People as a focus, novel idea?

Going back through all of my papers written for ICS 601, I wanted to highlight one of the more interesting.  Please enjoy, as I enjoyed the book How Google Works.

Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg explore the foundation of Google’s success and what facilitated its growth into the global powerhouse it is today with the book “How Google Works” (2014).  The book, not a technical guide to how Google “works”, is an overview of theories, relationships, and values that worked for Google.

Google’s core value is “focus on the user” (Schmidt and Rosenberg, 2016).  While this is not unique in a consumer driven market, the way Google facilitates adhering to the core value is unique.  Embracing the “smart creative” as an employee is the way to do this.  They focus on hiring talent and give them the freedom to use that talent.  Google has a culture in which creativity, autonomy, collaboration, and ownership is expected and appreciated across the organization.  In this culture, their smart creatives work with different departments, either working on new ideas or more importantly improving upon the successes that are central to their core business.  They encourage inter-department collaboration to facilitate the flow of ideas and creativity.  Employee input is encouraged.  Google gives a voice to every employee creating a sense of ownership and responsibility to deliver a product in line with their core value, focus on the user.

The focus on hiring the “smart creative”, giving them the freedom to act and the ability to communicate positive and negative feedback creates an environment at Google geared toward success.  Schmidt and Rosenberg (2014) showcased the environment of what makes it all work and yet they did more.  They stated that it is the responsibility of leaders within the company to create this environment.  The focus of hiring the right people is only part of the equation.  Communicating, listening, firing when needed, networking and nurturing employee strengths and ideas at all levels facilitates an environment for company and individual success at Google.

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