Google’s Innovation Strategy
Larry Page and Sergy Brim who were postgraduate students at Stanford co-founded Google in 1998.The concept of Google started by the two students developing a formula that was to be used for searching information by random ordering. The technique resulted in the development of an incredible internet search engine that caught the attention of many in the technology spheres. The search platform enabled internet users to access information quickly by the use of an intuitive interface, which is simple. This made Google be the most sought company in terms of advertisements (Soliman 15).
The hiring Schmid Eric in 2004 stimulated the growth of Google due to vast management experience he brought on board from Novell that saw the company raise $ 1.6 billion in a highly publicized IPO in the United States. He also inspired the mission of the company, which was an organization of the world’s information in a matter that will make their data universally acceptable (Steiber 8). These developments saw the company increase its portfolio in terms of increase in advertising space and social networking searches.
Despite massive expansions that saw the company bring on board 20, 000 staff, Soliman notes that organization decided do away with conventional management structures and adopted a hierarchy, which was eschewed and a bureaucracy, which enhanced a feel of a small company. The Schmid idea guided this management system that innovations and creativity thrive well at an individual or small group level. In addition, he noted that it is important to give an individual time to reflect on his innovative ideas since the kind of reasoning involved in this processes cannot be guided by a systematized schedule but rather, a personal initiative and inspiration of making the best of the thought idea (Soliman 15). This saw the management organizes its engineers into innovative small groups, which had autonomy to work on specific projects. In addition, the organization developed a policy, which required every employee to use 20% of his time on innovative ideas. Some of the results gained from this strategy are the development of AdSense and Gmail.
The advantages of a flexible and flat “technocracy” management are that an individual have autonomy to carry their activities without necessarily being supervised. In addition, this strategy cultivates a sense of responsibility among employees as the employees feel a sense of ownership. The organization can also benefit from the production of a broad range of products since employees have the freedom to develop various projects.
The major shortcoming of this type of management is that the managers cannot have full control of the whole innovation process as every employee is working on his project thus making the whole working environment chaotic. Some projects may be not of great use to the organization thus leading to a loss of organizations funds.
Google culture tends to attract highly skilled and innovative employees who are seeking a platform to display their personal innovations. Those employees who go to Google are responsible enough to an extent of working with minimal supervision. The flexible and flat “technocracy” style of management is dangerous as it creates a feeling of chaotic environment where every division will have its style of doing things. The strategy also reduces cohesion among employees due to the discrete nature of various department and management structures. There is also a possibility that some agencies will receive more funding than others.
Yes. Google has managed to make a great fortune from the sale of its innovative products, which are customized to users’ needs. The company has managed to set aside part of its revenue for innovation activities. It could not have easy for this company to implement such policy if it were not endowed financially. Besides, this company could have continued with the same management style in the event that there are close competitors. Currently, Google has competitors like Microsoft and Apple but has continued with the same policy so as to enhance its competitive advantage.
Soliman, Fawzy.From Knowledge to Learning Organization to Innovation: The Way
Ahead. London: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.2015.Print.
Steiber, Annika. The Google Model: Managing Continuous Innovation in a Rapidly
Changing World. Chicago: Springer Science & Business Media.2014.Print.