Google – ‘Innovation By Design’


As you would expect, Google bases its entire company ethos around innovation. Ideas are encouraged from everywhere and even the canteen is designed with the concept of ideas sharing, allowing just enough queuing time to discuss ideas but ensuring that it is short enough to avoid annoyance and hunger!  However, getting hungry is not really an option, walking around the Google building makes you feel exactly like a child in a candy shop as you are welcome to help yourself to literally anything you want to eat or drink, so you are never going to want for anything.  Stress is also unlikely as there is no excuse not to work off the calories with the onsite gym with views across London.

If you are still wanting some room to think then don’t worry, Google is a creative bubble the entire environment of the building is developed with open clear spaces to encourage informal meetings and there are even micro kitchens to make it feel like your own home. In fact the design of some of the ‘lounges’ gave me some great concepts for my own interior design at home, so thank you Google!

Clearly Google staff are never short of ideas and are in a perhaps unique position to be able to trial ideas quickly and frequently so the ‘Google graveyard’ is full of the concepts that have emerged through internal crowdsourcing. You have the ability to ‘dream big’ with Google and all employees can directly report to the founders on a weekly basis through live streaming, how else would  you expect them to communicate? The ideas are voted on by the other members in the organization in order to give it the best chance.

Staff may dream big but there are some parameters and this involves a Google developed thinking process.  This ‘creative iceberg’ comes from a foundation of a business idea which then links to the communication idea (the platform it will be marketed from) and finally the creative concept. It is therefore deeply rooted in a business need. This ensures that creative thinking is directed well. The idea is also backed up with data to counteract any strong opinions and validate the concept.  Data is also something that Google is never short of and so helps give conviction to these ideas.

Whilst there are restrictions to how the creative process happens, all employees are encouraged to allow their ideas to grow and let them flourish; to trial and fail is actively encouraged and taking risks is expected. This is a learning process for Google and they allow themselves to be experimental and this is how they grow as a business.

Google exists because of being entirely user focused and for that reason the one relationship that is not encouraged is between engineers and commercial links. They put the customer at the heart of the business and correctly assume that if they ‘focus on the user all else will follow’.

Google also gives you a licence to pursue your passions, with allowing a set percentage of time from each employee to focus purely on their passions which have directly created Google Earth and Google Insights as a result.

It is clear that for Google ‘innovation is everything’ they create the right environment and employ the right people and allow them a chance to fail and learn, this is clearly the key to their success, as well as the free food that is!

Annie Ivanova

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