Got a good play for you on the way home today - embedded below (email subscribers click through to see player) is a cool NPR podcast called Planet Money - the episode I'm sharing is with Patty McCord, former CHRO at Netflix.
The hosts do a nice job of tracking the build of the Netflix culture, of which one of the cornerstones is that "hard work is irrelevant", which seems a bit of a stretch.
Take a listen and see if you agree with the premise. Here's some notes on what I thought about the stance that "hard work is irrelevant":
1. We all want unbelievable people. However, most of us can never aspire to have all "A" players.
2. While mortal talent is ramping up, we'll most certainly accept hard work as a proxie for great performance.
3. Most of our companies have positions that don't require top talent - we just need someone to plow through some transactional work with excellence that a robot hasn't replaced yet.
4. It's one thing to say that hard work is irrelevant, but what do you do with the average performer that's clocking in at 9am and clocking out at 4:59pm? You ask for more work. Hard work would be nice.
5. At the unbelievably talented companies (those with the highest % of "A" players), you need a combination of great talent and hard work. Just ask the people at Amazon if it's enough to be incredibly talented - the answer would be no - hard work is extremely relevant at those companies.
Take a listen to the story of Netflix from the lens of Patti McCord and hit me in the comments with your thoughts. One thing I learned that I didn't know is that ultimately Netflix grew and the CEO called McCord up with the thought that it was time for her to leave. Which means at the best companies, "Ask not for whom the bell tolls - it tolls for thee."