Do you ever sit around with your team racking your communal brains for ways to make business better? For new innovative ideas about products or services you might, in a dream world, offer?
Could learning from a giant help?
Google has some great insights when it comes to innovation. And innovation, suggests a piece over on the IoD Connect blog, sits right at the heart of the Google ethos.
The piece reports on an address given by Google’s UK MD Dan Cobley at the IoD Annual Convention.
Innovation is at the heart of the whole Google endeavour, according to Mr. Cobley. It’s what, in his view, has driven the meteoric growth of the company. And we agree, this area needs a lot of attention in order for businesses to break-through with game-changing ideas.
‘Particularly what we call ‘10x innovation’’, the IoD piece reports Cobley as saying; ‘seeking innovation which is not striving to move things to be 10 per cent better but to be ten times better.’
And the company encourages extreme innovation in a number of interesting ways, the IoD explains.
Famously, it gives its staff a day off a week to pursue their own projects and passions. This also, of course, attracts ambitious, inspired staff, as well as delivering a range of magnificent projects – which have so far included AdSense, Google News and Gmail.
‘What it allows us to do is attract fabulous engineers and innovators because they’re coming to a place where they can pursue their passions’, says Dan Cobley.
‘Also it allows us to see and bubble up amazing ideas from people who are very close to those things and very passionate about solving them’.
‘Without that structure we wouldn’t be half the company we are today.’
Perhaps less well documented is the company’s deliberate policy around the canteen: free food, long queues, large tables.
We want people to talk to each other, explains Mr. Cobley.
So, in order to deliberately encourage that, Google leaves its staff waiting together in a canteen queue, or sitting in a larger group than they otherwise might at the lunch table. People get chatting.
‘They will exchange ideas, those ideas will become projects, and those projects will become innovations’, enthuses Dan Cobley.
See the full post over on the IoD Connect blog. And you can also watch Dan Cobley’s full half-hour presentation there, if you want more top tips from the Google maestro.