What Can You Learn from Netflix?

There is some great content here!  This is not to be presented, but read.

And thought about.

Look at how this information is communicated.

Performance on this in the private sector is often poor.

Performance in public and third sectors is usually worse, in my experience, because the disconnect between espoused values and reality is often wider.

In very small businesses it is not a big issue.

But as things scale up, as middle managers and team leaders start to appear this type of issue can become ‘make or break’.

Everyone is clear on what works at Netflix.  Employees, customers and shareholders.

  • How do you communicate about culture?
  • Do words and actions match up in your organisation?
  • What can you do to improve things?

Free Video: How to Become an Outstanding Manager

Please enter your name and email address to watch this FREE  11 minute video that will put you on the right path to becoming an outstanding manager…

What should we conclude from a complaint rate of 0.048%?

You serve a million customers a day in a complex and emotionally demanding business.

Each day that generates 480 complaints.

A complaint rate of 0.048%.

Surely a cause for celebration.  But not complacency.  One complaint IS one too many.

But this is a remarkably low complaints rate.  Perhaps suspiciously low.

I pinged out the following tweet:

Tweet 1

And the (almost immediate) responses I got were fascinating….

Tweet 2

Not much delight here!

Tweet 3

And this is an intuitive and perhaps constructive and appreciative response

Tweet 4

Tweet 5 (tweeted from a locked account )

So, do we use the data to conclude that our service is pretty good and capable of further significant improvement?

Or do we use it to consider whether we really understand the nature of customer experience and how we might uncover it more accurately?  I have seen previous examples of complaints and satisfaction processes used to paint a pre-ordained picture rather than to uncover valuable data from which we might all learn.

Could this be what is going on here?

I suspect the outstanding manager does both.


The Secret Formula for Outstanding Management

The good news is that it is not that difficult to be an outstanding manager. You just have to master 5 relatively simple skill sets, and have a system that means you use them consistently.  We will talk about the system some other time.  For now let’s consider the 5 simple skill sets that get you well on the way being an outstanding manager – and that (not so) secret formula:



OM = Outstanding Management

GWR = Great Working Relationships

GGF = Giving and Getting Great Feedback

BBC = Being a Brilliant Coach

MED = Maximum Effective Delegation

TPM = Time and Priority Management

On a scale of 1-10 how do you rate your ability (and success) in developing Great Working Relationships?  How many working relationships do you have that don’t work so well?  What are you doing to improve them?  What could you do, in the next few days, that would increase your own score by 1?

On a scale of 1-10 how do you rate your ability in Getting and Giving Great Feedback?  Do you give and get feedback on daily basis?  Do people respond to it? Or are you wasting you breath?  Do you respond to feedback?  What was the last piece of feedback that changed your behaviour? What could you do, in the next few days, that would increase your own score by 1?

On a scale of 1-10 how do you rate your ability in Being a Brilliant Coach?  Do you coach every member of your team, every week to improve their performance in critical areas?  Or do you leave it to the annual performance review? What could you do, in the next few days, that would increase your own score by 1?

On a scale of 1-10 how do you rate your ability in Maximum Effective Delegation?  Do you have a scheme of delegation and a bomb proof process for making delegations that work?  Or do you just think it is quicker and easier to do it yourself? What could you do, in the next few days, that would increase your own score by 1?

On a scale of 1-10 how do you rate your ability in Time and Priority Management?  Do you get all of your work done in your contracted hours?  Or do yo work additional hours for free?  Do you spend most of your time on the most important, highest return areas?  Or do you spend a lot of time working for little apparent return? What could you do, in the next few days, that would increase your own score by 1?

So, how did you score?

If you are interested in scoring better and would like further resources to help please do take a moment to sign up using the box on the right.

Your comments too are always welcome!


Mike Chitty


Update on the Be A Better Manager Book

You may already know that for some time I have been threatening to write the book on ‘How to Be A Better Manager‘.

And I still am.

But I have been thinking a bit about what I am actually trying to achieve with writing the book, and how best to achieve that purpose.

I want to help as many people as possible to become the best managers that they can be.  To become outstanding managers in fact.

And of course I hope to make some money along the way!

Is writing a book the best way to do this?  I am not so sure.

I have also been doing a lot of research on web based learning and training delivery – and it certainly now seems affordable and practical. The last time I looked about a decade back it was still really expensive, and few people could stream high quality video.

So instead I am considering a series of videos that will build into a 6 month course designed to really accelerate your journey towards becoming an outstanding manager.  I may supplement the videos with transcripts and perhaps the occasional teleconference, webinar or good old face to face training session!

My plan is not to make the videos available all at once, but instead to release them at carefully planned intervals that will give you the chance to absorb the material from one video, try it out at work, refine it and develop your practice before the next video is released.  This way you won’t get overwhelmed with information and will be able to make a series of manageable changes to your practice over time.

Alongside the videos will be a range of supporting materials including templates, aide memoirs and links to other materials to supplement your learning.

How does that sound?  Interesting?

If so then please sign up using the form on the right hand side.  I promise not to bombard you with lots of emails!

What Does it Mean to be a System Leader?

There is a lot of talk at the moment about being a system leader.

But what does this actually mean?

That it is not enough to ‘just’ lead an organisation or a team, but one has to make a leadership contribution to the wider system of  which that organisation, or team, is a part.

  • It is not enough for a head teacher to lead a school well, they also should make a contribution to the leadership of the wider education system.
  • It is not enough to be a good CEO of an NHS Trust.  Your leadership has to be exercised in the wider health economy – including other providers, commissioners, adult social care, children’s services and so on.

So, what is this ‘system’ in which we are expected to exert our system leadership?  How do we find its edges? How do we define our scope?  Is it more than leadership across a value chain?

I think so, yes.

Questions like this bring me to a second meaning for a ‘system leader’ – which is more about a worldview, philosophy and practice than just about expanding the dominion of our leadership.  It is about a different way of seeing and acting as a leader.

A system leader recognises that complex adaptive systems (and any system with a human being in it IS complex and adaptive) will not respond compliantly, or as we might wish or predict, to top down leadership, management by objectives or board room strategies.  They understand the need for participation across the system in shaping the future.  They know that this is best achieved by following some guidelines which they allow to shape their practice:

  • Keep the shared purpose for which the system exists up close and personal – for everyone.
  • Make sure that the purpose of the system is primary to the purpose of the units (organisations or people) that make up the system.
  • Inclusion and participation in the process are essential – but cannot be mandated.
  • Organisations and people are free to choose.  They want to associate in pursuit of purpose – but they also seek self-expression
  • Leadership works to the extent that it provides the platform for association around purpose and honours self-expression
  • That to help the system to get better at serving its purpose you must connect the system better to itself.  Especially those parts of the system that are usually excluded.
  • It is through these connections in the system, these improved relationships,  that information and innovation will flow, accelerating the rate of progress
  • Listening and building relationships are therefore the catalyst for progress – not the imposition of a blue print, policy or ‘vision’.
  • Systems shape themselves around meanings and relationships. Change the meaning and the relationships and you have changed the system.
  • That you can’t control the development of the system, as it reacts to directives but rarely obeys them.
  • We may enforce compliance – but only by paying the price in what matters most – loyalty, commitment, passion and intelligence.
  • That there is only one system.

So for me, system leadership is a very different way of leading, that is served more by humble enquiry and the facilitation of people and organisations that care than about the imposition of change.

If you would like to develop your own practice in system leadership then please sign up here:

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