... fascinating ... Hastings explains how to build up talent density, increase candor, and begin removing controls. However, Hastings’s work misses the importance of luck in his success, something he would consider the result of his continuous preparation for upcoming opportunities others miss ... Highly recommended for leaders eager to build innovative, fast, and flexible teams, and all university libraries supporting business and human resource development curriculum.
This format feels conversational, and makes the book very easy to follow. The authors share anecdotes, observations, and interviews from current and former Netflix employees to show how other leaders, managers, and organizations may implement company expectations or communication practices. The writing is also lucid, particularly on complex and dense issues such as expense approval or performance review processes. Readers interested in organizational leadership and management and the role of technology in business development will find this to be informative, thought provoking, and down-to-earth as Hastings and Meyer describe important facets of Netflix’s organizational growth and innovative culture.
Collaboration, like many concepts in the book, appears almost out of nowhere as an intrinsic good. What could be wrong with a little old-fashioned, high-performing collaboration? But the collaborative spirit Hastings invokes has a highly specific meaning that no one outside of Netflix would be able to guess ... The No Rules Rules sounds a lot like good old-fashioned rules-y type rules ... the solution to almost every major business problem at Netflix is firing people ... The only set of explicit, rigid rules Netflix seems to have tossed out are the ones which came about primarily after World War II to accommodate demands by workers for better working conditions and compensation, including vacation time. The company has turned clear guidelines that might give an employee peace of mind into a swirling, opaque mass of implicit rules that are often wildly contingent, based on the whim of your boss or the most powerful person in the room. The fear this contingency breeds encourages workers to squeeze their expenses, take as little vacation as possible, and generally conform to whatever the consensus of the company is that day ... But the important question to ask is how much Netflix’s culture, as studied by its own charismatic founder, really contributes to its success at all. Hastings claims that candid feedback 'pushed performance in the office to new levels,' but like in most of the book, he can’t provide much evidence for this ... The feeling of inconsequence is reinforced when Hastings flat-out admits that if you work in a non-creative field, his managerial framework doesn’t apply ... Netflix’s own comparison of itself to a professional sports team proves it isn’t new, because professional sports teams are businesses, too. But as my elitist friend acknowledged at the end of his email, there is at least one big difference between Netflix’s corporate employees and professional athletes: the athletes have unions.