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  • Isobel McEwan

Picking People - how do you pick the best?


The difference between a good business and a great business can be attributed to one simple thing.

How you pick your people.

An inspiring example is the people philosophy of Netflix – they now need no introduction as they are the most famous providers of on-demand internet streaming media. In 2012 their CEO Reed Hastings and Chief Talent Officer Patty McCord produced a presentation about their people, culture and strategy - a 124 page document called 'Netflix Culture: Freedom & Responsibility'.

On face value it doesn’t look very innovative – in fact it’s a fairly simple slide deck of traditional PowerPoint slides – but they pack a powerful punch. To date it has been shared over 13 million times on Slideshare and has been called “the most important document ever to come out of the Valley” by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.

This extract summarises how they pick their people based on 9 key criteria:

  1. Judgment

  2. Communication

  3. Impact

  4. Curiosity

  5. Innovation

  6. Courage

  7. Passion

  8. Honesty

  9. Selflessness

When they find people with these qualities, they do everything they can to hire them, pay better than market rate and keep them.

“Adequate Performance gets a generous severance pay”

“A business with high performing, innovative people has a better chance of sustained success in a changing market”

According to Wikipedia, Netflix is now the world's 10th-largest internet company by revenue and at October 2017 it had 109.25 million subscribers worldwide. It's popularity has resulted in their brand name now being used as a verb!

It’s also interesting to note that Netflix has very few, if any, policies.

They have no policy for dress code but “no one comes to work naked”

They have no Holiday Policy – that doesn’t mean no holidays. Actually the opposite. Employees can take holidays when they like and for as long as they like and are encouraged to come back inspired with BIG ideas.

Their culture may be perceived by some as daring or risky. Or by others as vibrant, fresh and forward thinking.

Policies can cripple creativity.

Are you picking the right people and giving them the freedom to flourish?

If not, it might be time to think …..

If you need help 'picking your people' then why not contact us - we'd be delighted to help.

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