No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention

Penguin. Sept. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781984877864. $28. BUS
Hastings (Cofounder, chair, and CEO of Netflix) and Meyer (European Institute of Business Administration; The Culture Map) present a fascinating analysis of Netflix. Hastings begins with the rocky start of Netflix in ‘97 and takes readers to its current model of streaming combined with original films that have transformed the company into the powerhouse it is today. Hastings attributes this success to the distinctive company culture that values people over process, emphasizes innovation over efficiency, and has very few controls. Some of the Hastings principles include requiring employees to give candid feedback, not forcing employees to obtain approval for business expenses or decisions, deeming hard work as irrelevant while providing generous severance for adequate performance, and always paying top salaries in order to acquire and retain top star talent. 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.
VERDICT Highly recommended for leaders eager to build innovative, fast, and flexible teams, and all university libraries supporting business and human resource development curriculum.

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