Management advice that turns everything you know on its head.
The home entertainment industry has and continues to change. There are distinct winners and losers in today’s new era and Netflix is no doubt a winner, having expanded its consumer base to 190 countries with billions of dollars in earnings as its medal.
The rules (or rather lack thereof) to its success are outlined in Netflix Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings’ new book No Rules Rules. Co-authored with Erin Meyer, who in 2019 was voted one of the world’s top fifty most influential business thinkers by Thinkers50, learn about new management concepts that surprisingly work.
No Rules Rules starts with an introduction which only makes sense once you start reading the book. Unfortunately, as the introduction is so poorly inspiring and without context it could possibly turn many readers away from continuing to read the book. Persevere!
If you can get through the introduction and appreciate that it will all make sense soon, you will have yourself a valuable read if you are running a modern-day company of creatives. If, however, you are in a management position whereby creativity or business negotiations are not a core part of your employee’s role, the book will not be relevant.
The writing style throughout the entirety of the book is both Reed and Meyer taking on the first-person narrative voice and, for some concepts, a dialogue between them also occurs. Each chapter ends with a point summary of things to take away. The ideas are easy to grasp yet would require much change for a person to implement.
In the Netflix environment, the autonomy given to employees empowers them to make real decisions without management approval and is credited as being a real driver of success at Netflix. This includes giving them the power of making business mistakes. If you are a traditionalist, you will really have to change your ways. Failure for you to adapt your management style could potentially result in you losing your best employees to companies like Netflix.
The book is littered with numerous examples of successes and failures within the Netflix workplace to show it is worth the effort of adapting your management style. These examples also act as blueprints to use in your workplace, each one aligning together to reinforce the need to manage without controls.
No Rules Rules is a wakeup call on how to attract, retain and get the best out of your creative staff.
Reviewed by Rebecca Wu