How Google’s Leadership Used A Different Work Culture To Become A Global Technology Leader
Google has become one of the most successful technology companies in the world, thanks to its terrific leadership, smart creatives and a corporate culture that encourages innovation.
How Google Works reveals how Google created this stimulating environment that attracts top engineers and allows them to work hard and come out with innovative products year after year.
To foster a culture of innovation at your own company, you can learn from Google’s secrets.
For example, you can hire smart creatives who possess technological know-how yet also demonstrate ambition — such individuals may not always obey traditional marching orders but will likely lead to successful projects.
Additionally, putting up a note or quick question on the wall in order to solve technical issues set forth by the team is an effective way for the staff to collaborate together towards a solution.
Furthermore, devoting time for employees’ creative pursuits might produce unexpected results — some of these ideas have already manifested into new products like Gmail!
By emulating Google’s methods combined with setting aside ample opportunities for employees to be creative and think innovatively, your company can open itself up to successful products as well as maximize its potential for creativity.
Google’s Winning Strategy: Relying On Smart Creatives To Create Game-Changing Products
It has become incredibly clear that having great products is the key to success in business, especially when it comes to the modern digital world.
Consumers have access to so much information and choice online that your product has to be top-notch in order for you to win and retain their customers.
Technological advancements have made it easier than ever for companies to develop products quickly and cheaply, meaning a small team of engineers can whip up something amazing in no time at all.
Google understood this fundamental truth, with founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin purposely focusing all their attention on creating the best search engine they could – knowing that if they achieved this feat, money would follow.
And it did!
What makes products like Google’s search engine algorithm so effective are the minds behind them – smart creatives who are both technically minded and creative simultaneously.
These people are ambitious, competitive, and arrogant enough with their abilities that they won’t hesitate to challenge any idea or authority if it will get them closer to developing something truly special.
This is a quality found no better example of than within Google’s own founders, Page and Brin – which likely explains why the company continues to achieve such phenomenal success today.
Great products developed by phenomenal employees are crucial for business success.
How To Attract And Retain Smart Creatives For Your Business
If you want to have great products and a successful business, you need to prioritize hiring and retaining smart creatives.
To hire them effectively, create a hiring committee with representatives from different roles in your company so that multiple points of view can be taken into account.
Along with data such as interview reports, resumes and references, go beyond the usual questions and challenge candidates by asking about their interests and passions.
Even better, search for unexplored gems by coming up with surprising questions or finding an interesting topic of conversation that would engage them.
Once you’ve found those smart creatives, keep them engaged at your company in order to prevent them from looking elsewhere.
Make sure they continue to feel challenged intellectually and give them opportunities to learn new things.
This could come in the form of attending top level meetings with founders or engaging in other activities that stimulate the intellect.
How To Make Your Company Attractive To Smart Creatives
The key to building a company that attracts top talent is to create an environment geared specifically towards smart creatives.
To do this, you need to create a culture that encourages creativity and allows employees to think freely and independently.
The first step is to ensure that interaction between colleagues is easy and open, so that ideas can flow freely.
Also make sure that employees feel free to express themselves – it’s important for everyone to be able to voice opinions without fear of judgement or ridicule.
It’s also crucial for employees to be able to make decisions independently, with clear guidelines but without feeling restricted.
This is one of the reasons why Google created their famous “don’t be evil” motto back in 2004 – they wanted their workers to have the freedom of decision-making while still being held accountable for ethical behaviour.
Finally, there must always be an element of motivation which cannot come from external sources such as an excessive paycheck; what it does come from are people who are willingly motivated by the work itself.
An example of this would be Larry Page’s infamous posting in the kitchen bulletin board encouraging his engineers in finding a solution for better ads on Google, which was successfully addressed over the weekend!
Offering these building blocks will help assemble an environment where excellence-driven individuals want to thrive and take part, making your company more attractive and possibly creating more opportunities for success for all involved.
A Strategic Foundation Is What A Business Needs, Not A Traditional Plan
To be prepared for whatever challenges come your way, you need a plan that’s flexible and able to adapt.
Instead of crafting a static business plan, create a strategic foundation.
This foundation will allow you to respond quickly when unexpected changes arise.
Jonathan Rosenberg understood the importance of this for Google in 2002 when he initially wanted to deliver an MBA-style business plan but then realized that was not the best option for his employees.
He ended up creating a three-part foundation which focused on technical insights, fast growth from platforms, and being open to information sharing with the world.
This allowed Google’s talented and creative employees to effectively respond to potential problems due to their ability to move beyond traditional plans and work on building innovative solutions as needed.
A strategic foundation can be built with guiding principles rather than fixed directions which are more likely to lead to success no matter how you decide to tackle any upcoming challenge.
The Benefits Of Consensus-Based Decision Making In Smart Creative Companies
If you’re lucky enough to manage a team of smart creatives, it’s on you as their leader to enforce a lively discussion over a decision.
This process is essential for making sure that everyone’s opinions are heard and respected before any major call is made.
For example, when founder Sergey Brin disagreed with an engineer over a decision, instead of forcing his opinion on the team, he proposed a compromise: half the team follow him and half follow the engineer’s idea.
The engineer was still unsatisfied, but after some discussion, everyone convened around the engineer’s solution — not Brin’s.
With this kind of consensus-driven decision making in place, it allows for everyone to have their say, increasing morale and demonstrating respect for individual ideas.
It also ensures that every employee will support any outcome that is reached.
However, while consensus building is important, it should always be done within an appropriate timeframe so as not to delay important calls.
This can be seen in how Eric Schmidt handled a major deal with AOL back in 2002: by calling for discussions on the issue daily for six weeks — giving his team enough time to discuss all options but still make a timely decision afterwards.
At its heart then, if you’re leading smart creatives at your company, it’s your job to foster lively discussions over any given matter instead of just relying on one person’s opinion or decisions alone.
Encouraging Openness In The Workplace For Smart Creative Teams
Smart creatives are most productive when they are able to work in an open, collaborative environment.
Google specifically recognizes this and as a result has established practices that support it.
On the organizational level, Google shares quarterly company reports with everyone in the company and their intranet, called Moma, stores information about every project and employee objectives to facilitate more seamless communication between departments.
On the individual level, Google’s founders emphasize the importance of openness by hosting weekly meetings where everyone can submit questions online ahead of time and upvote particular questions to give them priority.
They also encourage employees to be open themselves by inviting conversations from all and even setting up “office hours” for people who want to ask questions.
As a result of these efforts, team members at Google now feel comfortable starting conversations with each other.
For example, one employee wrote a “user manual” about himself as an invitation for collaboration, while another set aside time for inquiring colleagues.
How To Create An Innovative Company Culture And Encourage Smart Creatives To Think Outside The Box
Creating an innovative atmosphere can’t be forced, but there are ways to foster innovation.
First, you should aim high and challenge your employees with ambitious goals.
One approach that works is to set “10x” goals—for instance, developing products that are ten times better or more efficient than the existing products in the market while costing only one-tenth of their price.
It is also essential to ensure your team knows that it is okay to fail; you have to be open to risk and give people permission to try new things even if those ideas don’t work out in the end.
That’s why Google dedicates 70 percent of its budget for core projects, 20 percent for budding ventures and 10 percent for experimenting on new ideas.
Lastly, it is significantly important for companies to let their engineers exercise their own creativity as much as possible – Google gives all of its engineers 20-percent time every week so they can explore whatever interests them and find inspiration from within.
This has proven successful with some notable products such as Gmail being created during this ’20-percent’ time period!
The bottom line of How Google Works is that, to create a culture of innovation like the one found at Google, you need to prioritize hiring and retaining ‘smart creatives’ – individuals who have unique, creative talents and motivations.
This may require a rearrangement of power or a change in leadership style, but the results will be worth it.
To achieve this; set up hiring committees for each new position you open up, involving representatives from all departments across the company.
During assessment stages, ensure decision makers are able to use their imagination to evaluate whether prospective employees are capable of being smart, curious and creative.
As well as the institutional questions they must answer, ask candidates unexpected questions about their interests and how passionate they feel about these topics.
Doing so will help guarantee that you employ talented individuals who share your enthusiasm for success.