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Episode 207 — Patty McCord — How to Build a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

Patty McCord is a human resources consultant and executive and former Chielf Talent Officer at Netflix. She brings the Silicon Valley concepts of fresh ideas and innovation and applies them to rethinking the way we work.

In this episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast, she and Crisp Founder & CEO Michael Mogill discuss:

  • How to build a culture of freedom and responsibility
  • The right (and wrong) feedback to solicit from your team
  • The importance of building teams for the future, not the present
Episode 207 — Patty McCord — How to Build a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
Show Notes:

Tell the truth. “What I decided to do was instead of creating systems and processes that prove that you’re incompetent over a 90-day period so that I can fire you, I could reel it back and say, ‘What if I told you the truth up front? What if I told you that this thing that we hired you to do, that you’ve worked really hard on doing for the last four years, you’re done and we don’t need you to do it again? That’s the honest truth, and we want to respect you, and we want you to move forward, and we want to build a company that’s a great place to be from.’ And so for everybody, for all the litigation lawyers that are listening to you today, it’s like, what if you created a great place to be from?”

Where to start transforming your culture. “Here’s my methodology. If you say, in six months, if this team was amazing and everything was going extraordinarily well, and you made a movie of it, what would be occurring then that’s not occurring now? Would there be more meetings? Would there be less meetings? Would there be people with heads down just working on code? Would it be that people are cross-functionally communicating better? Would it be that our brand is more important? Whatever it is, what’s that? And then you work backwards from there.”

The right kind of feedback. “Here’s an example. Imagine management made a stupid decision. They shouldn’t have done this. There are two questions to ask. The second one’s most important. The first one is, ‘If you were in management, what decision would you have made?’ The second one is, ‘If you were in management, what information would you want to have to make the right decision?’ It’s this constant pushing the organization to say think. Problem-finders are not very valuable. Problem-resolvers are worth their weight in gold. It’s a matter of teaching people that we absolutely want to hear what you have to say. What do you think we should do instead? It’s just training people to respond with thoughtful observation about what we should do instead.”

Build your team for the future, not the present. “Are we going to miss this opportunity because we don’t have the right team? We can’t. We can’t. That’s a really different way of thinking about teams in the future and what you want to do and how you want to scale — because every problem in the future is different than the one in the past.”

What does being a game changer mean to you? “Stop doing stupid stuff. It’s that easy. Honestly.”

Sun Microsystems
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Mitch Lowe
Reed Hastings
Mark Randolph
Netflix Culture Deck
Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord
“Google Ideological Echo Chamber” memo by James Damore
Ted Sarandos

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