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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – 12th February

This week, we have hand-selected five important content pieces for you to enjoy and learn how to improve company culture, company strategy and knowing your colleagues better.

Read: How being funny at work is so important

Read: Why your ideas are not your identity – being your best self

Listen: Find out why company culture was so deliberate but combat based
Related read – The Netflix Company Culture Book Review

Watch: How to improve your sleep

Watch: What happens in your brain when you pay attention


Important Related Must Reads:

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Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 16 – No Rules Rules

No Rules Rules – The Netflix Company Culture Book

21/09/2020

Dear Leaders,

I trust you are making progress and 2021 strategy is being shaped nicely. 

I recently finished reading Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer’s (author and business professor) book No Rules Rules. 

It is based on the (in)famous Netflix culture and how Netflix set up their company culture for success. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn from their mistakes and how rules become principles and guidelines, empowering their teams to make the right decisions by following “Act in Netflix’s best interest”. 

I will be honest throughout my career I have read the Netflix slide deck probably north of two dozen times, it has been an inspiration and on an odd occasion, it has been a hindrance.

It was inspiring to have candour at their level and admit some people just aren’t good enough. Something that leapt out in the earlier chapters was one sentence, this one sentence that kept coming back to me: 

“When I saw how senior management spends their time. I lost confidence in the company”

This quote actually inspired me to reach out to a couple of previous colleagues in management teams and a few more in senior leadership positions and asked: 

If people could openly see how you and how the senior management team spends their time, do you think it would improve or worsen the company? 

Most answered honestly, and suggested it would actually worsen the company. One was particularly honest. I love how we operate between us and our management team meetings are proactive vs previous roles.

However, we are not leading by example outside the meetings and it shows up in team meetings.  I have sat on a couple of management teams and leadership teams, I have advised a few more and upon reflection, I have to say one would have improved confidence and performance and guided the team. 

Another would have been particularly detrimental and would have instantly lost confidence and respect. Some management teams are thrown together and it requires months of getting to know each other, trusting each other and then respecting the collective decisions. 

For those who I have advised, being organised, deliberate, actionable, accountable and transparent are non-negotiable essentials and everyone has to sign up to these behaviours. 

These sound obvious, however, internal politics and personal ego’s come into play and ruin the hard work up front and then have numerous ripple effects throughout the business.

Over the coming week focus on asking yourself and your leadership team how we are spending our time and how is it improving performance, morale and accountability of the company? 

Thanks and have a great week, 
Danny 

PS if you are struggling as a management team or need help with management team development let me know. 

Want a TLDR of the book, here is a 5 minute mini pod for you to review

Categories
Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 8 – Is Sleep Really A Competitor?

Is Sleep Really A Competitor?

28/07/2020

Dear Leaders,

Happy Monday.

For many of us it is holiday season.

It’s almost August, how are you feeling month one of Q3 has already gone?

I was recently discussing the Netflix approach of naming competitors and having an alternative view on who competitors are.

Netflix is famous for suggesting sleep (yes sleep) was a competitor. The framing is smart and grabbed the business world’s attention.

In NFLX’s recent share holders letter, Netflix specifically praised TikTok,

“TikTok’s growth is astounding, showing the fluidity of internet entertainment. Instead of worrying about all these competitors, we continue to stick to our strategy of trying to improve our service and content every quarter faster than our peers. Our continued strong growth is a testament to this approach and the size of the entertainment market.”

Something that really leapt off the page for me and hopefully leaps out to you: “We continue to stick to our strategy of trying to improve our service and content every quarter faster than our peers”.

Trust me when I say one large competitor or emerging competitor can send shockwaves through organisations, for years I had Facebook as a competitor and it can really sidetrack senior execs and confuse teams if they do not have clear objectives and goals of concentrating on the customer.

By “managing via press release” Netflix have made it crystal clear to The Street but more importantly to their staff that they are going to concentrate on offering the best service and stay focused on their long term strategy.

This week Focus on aligning the teams on shared goals, aligned to the strategy you and your teams painstakingly put together and producing the best possible product or service not on a competitor or a new entrance into your market.

Have a good week leaders,

Thanks,
Danny Denhard

PS Read the company culture Netflix built newsletter.