Patty McCord (US)

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Former Chief Talent Officer, Netflix

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Synopsis

The author of Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility spent 14 years at Netflix experimenting with new ways to work, motivate, reward and structure. Patty was responsible for the famed Netflix culture deck becoming a reality. The summary of company values and employee freedoms went on to influence businesses around the world.

Biography

Patty McCord was Netflix’s Chief Talent Officer for over a decade, and led the development of the company’s famed culture deck. Her work has been seen as key in challenging long-held assumptions around hierarchy, company policy and even the nature of work itself. She is the author of Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility, an often radical manifesto for how companies should think about their people and the work they do.

After working in training and HR roles with a number of technology businesses, Patty joined Netflix just a year after the company was started (then as a mail-order DVD rental business) and stayed for 14 years. She was instrumental in shaping the company culture and HR strategy. The Netflix culture deck became the stuff of Silicon Valley legend and the blueprint for many other companies within and beyond the tech sector. Patty’s book Powerful has extended that influence around the world with a look at not just what makes a productive culture, but how to move it from theory into practice.

The modern workplace has in many ways remained largely unchanged for centuries. The hierarchical structures, working hours, and measurements of productivity have outwardly evolved, but in essence remain the same. Patty has been a leader in challenging this thinking. Touching on all aspects of the employee experience, from recruitment to development and exit, Patty examines how to build and motivate great teams and get the most from them. She explores how companies need to empower and trust employees, advocating for honestly, thinking strategically about the people and skills required for the future, and finding motivation in the work being done rather than in pay or perks. She overturns even apparently progressive ideas around reviews and employee engagement programmes that are in truth no longer useful, and even potentially damaging in the long term.

 

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