The algorithm for success

Michael MoranToday’s blog post is by 10Eighty CEO and Founder Michael Moran. He has a passion for helping people maximise their potential and believes everyone should have job satisfaction and a successful career and helps organisations design jobs and career paths that maximise employee engagement. 

I’m a big fan of Jacob Morgan’s Future of Work podcasts and a recent episode (broadcast on 4 June 2018) featured Patty McCord who has some interesting ideas for both organisations and individuals around career management.


McCord spent 14 years at Netflix, serving as Chief Talent Officer. She has more than 15 years’ experience in Human Resources with high-tech companies.

When Netflix started they didn’t have the budget for perks so instead, they emphasised good salary, interesting work and great colleagues. Later, they added extras and one of Netflix’s most talked about perks was unlimited vacation – it was never designed to be a perk. Initially, employees accrued 26 days a year but, as an experiment, the company decided that they wouldn’t keep track of employee vacation but instead would keep track of what got done. The focus is on results and they leave it for the employees to decide when to take their vacation time.

Hire talent and let it run with the ball

In short, Netflix expected their people to ‘act like adults’ – giving them more freedom but with high expectations of them.

This resonates with our philosophy at 10Eighty – by dispensing with the admin involved in a traditional system of booking and approving holiday time in favour of unlimited leave it allows staff to focus on building their work around their life. This approach treats employees like mature adults who know how to manage their time. If you offer compelling work, cooperative teams, and performance-based pay, then there are enough positive incentives to drive employees to work more hours.

McCord says: “At Netflix, we realized that when we had the right people, the right focus and the right deadlines, people operated pretty independently. It was about adults. It was about them knowing what they were doing. It’s about having people who are passionate about the work that you need to get done.”

Hire the curious and passionate

She also deprecates the annual performance reviews which need a rethink and traditional recruitment practices that mostly involve ticking the boxes alongside lists of skills. McCord maintains: “I advocate figuring out the problems you need to solve, then hiring people who want to solve those problems and are capable of doing it. That’s a different kind of matchmaking, rather than recruiting for skilled and experienced people.”

I particularly liked McCord’s advice to employees, her ‘algorithm for success’ – think about what makes a great day for you, self-awareness is important because your career belongs to you and you need to take ownership and seek out roles where you can do what you are good at and where what you do matters. Find someone in the organisation you admire and talk to them, how did they get where they are, you’ll get really useful, real information and, importantly, context.

The most important thing you can do to advance your career is to solve problems that need to be solved, and the way to be heard is to ask smart questions about the business so that you are seen as someone who cares about the right things and is curious and smart.


Michael is Chief Executive of 10Eighty. 10Eighty is a career and talent management consultancy that helps organizations maximize the contribution of their employees by ensuring satisfying jobs and careers for their employees. Michael is a Human Resources professional, having worked in the National Health Service, Insurance, Commodities and Derivatives industries. He has worked within the career coaching business for fifteen years, both managing a £7 million business and delivering bespoke, one to one career coaching. In the last 15 years Michael has run businesses that have helped 75,000 people make successful career transitions. He is a frequent commentator in the press/media, which includes a range of topics on “successfully managing your career” and talent management. Most recent media mentions have included BBC South, CNBC, Radio4, Financial Times, City AM, Financial News, Evening Standard, The Sunday Times, The Grapevine and HR Magazine, to name but a few. He writes a careers column for People Management, a blog for the Human Resources Magazine and is a regular contributor to The Thompson Reuters HR Portal. Michael is known as a thought provoking speaker in the HR industry. In the last 18 months, Michael spoke at the Careers Partner International Conference, NHS breakthrough conference, NHS North West Leadership Academy, London School of Economics, University of Westminster’s Talent Management Conference, ICAEW Finance Directors Conference, CIPD learning and development conference and CIPD branch seminars. He is also Chair of the CIPD’s Central London Branch. Additionally is a non executive director of Marshall ACM, an e-learning company and the Total Reward Group, a compensation and benefits consultancy. Michael plans to publish his book “The guide to everlasting employability” in the Autumn 2012. He has just launched an iphone app “careers snakes and ladders” and an online interactive version of the book in collaboration with Marshall ACM to coincide the launch of his new business 10Eighty. Michael has a degree in Economics, a MBA from Warwick Business School and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He holds an accreditation from the British Psychological Society for the use of psychometrics. Michael has completed the Fairplace Internal Accreditation Programme, the training element of which is externally recognised by the Association for Coaching. Michael Moran was until January 2012 Chief Executive of Fairplace and a main board director of Savile plc, the career and talent management consultancy. Fairplace is part of the Savile Group, an AIM listed plc. The Savile Group was placed 16th in the Sunday Times top 100 small companies in 2010.

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Posted in career management, Developing yourself, Homepage, Talent Management

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Michael Moran – CEO 10Eighty

A blog about career and talent management, things that might help you with your career and in your job.


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