Talent, mentors & 'No Rules Rules'
... because we remember pictures not text
This is the 16th edition of my sketchnotes. This has a review of the book everyone is talking about ‘No Rules Rules’ by Reed Hastings who started Netflix. The video-streamer’s employees are not treated like ‘family’. So how are they viewed? We also will discover that there is an optimal amount of air time that the speakers in an online webinar must follow, before the audience gets disengaged (and watches Netflix on the sly). Can you find a virtual mentor even as you are locked up at home? That is what elite universities provide - great teachers and great mentors. Does that justify the premium they are paid? If you are NOT from an elite institute, is there any way you can compete? The 16th edition of my newsletter has all this. If you have not subscribed to the newsletter, you can do it right now by clicking the button below.
1. ‘Elite universities’ graduates lose out on this count
In many countries, there is a clear distinction made between the “premier” institutes (Marking the B-School or Engineering college as Tier I or Tier II etc). Most entrance exams test for IQ and the tests favour people who have had an urban/privileged background. Not surprising that this article says ‘higher-ranked universities indeed score higher on general cognitive ability tests, have more international experience, better English proficiency, and higher cultural intelligence. Top universities employ better instructors, offer access to better-equipped facilities, attract better speakers and guests to campus, which in turn, should lead to better training and subsequent performance.’
Interestingly, the article goes on to say that graduates of the elite institutes pay insufficient attention to interpersonal relationships. Most tasks require us to work with others. This is a place where anyone with strong ‘people skills’ can have an advantage regardless of the institution they have graduated from. This is a great leveller. Building the ability to work in diverse groups is a great skill that any one can build. The ability to work harder than others is yet another skill that we have within our control.
For me what is heartening is that graduates from lower-ranked universities showed an equal level of motivation and work ethics. Both motivation and diligence are individual traits. There is an advantage each group can have.
I have a question for you:
Should employers stop looking at grades as a predictor of success at work? What have you seen? Click the button to leave a comment
2. How to find a mentor virtually
If you are stuck at home, can you find a mentor? Does virtual mentoring work?
Reach out to your friends’ friends. Even though these may be people you have known, optimise the conversation by mentioning the specific challenge or area you’re looking for guidance on, not life in general. When people know the specific problem you are trying to solve, they can connect you to the people within their network. A friend’s friend can be a huge network to find a virtual mentor.
Reconnect with people from your school. Reach out to them to see how they are doing and rekindle that relationship. Don’t ask for anything—simply reconnect. We often underestimate the ability of our peer network.
3. Your audience online is disengaged. Here’s why
People who organise webinars often treat online interactions much the same way as an in-person experience. The result is a disengaged audience and an ineffective facilitator.
Screen time is for interaction - not monologue. If there is pre-work done (preferably in groups), it helps to get participants to share their ideas and have an engaged conversation online. One of the B-Schools gives every student a 30-minute video lesson by the professor that the students watch individually before the class. The time spent online is for asking questions, making presentations and sharing experiences and opinions.
Shorter duration than in person classes: E-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom. Sessions longer than 45-60 minutes seem to be threshold for an online learning experience.
How does that change the role of the facilitator? And how should corporates leverage this new world of learning? Read this
4. Book Review: No Rules Rules
No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer is a book about the culture of Netflix. Could it be that the workplace norms that exist today are archaic. They were formed in the early years of industrialisation and have remained unchallenged - until Netflix challenged many of the norms. That is what makes it a Market Shaper - a company that changes how we live and work. They are global, much like Netflix that operates in 190 countries.
Netflix is famous for giving its employees unlimited (yes, you read that right) vacation days. They have no fixed rules about the hotel category you are entitled to stay in. There is no rule to tell you if you can buy a Business Class ticket to fly for a meeting. There are two big preconditions of this ‘No Rules’ culture
Talent Density: “Our version of the great workplace is a dream team in pursuit of ambitious common goals, for which we spend heavily. It is on such a team that you learn the most, perform your best work, improve the fastest, and have the most fun.”
The second element is a culture of radical candour and feedback. How does that work? Read about it by clicking here
Would this culture bring out the best in you? Would it make you more creative? Do leave a comment by clicking the red button below.
5. Where will your skills fit in?
In this podcast by SHRM, Neha Pant and I have an Unabashed conversation about why the recent article about 21 HR Jobs of the Future is very narrow focused and why the future of jobs can be better explained by this framework instead. You can evaluate the extent of people skills and automation in the industry or function and then figure out where your job will go.
That’s all for this week. See you next Monday at 9:00 am.
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Stay curious. Stay connected.