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Creating a Culture of Innovation: Guidance from Google

  • December 6, 2018

g-suite-culture-of-innovationInnovation is something that every business craves, but few companies achieve.   In today's age of digital transformation, it seems like the opportunity for innovation is everywhere. Diverse workforces, artificial intelligence, and even trends like the Internet of Things have opened the door to endless possibilities. 

Of course, if your business wants to embrace this new future of innovation, then you need to create a digitally-enhanced environment that empowers your workforce through better collaboration, communication, and productivity.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do when you want to rework your entire business culture, is start by finding your muse. When the aim of the game is innovation, it makes sense to look towards a digital superstar like Google. After all, ever since Google launched it's been changing the way we look at the world. From creating the world's favorite search engine to giving businesses a new way to transform and collaborate with artificial intelligence, Google seems to be consistently one step ahead of the curve.

So, what's the secret sauce behind Google's constant innovation? It all comes down to eight best practices. You've probably seen these ideas published by Google's content team in the past.

Let's take a look at what each of Google's innovative ideas mean to your business.

  1. Think 10x

  2. Launch then Listen

  3. Share Everything

  4. Hire Right

  5. Apply the 70/20/10 Rule

  6. Look for Ideas Everywhere

  7. Decide with Data

  8. Focus on Users

At the heart of Google's approach to innovation is the "Think 10x" mantra. This basically suggests that the best way to get ahead of your competition is to take an idea, and then take it to the next level. Essentially, Google asks its engineers to take any basic concept, and improve it by ten times before they move onto the next stage of delivery. For instance, don't just create a car that connects to the internet, design a car that uses cloud-based artificial intelligence to drive itself.

Google believes that innovation comes from going beyond what you think is possible, to explore ideas that no-one has dared to try before. That's something that we take to heart here at Coolhead Tech. When we work on a plan with our customers, we make sure that they're unlocking their true potential.

Another critical component of Google's culture of innovation is their "launch then listen" strategy. Ultimately, this concept reminds companies that they're not done with a product after they've launched it. Only by listening to the feedback of your customers can you optimize your offerings and improve your business position. By listening after launch, you can create a business plan that genuinely drives your company in the right direction.

The Launch then listen approach will also help with your digital transformation strategy. For instance, if you implement G-Suite with Coolhead Tech, then listen carefully to how your employees are using the tools available to them, you can make sure you're getting the best return on your investment.

This is an excellent rule for business and life. Google believes that great innovation comes from collaboration. That makes sense. After all, the more unique perspectives you can bring together to support any single idea, the more creative your outcomes will be. The good news is that innovation in the digital age is easier than ever - even if you happen to have a team of remote workers or a globally-dispersed selection of employees.

Tools on the G-Suite like Google Drive, Gmail, and even Google Hangouts will ensure that your people can communicate and collaborate in Realtime - regardless of which device they're using, or where they are.

Google believes in hiring people with potential. They make sure that they acquire the right talent by screening their people for problem-solving skills and leadership potential, asking for referrals, and gathering data. Of course, hiring right doesn't just mean paying attention to the people that join your primary team.

When you're making changes to your business, you also need to ensure that you bring the right partners and consultants on board too. For instance, in a digital transformation plan, an expert like Coolhead Tech with a strong knowledge of the industry is essential.

Figuring out how to manage projects is a major part of running a successful business. Why not take a leaf out of Google's book? Approximately 70% of Google's plans are dedicated to helping its core business growth. 20% of the company's time is devoted to projects related to the core business, while 10% of it's time goes towards projects unrelated to the core business.

In other words, if you want your company to be lucrative, spend most of your time on growing your central business, but don't be afraid to think outside of the box too.

Inspiration is everywhere in today's digital environment. Take advantage. When you're looking for hints on what you should do next, or you need an idea to take your business to the next level, just look around you. For instance, Google's Engineering team in India created a platform where users could start submitting missing sections of map data. Soon after that, Google Maps began accepting crowd-sourced edits.

Look for the problems your team is having, and the issues you want to solve for your customers and come up with a solution. The best ideas come from the simplest places.

Opinions are complicated. Data, on the other hand, is much easier to understand. Google makes sure that it's always choosing the right steps for its future by relying on data. Google measures everything from its performance, to its company culture. The HR team uses data on Googlegeist (an annual survey) to find out which parts of the business environment need to be improved.

With Google surveys, you can access the same kind of insightful information to help your business grow. The more helpful data you collect about your team and your business, the more you can make informed choices about your future. Why guess at what your organization needs, when the data is just waiting to be collected?

Finally, remember that real innovation isn't about keeping up with the Jones's. Google believes that if it focuses on the needs of its users, then success will surely follow. For instance, when the company introduced Gmail in 2004, most people thought that it was a big mistake - after all, there were already plenty of email products on the market.

However, Google stuck to their guns and worked on improving the email experience by offering additional storage and intuitive cloud solutions. Today, Gmail is the biggest and most popular email service in the world.

Inspired? Reach out to Coolhead Tech today for advice on building your own culture of innovation.

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