Monday, March 10, 2008

Google’s Nine Strategies to Innovation

In a recent article at the Sydney Morning Harold, they outline the nine innovation strategies Google uses to achieve milestone after milestone. This company, which is now worth $145 billion, as well as growing 50% each year since 2002, follows very liberal and open rules when it comes to creativity within the company. They are:

1. Ideas come from everywhere – They can come from anyone, literally, such as the executives, the employees, or the users. Employees in Australia came up with Google Maps as well as Google News.

2. Share as much information as you can – All information possible was traded within the company. For example, every morning before the company was traded publicly, the employees were informed for the revenue of the previous day. This can show the employees that they are have power with in the company and they are trusted.

3. They hire brilliant people – Intelligent people work off of each other. If imaginative people are challenged by others, their ideas will continue to grow.

4. Pursue your dreams – Everyone has heard that at Google, employees receive 20% of their time to work on their visions. Many companies would worry this leads to less productivity, but Google finds that they work on things that will impact the Google website.

5. Innovation, not instant perfection – Google launches products early, long before competitors go to market with the same ideas. This way, the can continue the development process with the input of outsiders and have help getting the product read.

6. Data is A-political – Every great idea is accepted if it has the correct data to back it up. No office politics are used when it comes to deciding which ideas are picked as the great ones.

7. Creativity loves constraints – If a line is drawn, you’ll be more likely to cross it. That’s why Google outlines boundaries for their innovators.

8. It’s about customers, not the money – Google comes up with products for their customers, and not based on how much money the product will make them in the future.

9. Don’t kill projects, morph them – If an idea has already made it through the grinder and proves not to work, Google does not set it aside. They continue to work on the idea because if it made it that far in the innovation process, there’s something there and they can continue to work on it until it’s a complete product.

Many of these ideas are completely contradictory to what many companies express today as their want for innovation. Does your company have any innovation ideas similar to Google?

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