Culture of Disruption

May 8, 2014


Disruption is the elegant hack in business. It’s how companies outdo the competition. It’s how start-ups overthrow long established brands. And cultures that foster disruption will consistently lead the pack.

Netflix is a great example. They saw the delta, the weakness to exploit. Blockbuster customers were irate about late fees, which were exacerbated by the pain in the butt to go back to the store to return DVD’s. Netflix found a way to eliminate late fees through subscriptions, and easy mailers allowed people to stay home and simply hand them back to the letter carriers.

That in itself would be an act of disruption. But they developed a culture. They disrupted the way most companies do HR by eliminating vacation policies and giving more freedom to employees (source: ). They disrupted their own business model by shifting the focus to streaming video.

So how did they create a culture of disruption?

1. They focused on values and actually valued the employees by them.
2. They focus on great work over hard work (it’s not about the number of hours)
3. They look for those who thrive on excellence rather than job security.
4. They focus on talent rather than processes to manage the increasing complexity.
5. They keep rules few and simple, creating a context for success, rather than trying to control it.

And let’s not overlook that rather than just sitting on all of this. They chose to share it to the world through their deck. Why do that? Well, it holds their company publicly to the standards they’re setting. No turning back. No slipping. Pure commitment.