Google Appears to have it right…..

by | Mar 8, 2012

Organisations globally are struggling with innovation - everyone know what to do - the question is how to do it. Over the past few weeks I have spent more and more time at Google's Sydney office, and I have to say, from an outsider's perspective, Google seems to doing a lot right. What struck me?

a) The real desire of the company to build a feeling of connectedness and collaboration amongst the staff. It starts with the "tear drop" meeting areas in the middle of the floors, coupled with the "cubby holes" that allow people to "hide" if they need some private space. Each of the meeting areas is unique - who would imaging a picnic table, complete with umbrella, stuck in the most prestigious corner section of an office floor to allow staff to meet while seeming to be on a picnic? Astounding.

b) The provision of recreational facilities - massage, pool tables, foosball tables, electronic games etc. Sounds like a gimmick? Maybe. Sounds like west US culture? Maybe. Does it work? I bet it does. Why? It again allows the Google team to connect and collaborate - and connection and collaboration brings new ideas and innovation to the fore.

c) The deployment of high-quality food spaces - the "lolly shop" stations as well as the high quality "restaurant". Once again, its not about the food...... food can be purchased from any restaurant nearby. Indeed I am sure its not even about saving the team member money. It’s about creating an environment where the Google staff member is very happy to sit round and eat and drink with colleagues - good food, great atmosphere - and again, with ideas colliding, building the next Google???

I am certain Google has its issues like any other growing corporation, It still has the ubiquitous workstations, the desks, the chairs and the staff in a building (Do we really need buildings these days...?). However, you have to give Google 100% for trying to embed a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship deeply into its fabric.

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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