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  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • SPEAKER 1: Good morning.

  • Good morning.

  • Thank you all so much for coming.

  • Today at Google, we're delighted to welcome Patty McCord.

  • Patty is one of the world's foremost experts

  • on company culture.

  • She was an early employee at Netflix,

  • and she was a co-author of the famous Netflix culture

  • deck, which Sheryl Sandberg said was

  • one of the most important documents

  • to come out of Silicon Valley.

  • She's here today to discuss her new book, titled "Powerful:

  • Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility," which

  • was largely an effort to sort of boil down

  • the message of the famous Netflix culture deck.

  • So please join me in welcoming to Google Miss Patty McCord.

  • [APPLAUSE]

  • PATTY MCCORD: So I'm just going to couple--

  • how many people have seen the Netflix culture deck?

  • A couple of you.

  • I didn't write it.

  • I didn't co-author it with Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix.

  • Reed and I did another company before Netflix,

  • a company called Pure Software.

  • We sold software tools to other software engineers.

  • And we grew through a merger and acquisition.

  • And how we grew was we'd acquire a company,

  • and every time we'd acquire a company, we'd double.

  • So we were like 100, 200, 400, 6--

  • right.

  • And then we sold the company to our largest competitor.

  • And my job was to take their employee

  • handbook and our employee handbook

  • and smash them together and come up

  • with the fewest policies that would piss off

  • the fewest people.

  • And so what we decided to do at Netflix that was different

  • was pay attention to the kind of company

  • that we were working at, primarily

  • for totally selfish reasons.

  • I didn't want to work with brilliant assholes anymore.

  • And I wanted to have permission to say no.

  • And Reed wasn't very tolerant of people who weren't very smart

  • or weren't very into the company.

  • So what we decided to do differently,

  • for those of you that have read the Netflix culture deck,

  • is just write stuff down.

  • So my journey was not only to write down what kind of company

  • that we wanted to work at, my job was

  • to be the COO of that culture, which meant if we said this,

  • then did we do this?

  • And that's the part where most companies get it wrong.

  • And I want you to go away from my talk

  • today and think about what you're doing here

  • and what you're saying you are as Google

  • and who you really are acting as Google,

  • because that's what company culture really is.

  • So since I've been away, I get to talk to people

  • who are outside of business and who

  • are people who are kind of on the speaker circuit.

  • So I end up onstage with a lot of coaches,

  • like real sports coaches from real professional sports teams.

  • So I was in Montreal last year in February.

  • Has anybody been to Montreal in February?

  • So cold.

  • It is so cold.

  • So I called up my daughter, and I said, hey, by the way,

  • I'm doing this talk in Montreal in February.

  • She's like, Mom, go to Patagonia.

  • Go now.

  • Get a puffy coat.

  • Get the big one.

  • So then I realized how dang cold it is in Montreal in February.

  • So I figure out my hotel so that I

  • can go underground so that I can go up to the venue, which is

  • a place called the Bell Centre.

  • Does anybody know what happens at the Bell Centre in Montreal?

  • No hockey fans, huh?

  • OK.

  • Well, that's where the Stanley Cup is played.

  • Now, at this point I've been talking

  • to groups who are a little bigger than you, but not much.

  • Like as if this room was full is kind of my biggest audience.

  • So I go down below.

  • And at the last minute, they said to me, oh, by the way,

  • you're not going to be onstage alone.

  • You're going to be with this guy named Scotty Bowman.

  • So I google Scotty Bowman, and he's a hockey coach.

  • He's the winningest hockey coach in history

  • in the National Hockey League.

  • So I meet him underground.

  • We're underground at this venue.

  • And he's this older gentleman.

  • He's like 70, and he has on a little suit with a maple leaf

  • pin and an American flag.

  • And we're talking about his grandkids.

  • And he says to me, we're under the ice.

  • And then it occurs to me, we're in a hockey stadium.

  • Like a hockey stadium.

  • So it's not you guys.

  • It's not this little intimate room.

  • I go up onstage, and my face is on the Jumbotron.

  • I mean, it's like huhhh!

  • And it's really scary.

  • And there's thousands of people in the audience.

  • And so he introduces me, nice introduction.

  • The audience claps very politely,

  • and I go sit on my little velvet couch.

  • And Scott Bowman comes up, and the place goes crazy.

  • I'm in Montreal in a hockey stadium

  • with the winningest hockey coach in history.

  • They're clapping like this.

  • [LAUGHTER]

  • If they had had those foam fingers,

  • they'd be doing the foam fingers.

  • I mean, people are like, taking selfies.

  • Because I'm onstage with God, as far as

  • they're concerned in Montreal.

  • So he comes up.

  • He sits down.

  • The master of ceremonies, who has a diamond

  • earring and teleprompter, and he's working the audience.

  • And he says, Mr. Bowman, you're such a legend.

  • You've won so many tournaments.

  • You've played with all the great players.

  • What does it take to be a winning team?

  • How do you give people feedback?

  • And he says, well, we have an 80-game season.

  • And every 10 games, I sit down with each player,

  • and I do an assessment of how they're doing.

  • They do a self-assessment.

  • We pull all the stats.

  • We get feedback from the other coaches.

  • We get feedback from the other players.

  • We talk about who we're going to play in the next 10 games, what

  • the competition is, where their strengths and weaknesses are.

  • And we put together a plan that we're

  • going to execute for the next 10 games

  • so that that person can be an incredibly high performer.

  • So the guy says to me, Patty McCord,

  • you've been known for saying how much you hate

  • the annual performance review.

  • And I do.

  • I think it's an utter, total waste of time for most

  • companies that do it that way.

  • And so he said, if you didn't do that, what would

  • you do instead?

  • And I said, what he said.

  • Because the thing is that sports coaches

  • know how to put together teams that win.

  • And that's really all that management really

  • is, as far as I'm concerned.

  • For 30 years, I've been watching people put together teams.

  • And it's all about doing that.

  • And the reason I also put the slide up that says team

  • is that-- and I know you probably

  • don't say this much here, but in case you

  • do-- you're not a family.

  • Right?

  • Work isn't your family.

  • It's not undying love.

  • You're not going to loan your deadbeat brother-in-law money,

  • and he'll never pay you back, because you always do.

  • Because this is work.

  • And you come together to do something

  • that you can only do here.

  • And that's create terrific products

  • that make people happy.

  • And that joy, I think, of working

  • is what really makes people happy.

  • And I say that here at Google, where you

  • have God's gift to everything.

  • And I know that when you go home and you say, oh my God, it

  • was an amazing day at work, almost always

  • when you say that truthfully from your soul,

  • it's because you did something hard

  • with really smart people that made you really effective.

  • And that's my observations of teams over all those years.

  • And in order to make it work, it's

  • about putting together the right teams.

  • So because I started as a recruiter,

  • I think a lot about talent.

  • And what I want to talk to you about

  • is you today, because I think I don't

  • need to lecture you guys about how great organizations should

  • move fluidly and be more flexible

  • and be more accepting of change, because that's

  • the world that you live in.

  • But I want to talk to you about how you navigate

  • through your own career.

  • So I just did a talk with 1,500 HR people.

  • I know that's a frightening idea for most of you.

  • It's even a frightening idea for me.

  • Like when I first started talking to HR people

  • before I wrote the book, people walked out

  • because I said things that really upset them.

  • But what I said was to 1,500 HR people,

  • please raise your hand if you're in the job

  • that you had when you graduated from college.

  • How many people raised their hand?

  • None.

  • How many of you have ever done a layoff?

  • 1,500 people raised their hands.

  • How many of you have ever laid off a family member?

  • There's always one.

  • Don't ask me why, but people do that.

  • Like somebody did.

  • And then I say, how many of you have said the word family

  • at work?

  • And 900 people raised their hands.

  • And I say, for all of you that aren't in the same job,

  • you mean none of you could work for a company that

  • could handle retention?

  • So the truth is that our lives, our careers,

  • are full of lots of different jobs

  • in lots of different organizations.

  • And what I love about Google these days

  • is that you've now admitted that there's

  • lots of different organizations in the corporation that

  • is Google, all the alphabet companies.

  • So if you start thinking about your career

  • and how you're going to be successful

  • and how you're going to move forward,

  • here's my hint from doing this for a very, very long time.

  • Is what you love to do that you are extraordinarily

  • good at doing something the company you work for needs

  • someone to be great at?

  • So if you wake up in the morning and you

  • don't want to come to work, or you're not looking forward

  • to it and it seems really horrible,

  • then something's wrong with Patty's algorithm.

  • And I say algorithm because I worked with geeks all my life,

  • and I love you and I miss you.

  • But if I say words like algorithm, it helps, right?

  • OK.

  • So what you love to do that you're

  • extraordinarily good at doing--

  • is it important?

  • So when you find yourself coming to work and thinking,

  • they just don't care about how good I am at writing.

  • They don't even realize how wonderful

  • I am, how talented I am.

  • They may realize it and not care.

  • That's the honest truth.

  • And the other part is if you need somebody

  • to be really, really good and really, really

  • passionate about a problem you're trying to solve,

  • and they can just do it, but they don't love it,

  • then you're not happy on the other side either.

  • So the reason why I'm telling you this

  • is it's your job to navigate this.

  • It's not somebody else's job to suddenly realize

  • that you are unhappy.

  • Trust me, they know.

  • And it's not somebody else's job to realize