In her book “Once Your’re Lucky Twice You’re Good”, Sarah Lacy says that cultures at startups mirror the personality of their founders. Having worked at a startup before I think this is quiet true. It not just true for startups though. I have worked in different offices of the same big organization and found that they could have totally different cultures. Some organizations just accept this fact, while others spend millions of dollars to try and maintain a homogenous culture. Whatever the culture is, you can’t easily change it once formed. But you can surely try and build it from the very begning.
Recently, on Techcrunch, I came across a 128-page presentation from Netflix that was circulated within the organization. It gives you a glimpse of their culture. And coming from a fairly large publicly traded company it will surprise you. They don’t follow the usual rules of the corporate world. In fact many small companies that pride themselves for having a flexible culture can learn some things from them.
I’m embedding the slides below. Remember it is 128-pages. It will take some time to digest the material but it will inspire you.
Netflix: Reference Guide on our Freedom & Responsibility Culture