Act or Adapt: The Building

Bill Belichick is one of the best football coaches ever. He’s won multiple championships with multiple teams and I’ve often wondered how my long suffering Cleveland Browns friends might have acted if Belichick and the Browns had stayed in town.

He’d probably build a team like the Patriots.

Note, it’s how he’d build a team, not how he’d coach one.

The coaching, Belichick said, is actually the easiest part of his job. He’s a historian of the game with decades of instruction experience. What’s more important is getting the right people in the building. If you don’t hire the right people, Belichick said, you’re swimming upstream.

Sports is an easy example to see because it’s on TV but we’ve all known relationships that work better than others. Those relationships work with the culture, spirit, or ethos of a place - not against it.

At Netflix, there’s challenge in ‘the building’. Patty McCord said about her time at Netflix that it was combative in a beautiful way. It meant disagreeing respectfully. That means guidance from the top. It was Reed Hastings who set forth the expectation to argue and argue well. In one instance, two department heads each thought they were right. Hastings figured a debate would set things straight, but wait! Hastings had them each argue the other’s position.

Good buildings prioritize the collective truth over the individual ego. We’ll look at how organizations do that within ‘the environment’.