What we can learn from the Netflix Culture Deck as Business Leaders

Noel Dykes
2 min readFeb 1, 2022

The Netflix culture deck was a collaboration between founder and CEO Reed Hastings, and Patty McCord. Published back in 2009, it reimagined HR and crafted a gold standard for Culture.

Let’s explore each aspect of it:

1. Values are what we Value:

Netflix believes actual Company values are the behaviours and skills your people value, not those that live on the walls. Their core set of behaviours guides them when hiring, promoting and everything in between.

2. High Performance

A great workplace is not grand parties or fancy offices. It’s about stunning colleagues. Netflix not only hires well, but they also “develop and cut smartly”. They operate like a pro sports team grounder in honesty, loyalty and helping others.

No room for brilliant jerks or interest in measuring hours people work. They are clear that adequate performance gets a generous severance package.

3. Freedom and Responsibility

Most companies curtail freedom as they scale, not Netflix. They are intentional about increasing space for their people as they grow. The belief is that people thrive on being trusted, on freedom, and on making a difference.

4. Context not Control

Start with clear roles and responsibilities. Exact measurements. Clear objectives and expectations.

The best managers figure out how to get excellent outcomes by setting the appropriate context rather than by trying to control their people.

High performing people and teams always do better work when the context is clearly understood.

5. Highly Aligned, Loosely Coupled

Netflix thrives on removing traditional top-down management behaviour and reducing silos. When people are highly aligned, strategic goals and interactions are clear, understood and focused. Trust features heavily in execution, with minimal meetings and approvals required.

6. Pay Top of Market

Netflix’s goal; is to only have outstanding people. To achieve this, they pay top of the market. They encourage their people to understand their market value, they avoid ranking employees against each other and regardless of how the business is performing, they still pay top of the market.

7. Promotions and Development

Netflix is clear about the conditions that would result in a promotion. They also believe in people owning their own career growth rather than relying on the corporation “planning” their careers.

Here’s to a culture built on freedom and responsibility.



Noel Dykes

Passionate about the intersections of great design, people and business. Founder @ www.frankli.io