HELP! - A Short Career Control Guide

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Yes No. Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Disability Employment I need support. We farm for dissent; dissent is not natural or easy, which is why we make a concerted effort to stimulate it. Small decisions may be shared just by email, larger ones will merit a memo with discussion of the various positions, and why the captain made such a decision.

We are clear, however, that decisions are not made by a majority or committee vote. When the captain of any particular decision is reasonably confident of the right bet for us to take, they decide and we take that bet. Afterwards, as the impact becomes clearer, we reflect on the decision, and see if we could do even better in the future. If you disagree on a material issue, it is your responsibility to explain why you disagree, ideally in both discussion and in writing.

The back and forth of discussion can clarify the different views, and concise writing of the core issues helps people reflect on what is the wise course, as well as making it easy to share your views widely. The informed captain on that decision has the responsibility to welcome, understand, and consider your opinions, but may not agree.

Once the captain makes a decision, we expect everyone to help make it as successful as possible. Later, if significant new information becomes available, it is fine to ask the captain to revisit the topic. Silent disagreement is unacceptable and unproductive. We want employees to be great independent decision makers, and to only consult their manager when they are unsure of the right decision. The legend of Steve Jobs was that his micromanagement made the iPhone a great product. Others take it to new extremes, proudly calling themselves nano-managers. The heads of major networks and studios sometimes make many decisions in the creative process of their content.

We do not emulate these top-down models because we believe we are most effective and innovative when employees throughout the company make and own decisions. We strive to develop good decision-making muscle everywhere in our company. We pride ourselves on how few, not how many, decisions senior management makes.

The only way to figure out how the context setting needs to improve is to explore a sample of the details. But unlike the micro-manager, the goal of knowing those details is not to change certain small decisions, but to learn how to adjust context so more decisions are made well. We tell people not to seek to please their boss. Instead, seek to serve the business. Let me know if you want to specifically override my decision.

Who we are

As companies grow, they often become highly centralized and inflexible. Symptoms include:. We avoid this by being highly aligned and loosely coupled. We spend lots of time debating strategy together, and then trust each other to execute on tactics without prior approvals. We may find that the strategy was too vague or the tactics were not aligned with the agreed strategy. And we discuss generally how we can do better in the future. Ultimately, the end goal is to grow the business for bigger impact while increasing flexibility and agility.

We seek to be big, fast and nimble. New employees often comment in their first few months that they are surprised how accurate this culture description is to the actual culture they experience.

Step 1: Reflect

Around the world, we live and create our culture together. In fact, hundreds of our global employees contributed to this document. We do not seek to preserve our culture — we seek to improve it. Every person who joins us helps to shape and evolve the culture further. We find new ways to accomplish more together.

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Every few years we can feel a real difference in how much more effectively we are operating than in the past. We are learning faster than ever because we have more dedicated people with diverse perspectives trying to find better ways for our talented team to work together more cohesively, nimbly and effectively. As we wrote in the beginning, what is special about Netflix is how much we:.

Netflix Culture. This document is about our unusual employee culture. What is special about Netflix, though, is how much we: encourage independent decision-making by employees share information openly, broadly, and deliberately are extraordinarily candid with each other keep only our highly effective people avoid rules Our core philosophy is people over process.

Real Values Many companies have value statements, but often these written values are vague and ignored. Dream Team A dream team 1 is one in which all of your colleagues are extraordinary at what they do and are highly effective collaborators. Freedom and Responsibility There are companies where people walk by trash on the floor in the office, leaving it for someone else to pick it up, and there are companies where people in the office lean down to pick up the trash they see, as they would at home. Some examples of how we operate with unusual amounts of freedom are: We share documents internally broadly and systematically.

Nearly every document is fully open for anyone to read and comment on, and everything is cross-linked.

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There are some leaks, but the value of highly-informed employees is well worth it. There are virtually no spending controls or contract signing controls. Each employee is expected to seek advice and perspective as appropriate. Our leaders make sure they set good examples by taking vacations, often coming back with fresh ideas, and encourage the rest of the team to do the same. Each employee chooses each year how much of their compensation they want in salary versus stock options.

You can choose all cash, all options, or whatever combination suits you 4. You choose how much risk and upside you want.

Introduction

After some sleepless nights staring into the Internet abyss, I finally stumbled upon some encouraging hits. Lauren Hill, Ph. Should you collect your opinions from groups , or from individuals? Here, you can set up a little interrogation room and one by one, bring each yearning down into it for a cross-examination. It also has an online community of graduate students — past, present and future — to discuss their experiences regarding their industry transitions.

These year stock options are fully-vested and you keep them even if you leave Netflix. There are no compensation handcuffs vesting requiring you to stay in order to get your money. People are free to leave at any time, without loss of money, and yet they overwhelmingly choose to stay. But needs assessment surveys typically have written , closed-ended , relatively narrow questions which are quantitatively scored. The person being surveyed often responds with a numerical rating, rather than with a verbal statement.

Such surveys can be very useful; but they usually can't capture all that a person is thinking or feeling. Responses in a focus group, on the other hand, are typically spoken , open-ended , relatively broad , and qualitative. They have more depth, nuance, and variety. Nonverbal communications and group interactions can also be observed. Focus groups can therefore get closer to what people are really thinking and feeling, even though their responses may be harder -- or impossible -- to score on a scale.

Which is better? Both of these methods are useful. And both can be used together, to complement each other. Which should you use in a specific situation? That depends upon your own needs and purposes, and the resources available to you. Here are several situations when you might want to know more about community opinions before taking action. How useful would a focus group be in each case? A focus group is not for every social situation. But it can be useful in many situations where action should be guided by public opinion.

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Should you collect your opinions from groups , or from individuals? The focus groups are, of course, groups. Most surveys, though, cover one person at a time. One advantage of focus groups is depth and complexity of response, as mentioned before. And group members can often stimulate new thoughts for each other, which might not have otherwise occurred.

For example , focus groups usually take more time per respondent than individual surveys -- because the group has to be recruited, and because the group itself takes time. Some group members might feel hesitant about speaking openly. And the focus group leader may sometimes need to be paid. Of course, it's also possible to combine the advantages of both methods, and interview one person at a time in depth.

But this can be time-consuming, and take more resources than you have on hand. It is used to learn more about opinions on a designated topic, and then to guide future action. The group's composition and the group discussion should be carefully planned to create a nonthreatening environment, so that participants feel free to talk openly and give honest opinions. Since participants are actively encouraged to not only express their own opinions, but also respond to other members and questions posed by the leader, focus groups offer a depth, nuance, and variety to the discussion that would not be available through surveys.

Additionally, because focus groups are structured and directed, but also expressive, they can yield a lot of information in a relatively short time. This is not a casual matter: Your leader will determine the success of your group. What kind of leader do you want? Probably someone who:. Take a careful look around. Perhaps you can find the right leader within your own organization.

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It's possible you can do the job yourself but don't overestimate [or underestimate] your own abilities. Depending on the situation, you might consider looking for someone outside your organization, someone that specializes in facilitating these kinds of groups. A small but important point, often neglected. You want to make sure people's ideas don't get lost. Someone should be writing down what is said, in the same way as taking minutes at a meeting.

Arrange for this in advance. Alternatively, you can tape-record, with the group's permission. This will take more time -- to transcribe the tape, and interpret the transcription-- but you will have a more complete, accurate, and permanent record. Ideally, those invited should be a representative sample of those whose opinions you are concerned about. Suppose you're concerned about the opinions of public housing tenants.

You would then want to spread your invitations across the different public housing facilities in your community -- not just the best, or the worst, or the most vocal. Or suppose you are concerned about the opinions of Main Street shopkeepers. Get a complete list. Select a representative group, for example by size, type, or whether they have local or outside ownership. You probably want to hear from all kinds of businesses; so make sure you do. You could even pull the names out of a hat. This approaches a "random sample. That is, should you offer an incentive for people to participate?

Maybe not. In that case, why should people come? What's in it for them? Possibly people will come just because they want to help.

Or because they think they will meet other interesting people, or learn something, or just have fun. Maybe the novelty of the experience itself will be a motivator. And maybe all these reasons are true. Or at least people believe them.

How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You)

But maybe those reasons aren't enough, and some other incentive is called for. Money is one; sometimes focus group members get paid, even a small amount. Focus group leaders may get paid, too. If you can afford this, consider it. If you can't, then think about other possible incentives: food and drink more than chips and soda? What will do the job? Go in prepared. This will serve as your guide. Below are some examples of general questions. These apply largely to groups discussing a current program or service, but they can be adjusted for planned programs, as well as for groups dealing with other concerns.

The precise language and order of presentation will depend on your topic and group, but some of these questions may be adapted to your own needs. A common sequence of events for many focus groups goes something like this: The leader usually takes responsibility for carrying them out. Reminder 1: Be sure to record. If the group is not being tape-recorded, someone should be writing the key points down. Reminder 2 : Of course, the leader's job is to elicit opinion, and not judge it. All opinions should be respected. If you have tape-recorded, make a transcript.

If not, make a written summary from the group notes. But in any case, look closely at the information you have collected. In some cases, you can devise and use a coding system to "score" the data and count the number of times a particular theme is expressed. Experience helps here. But whether you do this or not, try to have more than one person review the results independently.

Because even the best of us have our biases. Then come together to compare your interpretations and conclusions.