Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Google and it's Innovation mantra ..

 Google and its Innovation Mantra:
The story of innovation has not changed. It has always been a small team of people who have a new idea, typically not understood by people around them and their executives.
                                                     —Eric Schmidt, Chairman, Google
Which all Google apps do you use ?
Whenever anyone thinks of innovation, one of the first names which flash through our minds is Google.  Google, in contemporary times, is said to be the greatest innovator in the digital domain. Be it search, email, blogs, Google drive, Google forms, photos, Google docs, maps, navigator, my tracks, Google talk, hangouts, scholar, clock, news, Google Plus, Google Analytics, android, Youtube, chromecast, or calender, Google touches each of us in very many ways.

How Google works !
A thought which always crossed our mind would be - how does Google manage to come out with so many great ideas, implement them, make them great successes and finally monetize from them ?

What is the unique culture, shared passion, innovative mindset that makes Google stand out from the rest of the crowd ?

What does Google do to its processes, how does Google motivate its employees and what sort of a nourishing and enriching environment does Google provide its employees to ensure so much of innovation coming out of it, something like an innovation mill churning new ideas and applications, almost every three months, ideas we never thought even existed or existed but made simple, cheap and easily accessible and usable by Google ?

Google docs which democratised and simplified word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, data storage and dug the grave for Microsoft Windows, is one of the greatest Innovations for people who deal with data, meetings, presentations etc..

Gone are the days of pendrives, scanning for viruses  etc.. All our relevant professional data and material are on the drive. How easy it is now to get a survey done through Google Forms ! Google analytics makes keeping track of hits, analysing forms data etc all so easy these days ..

One-to-many communication made possible by blogging through Blogspot is one of the best ways for one to communicate with colleagues, students, friends, well wishers and the public even to this day.

Some of the points specific to the culture of innovation and passion at Google could be attributed to the following aspects. They are being classified here depending on whether they are physical/environment related, Psychological / emotional Intelligence related, Lean Operations related, Technical related, Customer related and employee related.

I. Physical / environment related
     a. think big, but start small 
      b. scan the surroundings, events, people, occasions etc for ideas 
      c. be a platform - either operating system or browser or Google 
           earth etc.. so that anybody, anywhere can apply their ideas,
           skills, passions to produce new products and processes
      d. plan it big, aim to be at least ten times bigger or better, 
           as Google says think 10X ..


II. Psychological / Emotional Intelligence related
    a. be quite open about sharing one's ideas, thoughts and products
     b. be passionate about the mission
     c. collaborate with others organisations / team members passionately
     d. enable blue-sky thinking, ie. let imagination bring ideas, 
            but proceed to final stages of mature implementable ideas 
            based on data
     e. be ready to fail 
     f. FAIL FAST 
     g. learn most from failures, 

III. Operations related
     a. continuous improvement is the key to success, not instant success
     b. use the 70/20/10 principle, ie. 70% of Google's efforts would be
          dedicated to core areas, 20 % effort in areas related to core 
          areas and the last 10% areas unrelated to the core areas


IV. Technical related
     a. try out technical ideas / insights for novelty and the cutting edge

V.  Customer related
     a. focus on the user, not the competitor or money, revenue will 
         come later

VI. Employee related
     a. hire people with the right attitude for growth and innovation

Some of the grey areas which Google has not ventured into and could make a big difference are

1. enabling global Internet penetration (through Project Loon) and
2. Massive Open Online Courses (to enable affordable global learning and exchange of knowledge)

It is hoped that the reader would find the links given here useful and gratifying in the search to understand the innovation process better and to track,  as an organisation how the global innovation leader Google, manages innovation and remains the global leader in the digital domain.

References :
1. Laura He, Google's secrets to Innovation, Forbes Magazine (International edition), March 2013, Last accessed 15 December, 2015. 
2. Wojcicki, Susan, Eight Pillars of Innovation, www.thinkwithgoogle.com, July, 2011, Last accessed 14 December 2015.
3. Kathey Chin Leong, Google reveals its nine principles of Innovation, http://www.fastcompany.com, November 2013, Last accessed 14 December 2015.
4. Creating a culture of Innovation, apps.google.com, Last accessed 15 December 2015. 

@ 2015 GeorgeEasaw

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