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This presentation describing Netflix's freedom and responsibility culture has been reviewed on a number of blogs etc recently: http://moon-shots.ning.com/video/netflix-culture.

I agree with most of the points raised in these blogs, although I have some challenges which I make at Strategic-HCM and Social-Advantage.

However, I do think it demonstrates a couple of the Moon Shots very effectively:


MS 6: Reinvent the means of control

Netflix's approach provides a superb illustration of encouraging control from within rather than constraints from without.

the company operates in a creative environment and its strategy is to employ high performers who will encourage other high performers to want to work with them, and who can rise above the increasing level of complexity that will come with the company’s growth.

To keep complexity levels down, Netflix has developed a culture of freedom and responsibility.

Key to this, is the company’s ongoing effort to keep out bad processes. One good example is its vacation policy: “there is no policy or tracking”. And another is is expenses policy: “Act in Netflix’s best interests”.


Note though, that echoing Rousseau, there are limits to employees’ freedom. Rules are required to prevent irrevocable disaster and to manage moral, ethical and legal issues.

And control still has a role too – in an emergency, for someone who is stilll learning, or while the wrong person is working in a role.



MS 12 Share the work of setting direction

Netflix also provides a good example of Moonshot 12. They describe their approach as highly aligned, loosely coupled. Ie there is a strong direction from the top, but groups are trusted to pursue opportunities without having to co-ordinate further.


Take a look at the presentation, and do comment to let me know what you think?

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