Google is one of those companies that everyone admires but secretly feels that such a structure/approach/strategy/corporate culture (take your pick) would never work in your field. The book “How Google Works” is a fascinating read for many reasons. “If you hire the right people and have big enough dreams, you will finally get there” is the mantra offered by Larry Page, CEO and Co-founder. When Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded Google in 1998, they had no formal business training or experience. That was considered an advantage, not a liability. We are challenged to explore our own relationship to aiming high if not higher, as well as our own views about failure and experimentation. Ours view about how we learn. Our views about how and why we work. Our views on the role of technology. Our views on most things that drive our behaviour. Google strategy? Hire as many talented people as possible and get out of their way. I love their fascination with ‘smart creatives’ – those who have a combination of technical knowhow and multidimensional management flair. Hands on experience combined with rich data narrative. Difficult to manage? Yes. And if you don’t possess the skill to do so, get out of the game. So a wake-up call for any organization still run by micro-managers using antiquated methods of command control. Think of dinosaurs mating … soon to be extinct.
A great talk featuring Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg about their work at Google and the book. Interviewed by Salman Khan of the Khan Academy, this is a real eye-opener – honest, sometimes bluntly so, transparent in management style, very inspirational and I also found it hugely entertaining.
A great book for a snowed-in weekend. Or a leisurely read on a beach. Just a great book period.
How Google Works
Interested in creating a corporate culture that outperforms your competition? Ann Rhoades has shared her experience with companies such as JetBlue and Southwest Airlines and reveals how leaders can create a winning environment.
Most important in my view, not only does this great little book show you how to implement a corporate culture program using the Values Blueprint, it shows you how to measure your culture in order to optimize performance. When you execute on the Values Workout, specifics are both encouraged and examples made available to aid your progress. An example:
Linking behaviours to your values system means consensus on the chosen values. So, if you say you have integrity as an organization, how do you define the meaning? Examples used in the book are:
1. demonstrating honesty, trust and mutual respect
2. never compromising values for short-term results
3. holding yourself and others accountable to actions and outcomes
4. following through on commitment and keeping promises.
Hmmmm – which one to choose? And, what behaviors demonstrate your understanding? Make sure that they are:
2. start with an action word
Written in easy to understand language, this book is a gem!
Ginger Grant is an expert on corporate culture and a professional keynote speaker. If you are interested in hearing more about how culture can impact the performance in your organization, please contact:
The Italians have known something about design for centuries so it should be no surprise to find this book coming out of Milan. Roberto Verganti has written an elegant treatise on the principles of design and how they apply to driving a culture of innovation that creates new markets, new ideas and new paradigms. Juicy!
Every so often, a book comes along that makes you read it from beginning to end without pause – and Glimmer is one of those books. Featuring the visionary ideas of Bruce Mau, the books takes you into the world of design – and why it is one of the hottest trends to follow. Taking planning into an art form, author Warren Berger walks us through common threads of planning, purpose and intent. Living with a design-mind means creating a culture of courage – for innovative is always ‘out-side the box’. Don’t forget that innovation equals creativity plus execution – an idea without implementation is just hallucination! Providing fresh thinking and new possibilities – Glimmer should be on your reading list this summer.
Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life, and Maybe Even the World