I lurve, yes luuurve, Netflix. The culture of the business AND the product. I am a massive fan. As a lover of feedback cultures this organisation is the bomb!
Reed Hastings, the CEO, made a decision in the early days that they would have radical candour as a cultural norm. He has described their pursuit of honesty and transparency as a major contributor to their unprecedented success and competitive advantage.
Being a part of ‘dream teams’ is not for everyone. Expectations are built from the recruitment and induction phases. People are able to opt in or out when they see fit.
Netflix can also be described like being in a ‘nudist camp’, or places for intellectual Navy SEALS only and that you need to have a ‘thick skin’. It wouldn’t be hard to find some employees who struggle with the culture. But disgruntled or disengaged employees are not new to any business.
It would be highly unusual for employees, in either business, to have a week go by without receiving, or giving, feedback on technical skills, communication style, team work, client interactions and even how they dress. It’s their norm. And yeah it’s not for everyone but as far as engagement of people and growth of the businesses go – the results speak for themselves.
Netflix’s values explicitly state, and live up to, being ‘extraordinarily candid with each other’ and that they ‘share information openly, broadly, and deliberately’. Their manifesto says: “In the tension between honesty and kindness, we lean into honesty. No matter how honest, though, we treat people with respect.”
Today Netflix has become the world’s leading Internet television network with over 83 million members including over 19 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day. With over 6000 employees, Netflix voluntary attrition is 3-4% and involuntary at 8% that data does not reflect anything but success.
The BUT is not referring to the culture. I’m a big fan because it forces people to opt in (or out) of self-discovery and awareness. Sharing feedback does that. It’s what I’ve found from my research and interviews about the feedback that we give ourselves that I am seeing some really strong correlations to how we use Netflix, and any other, TV streamlining platforms.
At this stage, the data it telling me that when we go to an unhealthy place and tell ourselves all sorts of nasty things one of our first go tos is to disconnect with our thinking. It hurts too much and pulls us down. So we want it to stop it. And one of the easiest ways to do that is to binge. Don’t get me wrong we binge on all sorts of stuff like food ‘n’ grog ‘n’ being busy ‘n’ exercising. But we now can add Netflix to the list and this one we can get lost in for days, and weeks and it even becomes a habit.
When we watch shows that we enjoy it releases dopamine which does make us feel good. And that’s ok. It’s when we do it to avoid stuff then that’s the issue. It stimulates the same neuronal pathways that cause heroin and sex addictions. Those pathways don’t discriminate on the types of pleasure.
The sad thing is that, in a way, we are just prolonging our pain. Eventually we will have to deal with our thinking or we will vomit it on others and how we treat them. It causes isolation from others and especially in communication. We don’t let people know what we are thinking or feeling. So then the viscous cycle continues.
When we replace TV with connection to others we disconnect from our human nature.
Dr. Judy Rosenberg, psychologist and founder of the Psychological Healing Centre in Sherman Oaks, CA. “We are wired to connect, and when we disconnect from humans and over-connect to TV at the cost of human connection, eventually we will ‘starve to death’ emotionally. Real relationships and the work of life is more difficult, but at the end of the day more enriching, growth producing and connecting.”
So how ironic that an organisation, like Netflix, that is so committed to feedback has created a platform that we can use to stop the internal dialogue. Yes it’s our choice, not their fault.
Do you use it for entertainment or enterpainment?