The Key to Managing a Remote Team? Stop Managing, Says Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph.
Managing remote teams is all about aligning goals and getting out of the way, according to the entrepreneur.
Entrepreneur, investor, mentor and Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph is no stranger to managing remote teams. In fact, he says that Netflix has never relied on a face-to-face management structure.
At the beginning of any business endeavor, he says, there are just too few people to do too many things. "This is not a time for commanding control. All you can do is say, 'See that hill over there? I'll meet you there in three weeks.'," explains Randolph.
Netflix called this management style "loosely coupled, but tightly aligned."
Randolph, author of That Will Never Work: The Birth if Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea, says that Netflix operated with this philosophy in its beginning, and has maintained the approach even as the company became a global giant. "These days, the sole responsibility of a manager is to make sure that the right people are in the right seats, and to make sure that they have all of the information they need to make independent good decisions."
Randolph believes that managers should equate building a winning culture to a magnetic field that aligns everyone's compasses in the same direction. "Give them the tools to work independently, but toward a common goal."
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