So, one of my kids is studying some business units at university and was assigned this paper to read. I thought it looked interesting, so I gave it a read as well.
While not being particularly well written in terms of style, this is an approachable introduction to the culture and values of Google and how they play into Google’s continued ability to innovate. The paper identifies seven important attributes of the company’s culture that promote innovation, as ranked by the interviewed employees:
- The culture is innovation oriented.
- They put a lot of effort into selecting individuals who will fit well with the culture at hiring time.
- Leaders are seen as performing a facilitiation role, not a directive one.
- The organizational structure is loosely defined.
- OKRs and aligned performance incentives.
- A culture of organizational learning through postmortems and building internal social networks. Learning is considered a peer to peer activity that is not heavily structured.
- External interaction — especially in the form of aggressive acquisition of skills and technologies in areas Google feels they are struggling in.
Additionally, they identify eight habits of a good leader:
- A good coach.
- Empoyer your team and don’t micro-manage.
- Express interest in employees’ success and well-being.
- Be productive and results oriented.
- Be a good communicator and listen to your team.
- Help employees with career development.
- Have a clear vision and strategy for the team.
- Have key technical skills, so you can help advise the team.
Overall, this paper is well worth the time to read. I enjoyed it and found it insightful.