Google is a company which in some ways is unlike most others. Bursting out of a Silicon Valley garage in the late 90s it showed a new way to organise and find the world’s data and quickly branched out into 1000 different directions and moon shots. The company was run initially by Larry Page and Sergey Brin but as investors came onboard a level of ‘adult supervision’ was needed. Eric Schmidt of Sun and Novell was brought in and worked shockingly well with the unusual Google culture.
Whilst CEO Schmidt wrote an article entitled Google’s 10 golden rules which is still very much worth a read. The brief rules are :
- Hire by committee – everyone’s opinion counts.
- Cater to their every need – staff who are well fed and have all their little problems sorted for them do better work.
- Pack them in – put everyone close together sharing space and they communicate better.
- Make coordination easy.
- Eat your own dog food – use your own products internally. This makes sure they are the best they can be.
- Encourage creativity – give staff time and resources to follow their own projects.
- Strive to reach consensus – a manager should be the aggregator of viewpoints not a dictator. This is slower but produces more committed staff and better decisions.
- Don’t be evil.
- Data drives decisions – almost every decision can be based on quantitative analysis of data.
- Communicate effectively – have all hands meetings and communication.
Schmidt goes into much more detail in the article and if you are involved in business or management in any way it is very much worth reading. Not every company or organisation will be able to work the Google way but there are lessons there for everyone.