Amazon and Netflix’s implicit “Freedom and Responsibility Culture” goes to the heart of its success, namely, its apparently enhancive and tropophilic organizational structure. I say “apparently enhancive” since I don’t believe they are aware of Open systems Design Principles, especially after what happened to Google’s “Open Culture,” right?
Amazon and Netflix’s intuitive knowledge about Open Systems Design Principles has allowed and encouraged their employees to make wise decisions despite uncertainty and ambiguity. These principles empower team members to make decisions based on critical thinking, the long-term, and their Vision and Mission statements.
Making strategic, informed decisions based on data and fact is Amazon’s and Netflix’s quintessential strength. When your employees make the best decisions, what good is to have a supervisor breeding down their neck?
When your employees identify and address root causes, and get beyond treating symptoms, what is the need to even have a manager?
In a world plagued with uncertainty and volatility, that is low on time, addicted to busyness, and distracted by a myriad of symptoms, your company’s decision-making DNA will determine its future.
A decision-making DNA that encourages employees to take the time to think critically with an open mind, to be creative, inquisitive, to ensure every option and “what if” is properly thought through, and then move into a judicious action plan for the immediate and long-term, ensures not only the success of the company but, concomitantly, the well-being of its employees.
Jeff Bezos and Reed Hastings, have adopted the “first principle” thinking concept from the Greek philosopher Aristotle, to define their decision-making process. The first-principle thinking is, in fact, critical thinking in action. Instead of blindly and obediently following directions from the top or sticking to a myriad of standard processes (e.g., Sigma, Lean, ISOs, etc.), a critical thinker will constantly ask, “What’s the best solution?” or, “What’s best for the company?’ and, “What if we do this differently?” Continuously questioning the status quo, acting and exercising best judgment in the short and long-term interest of the organization, and never resting on its laurels.
Open Systems Design Principles allow the emergence of a culture that is so used to autonomy in the decision-making process that not even the company’s CEO may need to make one in a whole quarter!
An enhancive decision-making DNA is the epitome of a Tropophilic culture, in particular how senior leaders empower employees to exercise critical thinking and wise judgment in all of their actions. A culture of transparency, allowing employees from all levels, to have free access to information, decisions and ideas, reinforces a sense of responsibility and further empowers employees to doing things best.
A former Chief Talent Officer once said: “If we value honesty, and yet keep secrets, then something in the system should either punish that behavior or help reward the behavior to speak honestly.”
A Tropophilic Culture ensures honesty and good judgment, over “good administration”, as the organization’s primary operating principle.
When a company understands the importance of moral authority, transparency, and truly empowering its employees to make sound decisions on behalf of the company’s immediate goals and long-term objectives, a highly engaged and tropophilic workforce emerges by default, and the success of the organization is the most probable and logical consequence.
At the root of Amazon and Netflix thriving culture is a tropophilic decision-making process and sound judgment from the top down.
This is very meritorious, especially since neither Jeff Bezos nor Reed Hastings have probably ever heard about Open Systems Design Principles or Tropophilia.
JC Wandemberg Ph.D.
President & Founder
About the author: Dr. Wandemberg is an international consultant and stocks trader, keynote speaker, published author, professor, and analyst of economic, environmental, social, managerial, marketing, and political issues. For the past 30 years Dr. Wandemberg has collaborated with corporations, communities, and organizations to integrate sustainability through self-transformation processes and Open Systems Design Principles, thus, catalyzing a Culture of Trust, Transparency, and Integrity.