The hansei process
The hansei process occurs constantly and consistently. At Toyota, for example, even if a project is successful, there is still a hansei-kai (reflection meeting) to review what went wrong. According to Jeffrey Liker, author of The Toyota Way, if a manager or engineer claims that there were not any problems with the project, he or she will be reminded that there is always room for improvement. In other words, they have not objectively and critically evaluated the project to find opportunities for improvement, or they did not stretch to meet (or exceed) their expected capacity.
Reflect on the coursework that you completed while working toward the final project in this course, which you will be submitting this week, using the Hansei process. Identify two things you would do differently if you were involved in a similar situation at Netflix in the future. Explain your rationale for the items you have identified and what your different approach would be. This will help you to create clear plans for ensuring that it does not reoccur.
Profile: Sharon Slade Sharon Slade is the chief human resources officer (CHRO) at Netflix. She has been in her role at Netflix for three years, having been recruited from General Electric, where she worked as the vice president of human resources. Sharon rose in through the ranks in human resources at GE, and was instrumental in helping design, implement and manage the GE performance and development process, which used what was called a vitality curve. In summary, the vitality curve was a modified bell curve, using a 20-70-10 percentage. All professional employees were force-ranked by their individual performance against set goals and objectives each year. The top 20 percent of the workforce was identified as the best performers and were rewarded very well for their outstanding performance. The 70 percent majority was deemed as performing their job adequately; the employees ranked in the bottom 10 percent were identified as low producers and were terminated at the end of each year. The program soon gained the nickname as the “rank and yank” performance process. 1 Sharon accepted the CHRO job with Netflix as she saw its organizational values as fairly well aligned with her personal values and work ethic, several of which are as follows: You accomplish amazing amounts of important work. You learn rapidly and eagerly. You say what you think even if it is controversial. You make tough decisions without agonizing over them. You care intensely about Netflix’s success. You are known for candor and directness. Adequate performance is not good enough; adequate performance gets you a generous severance package. Netflix is like a pro sports team. We hire, develop, and cut team members smartly, so we have stars in every position.
Case Study Background Information Employees describe Sharon as a fair but firm—a “tough cookie”—who can hold her own in almost any setting. Employees fully understand she expects everyone on the Netflix team to give 110% of their talent and effort to achieve their goals and objectives, and she has little tolerance for those who fail to deliver on their objectives while citing excuses for why they failed. Sharon expects employees to proactively see where they are failing in their performance and develop an action plan to get themselves back on track and stay on track. Sharon has asked you to assist her in developing recommendations for a discussion with Alice Jones, a managing director at Netflix. Last year Alice’s department was reorganized to refocus on growth, as the competition for on-demand entertainment increased significantly. The Netflix operations vice president expects Netflix to be number one in all on-demand entertainment categories, and reorganized its operations to aggressively attain this goal. Sharon acknowledges that Alice was a very good performer at Netflix for several years, but also knows her performance is faltering in this new aggressive growth model. Profile and Case Study Background Information: Alice Jones—Operations Director at Netflix Profile: Alice Jones Alice Jones is an operations director at Netflix, a role that she has held for the past two years. Alice started at Netflix 10 years ago and did very well in all her previous roles. As a result, she was a rising star at Netflix. Last year Netflix was facing significant challenges in the highly competitive on-demand entertainment industry. Her department was reorganized and a new executive was brought in over her to lead the newly formed division. Case Study Background Information Alice was upset that she was not selected for the new role as executive to lead the newly reorganized division, since she felt she had “earned her stripes” at Netflix and deserved to be promoted into this new role. Alice initially resented her new boss, Jane Smith, who was an external hire from a Fortune 500 company, has a track record as a transformational leader in her previous firm, and has experience in driving major change. Alice has to admit, however, that her new boss brings a lot of passion to the job, where she is driving significant change in the new division. Alice sees how the changes have improved the division’s performance numbers. Jane Smith has begun having detailed discussions with Alice regarding her low performance numbers. She recognizes that Alice performed well for 10 years at Netflix, and that she is talented and completely devoted to the company. Because of this, Jane went out on a limb and placed Alice on a performance improvement plan (PIP), a practice at odds with the Netflix culture. Alice feels Jane recognizes her value to the company. Alice is concerned that Jane has placed her on a performance improvement plan (PIP), but understands that she has three months to turn her performance around or she will likely be terminated. Alice feels like the PIP is justified and her working relationship with Jane has become constructive. She is appreciative of the opportunity to improve her performance and keep her job. Sharon Slade has set up an appointment with Alice in two weeks about her future at Netflix. Alice is only one month into her PIP but has been working hard on meeting its goals. She is nervous about the meeting with Sharon because she knows Sharon was not in favor of the PIP since this approach runs counter to the Netflix culture.
McCord, P. (2014). How Netflix reinvented HR. https://hbr.org/2014/01/how-netflix-reinvented-hr/ar/1
The Woman Behind the Netflix Culture http://firstround.com/review/The-woman-behind-the-Netflix-Culture-doc/
Netflix Culture: Freedom and Responsibility (PowerPoint presentation) http://www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664
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