Silicon Valley is building ADHD business cultures
ADHD founders move on when process takes over
I came across a presentation about Netflix Culture, originally developed by Netflix CEO and founder Reed Hastings. It has been used internally at Netflix for years and released publicly in 2009 (the online presentation received over 5 million views). So not exactly hot off the presses but it really rang a bell with my recent thoughts on the differences ADHD brings to our relationship with work, in what business contexts are we most effective and how can businesses better enable people with ADHD to succeed and shine. The values are now available on the Netflix website.
Normally in the long period it takes a company to grow, the ADHD founding entrepreneurs are side-lined or exit. Innovation and rule-breaking traits lose value, planning and process dominate. The founders leave to found new start-ups, where they can once again find greater self-determination, variety, novelty, creativity, excitement and flexibility.
The newish internet organisations break this traditional model. Their growth is so rapid that they often retain their neuro-diverse founders. These powerful and wealthy entrepreneurs then use their authority to shape their businesses in new ways, with values and philosophies far more in sympathy with thier ADHD work styles – check out the very different approaches to traditional business models and styles at Google, Facebook or Linked-In.
The ADHD way of working
Perhaps one day those of us with ADHD will no longer have to create our own business in order to find a company where we actually want to work and that recognises the value in our independence, innovation and lateral thinking.