Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Morning at the Google Headquarters

I must start this off the right way, Google is... A.Ma.Zing

I had the most inspiring opportunity to spend a morning with a former colleague at the San Francisco Google Headquarters (well, Mountain View, not San Francisco). As we sat in the cafeteria in which Google host their weekly meetings with the CEO and the Google leadership team, we began to talk about people processes within Google.

I began to take in the environment in which I was sitting. As I looked around the physical space, the realization hit me at I am at Google-like THE Google. The Google that is no longer just a noun, but also a verb-Google. The music in the background (songs that I know-and no white noise). The vibrant colors of the space. The hundreds of bicycles that line the sidewalk. The flexibility of the people, in their professional and personal style. This environment began to drive conversation, open and honest dialogue, and that conversation drove innovation.

As we dove into the function of people, the conversation shifted to, "How in an organization that is so innovative and huge, do you leave a mark? What kind of expectations do you have coming into a place with such brilliant minds?" The secret... every day you learn and every day you are incrementally more valuable to Google than you were the day before. Wow! You are not meant to come to Google and change the world, but come in, learn your role and provide value when you are capable of providing value. 

Ok, so now my next question, "Why the constant flow of people, in and out of the organization?" Well, you should really only be working on work that you enjoy. Long gone is the notion, that you need to 'find something you like about your role or project and deal with it.' Why would you stay or desire to work on something that your heart was not in. How much purpose can you possibility be serving? How much discretionary effort can you put forth? How much intricate motivation is being utilized? I guess we tend to forget this, when we keep people in roles that we know they desire something different out of. Such business model is a huge departure from what we traditionally see. 

So now I begin to think, "how do they get new and best talent?" Well, when Google employees meet brilliant like minded people, the goal is to refer 2 people smarter than them a week. Networking and word of mouth, brand advocacy is how they build their talent pipeline. 

As I began to piece all of this together, I started to see how the very intentional culture that has been created by Google, drives the innovation that you see come out of the organization. From the ability to work out, to flexible hours, the team building happy hours, sand volleyball, the hot-tub, to free breakfast, lunch and dinner. Google offices are the kind of place that you never want to leave, generated by an electric vibe that you can feel the moment you step onsite. I guess that is what creates the innovation that you see from such an organization. But more importantly, the intentional culture, has a foundation based in what appears to be the self determination model. The need for people to be intrinsically motivated by feeling of autonomy, competency and related/connectedness. All things that minimizes life’s distractions so that the employees can bring your whole, most creative, and innovative self to work.

Don't even get me started on diversity and inclusion, that is a WHOLE other blog post...
What is - Innovative | Intentional | Thoughtful | Curious | Productive... I’m a wild mind with a fire in my soul and a passion for life. The world according to The Professional Gal.

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