Culture, Culture, Culture.
I’ve written before how I adapted one of Peter Drucker’s most famous quotes to read:
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Culture eats systems for lunch. Culture eats brand for dinner.”
If you get your culture right then the rest will, for many of us, pretty much take care of itself.
Most people get the theory but far too few do anything about it. Instead, their culture evolves of its own accord (or discord perhaps).
One of my most frequent prescriptions to our members is to write out what their culture is and how it translates to behaviours. Here’s some of the slides from the Netflix Culture Deck, one of the best examples of defining culture that I’ve come across. My challenge to you is to create something equally as clear and compelling.
Freedom & Responsibility
We’re a team, not a family
We’re like a pro sports team, not a kid’s recreational team
hire, develop and cut smartly, so we have stars in every position
Great Workplace is Stunning Colleagues
Great workplace is not espresso, lush benefits, sushi lunches, grand parties, or nice offices
We do some of these things, but only if they are efficient at attracting and retaining stunning colleagues
Our High Performance Culture
Not right for Everyone
• Many people love our culture, and stay a long time
– They thrive on excellence and candor and change
– They would be disappointed if given a severance package, but lots of mutual warmth and respect
• Some people, however, value job security and stability over performance, and don’t like our culture
– They feel fearful at Netflix
– They are sometimes bitter if let go, and feel that we are a political place to work
• We’re getting better at attracting only the former, and helping the latter realize we are not right for them
Pay Top of Market is Core to High Performance Culture
One outstanding employee gets more done and costs less than two adequate employees
We endeavour to have only outstanding employees
Three Necessary Conditions for Promotion
1) Job has to be big enough
– We might have an incredible manager of something, but we don’t need a director of it because the job isn’t big enough
• If the incredible manager left, we would replace with a manager, not with a director
2) Person has to be a superstar in current role
– Could get the next level job here if applying from outside and we knew their talents well
– Could get the next level job at peer firm that new their talents well
3. Person is an extraordinary role model of our culture and values.
Netflix slides sourced from: “Culture Decks Decoded” by Bretton Putter
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