In a recent workshop to help a new staff configuration intentionally craft a culture, I referenced the 2015 Tomorrowland movie and challenged the staff to create their own version of this mythical place. Tomorrowland is “a place where the best and brightest people in the world came together to actually change it.” The dreamers and thinkers unexpectedly received a T pin as their invitation and were transported to this new world where nothing was impossible.

While the movie was “meh,” I have always liked the concept of having a place where dreamers and thinkers come together to do magical things. I thought about this movie again when reading No Rules Rules about Netflix’s “high talent density” culture where they pay top wages to assemble the best people in each position and if you are only “good, not great” you are given a generous severance package and asked to leave. It reminded me of this utopian Tomorrowland but showed that creating the impossible is actually feasible if the right assembly of talent comes together.

You may not be able to shape the whole world as in the movie or even the entire culture like at Netflix, but can you provide metaphorical “T pins” to invite a collection of stars to convene on a specific project? Is it an option for you to identify those worthy of a pin in your organization and afford them latitude to think and dream on company time? Or could you create literal “T pins” as a form of recognition for those who demonstrate that change is possible?

Sometimes we need the arts in order to push our boundaries and set our sights higher. Take steps now to get one step closer to your Tomorrowland today.

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer, 2020.

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