Like 'reality television': Bridgewater employees spend over an hour each week watching each other's meetings


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Bridgewater Associates

An employee watches a recording of a meeting on her computer. The company sends weekly batches of recorded meetings with supplementary surveys, with the intention of illustrating Ray Dalio's "Principles."


Every week, employees at the world's largest hedge fund spend at least an hour with "management principles training" lessons (MPTs), where they analyze recordings of meetings and answer questions about what they observed.

Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio implemented this process around 10 years ago as a way to further instill his unique management insights into his growing firm, which now has $150 billion in assets under management and 1,700 employees in its Westport, Connecticut offices.

Dalio founded his hedge fund out of his apartment in 1975, and in the '80s developed a culture of "radical truth" and "radical transparency," codified in his 2010 guide "Principles," which all employees must read. In this environment, the majority of meetings are recorded, via an opt-in audio recorder or camera, and any time employees mention a colleague not present, they are supposed to send the recording to that person. Some of these recordings become MPTs, if they contain a "teachable moment." Others are sent to share an important, informative meeting with the entire company.

It's a unique process all job candidates know they'll be getting themselves into, since Bridgewater shows a couple of examples during its application process. To learn how they worked and have been received, Business Insider talked to several former junior- and senior-level employees. We are refraining from sharing any identifying details of these former employees so as not to jeopardize their standing with the company.