“How Google Works”, a book by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg introduces Google’s application of algorithmic fastidiousness to business processes and culture, and takes readers through the evolution of google beginning with the late-stage startup to the Google we know today.

The section of the book focusing on strategy, enlightens readers to the views of Google that products do not require strategies, rather, they need to possess innovative ways of applying technology and/or design that will serve to decrease the cost or increase the functions and usability of a product. “How Google Works” emphasises the importance Google places on open platforms over closed platform - "Default to open"

This book also looks at hiring, and addresses how algorithmic approaches are apparent in the production of candidate 'packets'. The book imparts lots of research and how Google have applied this to create a hiring process that allows Larry Page founder and CEO to sign off every employee of a c50,000 workforce. An area that fascinated me is it's Google's policy to minimise the hiring managers influence over candidate selection; lots of research is presented to demonstrate that the hiring manager is unconsciously biased and that 'crowds' or panels make much better choices.

This book gives lessons that are great for the business world, the tech world, and some that are tight knit to Google’s distinctive culture. It explains that crowded work space can fuel an infectious energy and a positive work environment crowded with creative and positive people will breed creativity. A key plank of the Google approach was adopted from outside in the form of OKR's or Objectives and Key Results. The company, it's leaders and all employees each have a set of quarterly Objectives, supported by Key Results that are expressed in a measurable way ideally against a set of empirical data or outcomes. Key Results are scored 0.0 to 1.0, the results are consolidated to in effect produce a score for the execution of strategy.

It's hard to read this book without reflecting on Peter Drucker's quote "Culture eats strategy for breakfast", throughout the Author's demonstrate how the founders core beliefs of challenging the status quo and simply thinking bigger than many others dare has shaped Google.

 

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