La Cultura de empresa (caso Netflix)

Tabla de Contenidos

Tabla de Contenidos

Me gustaría empezar por el final, y es que “culture is the strategy of how you work”.

Muchas veces confundimos lo que realmente es o a lo que realmente se debería referir la cultura de empresa. No hablamos de ser una piña, una familia (algo complicado y me atrevería a decir que hasta peligroso querer ser así cuando te haces grande e incluso cuando eres pequeño), sino de cómo se trabaja en la empresa, cuáles son los principios que rigen el cómo hay que trabajar.

Una de las que consideramos “mejores culturas” de empresa y, especialmente, una de las mejores implementaciones de cultura es la de Netflix. Y esto último es lo complicado, implementar, ejecutar una cultura y asegurarse de que empapa bien en toda la estructura de la empresa.

Este post viene a resumir el libro “**[Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility]( it comes to recruiting,she was chief talent officer.)**” escrito por Patty McCord (ex-directora de talento en Netflix) bien parafraseando el contenido así como citándolo directamente (para qué cambiar lo que no podría estar mejor explicado…)

Así que… vamos al lío, capítulo por capítulo con lo que hemos considerado más importante o más reseñable…

Introduction: a new way of working

  • One of the pillars of the Netflix´s culture is radical honesty
  • A company´s job isn´t to empower people; it´s to remind people that they walk in the door with power and to create the conditions for them to exercise it
  • We fully and consistently communicated to everyone at Netflix the behavoirs we expected them to be disciplined about…
  • …Also what they should expect of us

Chapter one: The greatest motivator is contributing to success

  • Great teams are not created with incentives, procedures and perks. They are created by hiring talented people who are adults and want nothing more than to tackle a challenge
  • Great teams relish a challenge —> “God, this is hard. I want to do this
  • Policies and structure: “But my experiences at fast growth companies that successfully scaled showed me that the leanest processes posible and a strong culture of discipline were far superior”
  • The best thing you can do for employees is hire only high performers to work alongside them
  • Excellent colleagues, a clear purpose, and well-understood deliverables: that´s the powerful combination
  • We saw that we could treat people as adults and that they loved it

Chapter two: Every single employee should understand the business

  • Elaborating and being transparent about the job to be done, about the challenges the business is facing and the larger competitive context, the less important policies, approvals and incentives are
  • People must be able to ask questions and offer critiques and ideas
  • Installing through out the company a culture of curiosity
  • You will take out of this day what you put into it. If you dont ask questions, you wont get answers
  • Everyone in customer service, from day one, should understand exactly how the experience they provide customers directly impacts the bottom line
  • Truly understanding how the business works is the most valuable learning, its the rocket fuel of high performance and lifelong learning

Chapter three: Humans hate being lied to and being spun

  • Part of being an adult is being able hear the truth. And the corollary is that you owe the adults you hire the truth
  • Model honesty: one was to conduct an exercise we called “start, stop, continue” in our team meetings. In this drill, each person tells a colleague one thing they should start doing, one thing they should stop doing, and one thing there doing really well and should keep doing
  • We picked an anual feedback day in “start, stop, continue” format, to everyone they had feedback for
  • When leaders not only are open to being wrong but also readilly admit it and when they do so publicly, they send a powerful message to their teams: “please speak up!”
  • Due to the culture of transparency, the whole team has to take responsability for what happened
  • If you want to know what people are thinking, there is no dood replacement for simply asking them, best of all face to face

Chapter four: Debate vigorously

  • We taught people to ask
  • If people ask in a true spirit of interest about the problems others are wrestling with, remarkable bridges of understanding can be built
  • “Can you help me to understand what leads you to believe thats true” —> the manners os asking are key
  • Over time, this sort of questioning helped cultivate curiosity and respect and led to invaluable learning both within and among teams and functions
  • Opinions aren´t helpful unless the people who hold them are willing to take a stand in their defense by making a fact based case
  • We set a standard that people should develop their opinions by probing into facts and by listening with an open mind to fact based arguments they didn´t agree with
  • Decision making has to be data informed and not data driven (OJO!!!)
  • I look for people for the team who are smart enough to read the data and intuitive enough to know how to ignore it
  • He arranged a debate between the two, onstage, in chairs facing each other. The really brilliant twist was that each one had to get into the other persons skin (empatía)
  • No one should simply argue to win but to approach the best for the customer and the company (global objectives vs individual objectives)
  • Another of the core competencies we looked for: courage

Chapter five: Build the company now that you want to be then

  • Create a pipeline of potential hires
  • Dont expect that your current team can be your team for tomorrow
  • Are we limited by the team we have not being the team we should have? (para reflexionar…)
  • What kind of skills and experiences would it take for the team to operate the way you´re envisioning and accomplish the things you´ll need to do in that future?
  • The company was like a sports team, not a family (sports team vs family team)
  • Encouraged people to take charge of their own growth
  • Nostalgia can be a powerful force of resistance (no nos centremos en lo que éramos, en la estupenda familia y cómo nos reíamos…)
  • To stay agile and move at the speed of change, hire the people you need for the future now
  • On a regular basis, take the time to envision what your business must look like six months from now in order to be high performance
  • You are building a team not raising a family

Chapter six: Someone really smart in every job

  • Knowing when its time for people to move on goes hand in hand with bringing in top performers with their skills you need. They are two sides of the same coin. If you are not great at hiring high talented people, then you cannot be truly conformatble letting dood people go. You will never be good at one without the other and will never be good at building a high performance team
  • Be highly proactive about creating a pipeline of top talent
  • People´s happiness at the job is about solving a problem with talented people, as simple as this, as from knowing that the customers love the product (se tienen que visualizar los resultados)
  • Motivation is about talent density and appealing challenges
  • Do not make any long term promises to people about long-term careers at the company
  • When they think someone is a dood culture fit is that the candidate is someone they´d like to have a beer with. That approach is often totally wrongheaded
  • Organizations can adapt to many people´s styles: culture fit can work both ways
  • Our goal was for every single person who came in for an interview to walk away wanting the job, even if we hated them
  • Making a great hire is not about bringing in an “A player”; its about finding a great match for your needs
  • Focus on people´s fundamental problem-solving abilities

Chapter seven: Pay people what they are worth to you

  • The best companies focus their stars on areas where these individuals can have the biggest impact on company performance
  • If you focus intensely on hiring the best people you can find and pay top dollar, you will almost always find that they make up much more in business growth than the difference in compensation

Chatper eight: The art of good good byes

  • Make needed changes fast, and be a great place to be from
  • We have an 80 games season, and every ten games I would sit down with them individually. I´d bring all their stats and I would ask other people – other coaches, other team members – for feedback also, and the player would bring a self evaluation. Then we would have a conversation about what to do for the next ten games
  • I also believe that apprising people of how their performance is being perceived by their team mates and other colleagues is invaluable in allowing them to gain critical perspective
  • There is no reason to put people who simply don´t have the skills you need on a performance improvement plan
  • The problem is with the hiring process, not the individual. You simply hired the wrong person. Its not their fault. So you shouldn´t make them feel like it is
  • Sometimes it´s in everyone´s interest for people to move on to a new job quickly rather tan keep trying to improve their performance
  • That commitment to achievement is what we want to foster, not the expectation that as long as you´re working hard, the company will have your back


  • Culture is the strategy of how you work
  • As different as the engineering culture was from the marketing cultures and the culture of the content creators in LA, we were all ultimately unified around our fundamentals
  • Another foundation of successful culture change is honesty about the challenges and the nature of progress along the way
  • Just imagine if you had an organization full of people who know they have power
  • Keep reminding yourself that people have power. It´s not your job to give it to them. Appreciate their power, unleash it from hidebound policies, and procedures, and trust me, they will be powerful

Casi nada ¿Verdad?

Como recomendación, leed el artículo varias veces, en momentos distintos tanto si estás pensando en establecer una cultura y/o formalizarla, como si estás en el “lado” contrario y te dedicas a invertir en startups por ejemplo, debemos tener claro el tipo de empresa que estamos buscando y especialmente el tipo de cultura que se ha creado porque es una parte importante, vital, en los resultados que se podrán conseguir como compañía.

Las bases de una cultura, buena o mala, debe de existir desde un inicio. Hemos quedado que la definición de cultura es la estrategia de cómo se trabaja, y trabajamos desde el minuto cero…

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