On Netflix, racoons and decisions
1 Quote, 1 Thought. For founders (not) only.
Hi, troublemakers! 👋
Here's a powerful quote I've highlighted this week, along with a thought for you to reflect this weekend.
Take care and unwind!
From CEO Excellence:
“DBS uses an approach it refers to as the “Wreckoon.” CEO Piyush Gupta explains its origins and intent: »Netflix has something called the Chaos Monkey that they use in programming. Once they create a program, they unleash the Chaos Monkey in the program to try and mess it up. It stress-tests the program. We stole that idea and created ‘Wreckoon’ where we stress-test our thinking in meetings.«
In practice, a picture of a racoon shows up periodically in DBS’s discussion documents, and when it does, it prompts the group to stop and reflect on questions such as:
What are we not thinking about but should be?
What could be wrong with the path we’re going down?
What would have to be true for this to be a bad decision?
Gupta explains the benefits of this exercise: »You can tell people to dissent, but when you create a small mnemonic, people remember, and it becomes easier. You start to see it happen more in practice, and decision-making gets better as a result.«”
I believe it’s critical to reframe our thinking from time to time. When we’re deeply involved in something, it’s quite easy to miss the obvious things right in front of us - whether these are opportunities or threats.
My favorite reframing question is: what would a new CEO do first? This idea comes from Andy Grove’s "High Output Management," where he described the discussion with Gordon Moore on how to save Intel from bankruptcy. I have this question pop up on my to-do list every few weeks.
Together with Tomasz Bienias, our OKR & product coach, we recently discussed the concept shared by Brian Chesky to add an extra ‘0x’ when thinking about growth and plans. I love this exercise where you replace “how to grow 2x” with “20x”. It opens up entirely new horizons.
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