Articulating your corporate philosophy

In the early days of my start-up, Conversant Media, I struggled to succinctly articulate our expense policy. And then in 2009 I stumbled across Netflix’s corporate culture document. It was a lightbulb moment – it perfectly illuminated how I thought about the attitude I felt we should have towards our business. Overnight we adopted their policy and it became: Our expense policy is the Netflix expense policy. And here’s what it said:

“Most companies have complex policies around what you can expense, how you travel, what gifts you can accept, etc. Plus they have whole departments to verify compliance with these policies

Netflix Policies for Expensing, Entertainment, Gifts & Travel:

“Act in Netflix’s Best Interests”
(5 words long)

“Act in Netflix’s Best Interests” Generally Means…

  • Expense only what you would otherwise not spend, and is worthwhile for work.
  • Travel as you would if it were your own money.
  • Disclose non-trivial vendor gifts.
  • Take from Netflix only when it is inefficient to not take, and inconsequential.
    “taking” means, for example, printing personal documents at work or making personal calls on work phone: inconsequential and inefficient to avoid
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