Google: the innovation machine
2008 – Google is a big company where the development of new applications is of great importance. In addition to the search engine and advertising capabilities, Google is also actively engaged in online productivity, blogging, online payments, social networks, and so on.
Growth and profitability are achieved primarily through the particular way Google treats its employees: the company gives its employees a lot of freedom and confidence. The commitment and enthusiasm of staff is great.
Within Google workplace innovation is not an isolated experiment or project, but the whole business is permeated. Like no other business Google promotes the human dimension of innovation.
Google’s mission is to organize the information in the world and make it universally accessible and useful. To fulfill this mission, technical innovation is indispensable; technical innovation that in particular is achieved through workplace innovation.
With Google innovative talent is part of every job description. Employees are allowed to spend freely one fifth of their working time to innovation. This explicit investment in innovation delivers many new ideas and products. Because innovation talent is such a big part of the job description, Google has a rigorous recruitment approach: only the best people can work for Google. At Google there is a culture where you are not blamed for mistakes or faults. At google chaos is positive, not negative. Employees get a lot of freedom and trust to work on ideas and cross team boundaries. Google also offers a lot of intellectual stimulation, for example by organizing lectures by renowned scientists.
The approach is characterized by Google’s nine notions of innovation:
1. Ideas come from everywhere: Google expects everyone to join innovation, also the financial department for example;
2. Share everything you can: every project, deadline, news highlight within Google is accessible through an ultramodern intranet;
3. You are brilliant, we’re hiring: at Google intelligence and creativity are more important than experience;
4. A license to purchase dreams: employees get one day a week to think about innovation;
5. Innovation, not instant perfection: Google launches new services at an early stage, and with small steps;
6. Don’t politic, use data:, employees are encouraged not to start thinking from what they like, but to substantiate this with numbers;
7. Creativity loves restraint: start working with a vision and give people a deadline and rules to get there. People do need a goal/dream;
8. Worry about usage and users, not money: Google focuses on providing simple and accessible services. The money will follow.
9. Don’t kill projects, morph them: every project has something reusable, so no project is worthless or failed.
(Source: http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/06/marissa_mayer/index_01.htm ).
The method of Google results in high profits, satisfied shareholders and driven employees. In addition, Google currently can call itselve one of the greatest players in the ICT industry. The company also took over several other Internet companies like YouTube and DoubleClick. The Google brand is now the strongest brand in the world.
Attached is the full article ‘De innovatiemachine die Google heet’ ( ‘The innovation machine that is called Google’) byB. Iver and T. Davenport in: Management Executive July/ August 2008. This article pays attention to both workplace innovation and technological innovations.
The annex also contains a report of a visit to Google in Zurich. This was written by Yvette Tietema, advisor for Social Innovation at Argentum.