For things to change, someone has to start thinking and acting differently. Most of the time, it’s maverick’s who challenge the status quo; not incumbents. For all the talk about corporate innovation going on, truth is there’s not much going on. Most of it is just talk. In the big scheme of things, any story about corporate innovation is truly an anomaly.
How does Netflix innovate? Just like any organization that has a track record of innovation, you have to start with it’s culture. Luckily, you can learn about Netflix’s culture from the CEO himself. In his book, No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, Reed Hastings describes 4 steps which all employees follow within Netflix to pursue an idea they’re passionate about.
Working for a traditional company means that you follow a set of rules, the company is configured so things happen in a determined way on a daily basis. There are set processes, therefore surprises are chided and anything that disrupts routines is avoided.
There are many warning signs of bad leadership and management, one of them is when followers are confused. Last week I witnessed a meeting between a manager and his immediate reports. The manager called an impromptu meeting to let them know that he felt that no one was obeying him, that they were slacking off and that he would change them with new people if things didn’t change.
Whether people and organizations like it or not, the current pandemic is accelerating the digitalization of the enterprise at all levels. Still, many organizations are late to the party, and some aren’t acting at all.
You can’t talk about things you want done when you’re not setting the example. In every group and / or business that I’ve lead, I’ve always set the example; I don’t know any other way to do it. So earlier in my career it was a bit mindboggling to me when I encountered other organizations where the leader was not setting the example. They asked and expected their employees to behave in a certain way, but they didn’t walk the talk themselves.