miércoles, 11 de enero de 2012

Learning from Google's culture

Back in December 2011 Eric Schmidt talked at the European Commission Innovation Convention 2011 about what Europe needed to promote innovation.

At certain point, minute 37:37 in the video above, Don Tapscott makes the following question:
"I wonder what we can learn about the google culture in terms of innovation, because Google is such an innovation engine. Certainly from the outside it's not intuitive, looks a little weird actually.
You enter into businesses where there is no obvious revenue model, you give stuff away, you have what many would think is a strange view on intellectual property and of patents that they should support innovation rather then just protect companies. 
You compete with your self, but you partner with competitors. You have this thing about not doing evil, and you kill initiatives because you think they might be bad; I mean, lots of companies think evil is good, as long as it makes money. 
You tell employee's to waste their time, 20% of the week, not to work on traditional things. You have this strange management approach where people are treated like peers and you don't mind failure. 
This makes no sense what so ever"
Two sentences caught my attention from Eric's answer:
"I think philosophically [Google] is organize around individual and their ideas, and Google can be understood as an Innovation engine from the bottom with the management trying to said sort out which the opportunities are."
"I will tell you the Google model will work just fine in Europe because the quality in the intellecto the people; as long as you make one change. And that change is you have to change the relationship of the boss and the subordinates. The European corporate model is very hierarchical ... that doesn't work with hightly creative people who can move quickly."
I honestly think that Google's culture can be reproduced in altmost any working environment. At the end it is a matter of everyone in the company believing it will work and wanting to make it work.

What I have learnt is whenever someone says I don't believe it will work in my company or in my country it usually means they don't really want to make it work.

Take care
Javier Arias González