8 Google Strategies To Create A Culture Of Innovation And How To Decide If They Are Right For You

Most CEOs believe technology will completely reshape or disrupt their businesses over the next five years, according to PwC 2017 Annual CEO survey. The question is: do you want to lead the innovation, and if so, by how much?

Some degree of innovation is a priority for most CEOs, yet most attempts to create an environment where people can challenge traditional thinking or have the freedom to produce creative outcomes fall flat. Very quickly, leaders learn that an innovative culture is much more than splashing bright paint colours on the wall or installing a basketball hoop in the staff lounge.

Many innovative ideas are lost to the culture of ‘that’s not the way we do things around here.’

Google, arguably the most innovative company on the planet, is often touted as one of the best and most innovative places for employees to work. It goes beyond their unconventional perks of on-campus gourmet cafés, stress-relieving massages and nap pods and speaks more about its intrinsic culture.

While Google doesn’t claim to have a secret formula for fostering innovation, they do apply eight principles to creating an innovative culture. These are their ideas. To be truly innovative, work with a CPHR to determine your unique mix:

  • Use the 70/20/10 model: To allocate resources and promote out-of-the-box thinking, keep 70 per cent of projects dedicated to the core business, 20 per cent of projects related to the core business and 10 per cent of projects unrelated to core business. If your culture is resistant to innovation, have the 10% lead the way.
  • Think 10x: True innovation happens when you try to improve something by 10 times rather than by 10 per cent. Thinking 10 times bigger pushes you beyond existing models and forces you to rethink problems and re-imagine how to approach a solution.
  • Share everything: Collaboration is essential to innovation, so it is important to be transparent and to share as much information as possible with employees.
  • Hire the right people: Recruiting by employee referral is one of Google’s most effective hiring tools, but they also have a robust screening process that includes knowledge, leadership potential, cognitive ability and personality to ensure people are a good fit.
  • Look for ideas everywhere: Great ideas can be found everywhere, so get out of the office.
  • Use data, not opinions: Test and measure almost everything in order to have a continuous data stream to shape your decisions and help make smarter, better informed choices.
  • Focus on customers, not the competition: Google’s attitude is if they focus on users, everything else will follow. Although they operate in a heavily competitive space, the company believes that their desire to improve the lives of users has helped them build a loyal fan base who loves what they do.
  • Launch, then listen: A restaurant holds a soft opening to ensure all systems are go before opening its doors to the public. Similarly, Google releases certain products as beta launches, then revises the product based on feedback collected from users. Do you have a reliable test market for trying out new ideas?

Google believes that company culture and innovation are inextricably linked. Are you ready to create a culture of innovation? It starts with hiring a CPHR.

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Source: CPHR British Columbia & Yukon

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