Netflix: A Creative Approach to Culture and Agility

Case Solution

Ranjay Gulati, Allison M. Ciechanover, Jeff Huizinga
Harvard Business School ()

For 2018, Netflix was credited with revolutionizing the way viewers consume entertainment by moving from ad-supported linear network programming to a highly personalized, on-demand, all-you-can-consume, ad-free model. The company experienced a long wave of revenue and subscriber growth as it expanded internationally and moved to original production. From the beginning, Netflix’s leadership had fostered a workplace characterized by values ​​such as excellence, maturity, transparency, responsibility, openness and autonomy. The Culture Deck, later renamed the Culture Memo, documented how Netflix’s culture had evolved and allowed the organization to innovate, change, and transform over and over again. The case explores the history of the company and examines how leadership nurtures its unique culture through an emphasis on concepts such as “freedom and responsibility,” “context, not control,” and “highly focused, loosely coupled.” The case allows students to gauge CEO Reed Hastings’s view that culture can continue to scale even as the workforce grows, and that the company continues to expand into new regions and even more content production.

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