Eight ideas your business can borrow
You can’t separate innovation from culture. But how do you build an innovative culture? There’s no secret formula, only guidelines. We asked Google’s leaders how they create a culture of innovation.
Here are the eight they’ve found work best:
➊ Think 10x
Don’t try to improve something by 10%. Try to make it 10 times better. When you think
10x, true innovation can happen. A 10x goal pushes you beyond your existing mental models and forces you to entirely reimagine an idea.
➋ Launch, then listen
After each product launch, we listen carefully to user feedback and then make revisions based on what we’ve heard. The beauty of this approach is that we get real-world user feedback and never wander too far from what the market wants.
➌ Share everything
Innovation comes from collaboration. Collaboration comes from sharing. So Google shares everything with its employees via tools like Google Drive and G Suite. Docs, Sheets and Slides give people access to the content they need, wherever they need it.
➍ Hire right
Here are three ways Google hires people hungry for greatness. 1. Ask employees for referrals. 2. Screen for problem-solving skills, leadership potential AND personality.
Evaluate the data with rigor. Google Docs and Sheets are vital to managing the process.
➎ Apply 70/20/10
70% of Google projects are dedicated to its core business. 20% are related to its core
business. 10% are unrelated to its core business. This approach keeps the focus on core and related needs while encouraging “moonshots.”
➏ Seek ideas everywhere
We look for ideas everywhere—inside and outside the organization. One of Google’s engineering teams in India, for example, created a platform where users could provide missing map data. Not long after, Google Maps could support crowdsourced edits.
➐ Decide with data
Google tests and measures almost everything, including its culture. The HR team analyzes data from Googlegeist—a global annual internal survey—and shares the data so the company can see what’s working and what needs to change.
➑ Focus on users
We feel that if we focus on users, everything else will follow. Case in point: Back in 2004, Google introduced Gmail, believing that cloud-based email would be more intuitive and offer a lot more storage. Today, it’s the world’s leading email service.