Written by Mitch Santell
For those of us who are so passionate about movies, there is no better place than Netflix. The service is so much a part of the American Culture in 2018 that it is an absolute “Phenomena.”
Why am I so stoked on Netflix? Why do I watch it? Why do I share the latest original programming with my friends and family?
Answer: There is a very unique way that Netflix produces their programming that sincerely reminds me of the Studio System in Hollywood from the early 1920’s until the late 1950’s.
Here is just a little piece of what Netflix says about their own culture:
We want employees to be great independent decision makers, and to only consult their manager when they are unsure of the right decision. The leader’s job at every level is to set clear context so that others have the right information to make generally great decisions.
We don’t buy into the lore of CEOs, or other senior leaders, who are so involved in the details that their product or service becomes amazing. The legend of Steve Jobs was that his micromanagement made the iPhone a great product. Others take it to new extremes, proudly calling themselves nano- managers. The heads of major networks and studios sometimes make many decisions in the creative process of their content. We do not emulate these top-down models because we believe we are most effective and innovative when employees throughout the company make and own decisions.
We strive to develop good decision-making muscle everywhere in our company. We pride ourselves on how few, not how many, decisions senior management makes. We don’t want hands-off management, though. Each leader’s role is to teach, to set context, and to be highly informed of what is happening. The only way to figure out how the context setting needs to improve is to explore a sample of all the details. But unlike the micro-manager, the goal of knowing those details is not to change certain small decisions, but to learn how to adjust context so more decisions are made well.
There are some minor exceptions to “context not control,” such as an urgent situation in which there is no time to think about proper context and principles, when a new team member hasn’t yet absorbed enough context to be confident, or when it’s recognized that the wrong person is in a decision-making role.
To give you further insight, I actually downloaded their current culture page as a pdf, you may want to consider downloading it and keeping in your resource file.
Over the next few years, I believe that we will look back at NetFlix & merely marvel at how much the company has sincerely incorporated a whole new system of content creation and management. Old Hollywood is gone, Boom!
Some additional articles to inspire you:
A former Netflix exec has a simple algorithm for figuring out whether you should leave your job: http://read.bi/2EiADU0
15 Reasons Why Netflix Is The Media Streaming Giant: http://bit.ly/2nfZ11c
The Future of Movies: Will Netflix Become the Next Big Hollywood Studio?
My father Richard Alfred Santell (RIP) loved W.C. Fields, and this was his single favorite scene from the 1934 film “It’s a Gift.”