Farming for Dissent

Farming for Dissent

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, encourages what he calls farming for dissent.

Everyone is encouraged to have ideas and share them, but when you do have an idea, you should try to get your coworkers to tell you what is wrong with your idea - farm for dissent. For this to work, employees have to be candid about it.

In trying to get as much negative feedback as possible you foreshadow potential failure. You are still allowed to pursue your idea even if met with skepticism, but this prevention step is essential.

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‎Land of the Giants: “Netflix is a team, not a family” on Apple Podcasts

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Sunshining: Telling Everyone You’re Wrong

At Netflix, sharing that you have done something wrong is encouraged, and their process of doing so publicly is called sunshining.

Sunshining implies standing in front of coworkers, executives and other team members and telling them about what you did badly, how you were wrong and so on.

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Transparency Means Responsibility

While most major companies try to hide their financials and other sensitive information, the whole in-the-hundreds pool of Netflix executives has access to subscriber reports and other crucial financial data.

This transparency signifies trust in their employees and it encourages responsibility.

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The Keeper Test at Netflix

While Netflix claims a 10-11% employee turnover rate, similar to what can be seen across the tech industry, they have a culture of ‘if you are not the right person for the job, you will be replaced’.

They treat their employees like a team, not a family.

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