In today’s world of technology and desire for convenience, more and more people are streaming video.
Not many companies that provide streaming video have done it as successfully as Netflix. This little company that started in 1997 grew to roughly $11.7 billion in revenue in 2017.
Netflix made the news recently because its CFO of 14 years is leaving the company. He had a good run; at the end of 2010, Netflix stock was at $26 a share compared to $341 as of this writing.
The company’s growth brought to mind a quote from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings when things weren’t going well. That was 2011. Netflix had just lost close to a million customers and its stock prices had plummeted more than $200 a share. Why? Because of changes the leaders were making weren’t communicated well to the company’s stakeholders.
After the fallout, Mr. Hastings explained, “Companies rarely die from moving too fast, and they frequently die from moving too slowly … When Netflix is evolving rapidly, however, I need to be extra-communicative. This is the key thing I got wrong.”
Translated, that means sometimes as leaders we are eager to implement a competitive strategy, or a policy change, or an organizational change, but we forget to use communication as a strategy. Yet, that’s how we achieve understanding and buy-in about our decisions from our stakeholders: customers, employees, shareholders.
Develop the habit of creating and implementing an effective communication strategy around the changes you decide to make.
Change is important, and change can be good. Always think through how to communicate that change. Who is affected by your decision? What is the most effective way to reach them?
Having a high-quality communication strategy keeps you from wasting valuable time and money in recovery mode. It’s your number one success factor for change.