Monday, July 25, 2011

No "brilliant jerks" at Netflix

Everyone talks about company values, but few do anything about them.  Here's a post by Bill Taylor of Fast Company magazine about how values really mean behavior.  He quotes Netflix CEO Reed Hastings:
"Values are what we value," Hastings declares in his presentation, and values "are shown by who gets promoted, rewarded or let go." Actual company values, he continues, "are the behaviors and skills that are valued in fellow employees."
In other words, not platitudes framed on a wall, but what people consistently do and say - and how they do it and say it.  Hastings and Taylor believe that
a great place to work isn't about free lunches or weekly massages. A great place to work is about "stunning colleagues," an organization filled with people who bring out the best in themselves and in everyone around them.
So, even though I'm a little mad at Netflix right now over their price increases, I feel better knowing that they're trying to be human-hearted in corporate life.  We need more of that.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Practice helps us own our knowledge

"The benefit of a flight simulator is that it allows pilots to internalize their new knowledge.  Instead of memorizing lessons, a pilot can train the emotional brain, preparing the parts of the cortex that will actually make the decision when up in the air." -- Jonah Lehrer, How We Decide  

Great point.  When faced with a situation that requires action, we rarely have time to think, "What was that approach we talked about during Day Three of management training?"  We act from the gut.  And we train the gut through practice.