi-million dollar decisions, without approval of their boss.
Hastings freely admits his viewpoint works for creative companies and would not work for companies where error prevention and safety is paramount e.g. a health care company.
While Netflix’s corporate culture is not appropriate for every company, it has allowed Netflix, a creative company, to achieve great heights. The company has expanded globally.
No Rules Rules offers valuable insight into one of the world’s most successful companies. Although its tents are not appropriate for every company, No Rules Rules should generate thoughtful discussion about trust, innovation, and management.