Google's Innovative Management Style

Jan 25, 2011

[caption id="attachment_4055" align="aligncenter" width="496" caption="Source: Fast Company"][/caption]

Google is known as one of the most innovative companies, but Fast Company points out that their greatest innovation might not be a product at all. Google has long been led by a management team, rather than by one individual. Eric Schmidt has been CEO and was brought it to provide senior experience to the very young founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. However, Schmidt truly served as an advisor and helped the young founders grow into true leaders. Together, the team led Google to the Internet super-giant that it is today.

Fast Company writes,

Google can provide some managerial guidance. Eric Schmidt was brought in a decade ago to provide "adult supervision" to the young cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. He had long experience at Sun Microsystems and other companies in the tech space as CEO, spoke the tech language and provided the big business experience the techie-centric founders didn't have. It was a brilliant bi-generational leadership model which worked for a crucial period of scaling and evolution for the startup Google. Indeed, bi-generational management is the norm for most successful high tech startups in the U.S.

Established corporations should consider a variation on this startup model--create a bi-generational CEO team that integrates Gen Xers younger Gen Y with older Boomer managers. The benefits could be significant. They include a much deeper understanding of the values and aspirations of the youngest and largest demographic cohort in the U.S. (not to mention India, Brazil, etc.); better and quicker shifting of business practices to social media platforms; and faster evolution of internal corporate compensation, work organization, and promotion to "fit" Gen Y life. For example, the partner model of service companies doesn't work for most Gen Yers. The hierarchy that still exists in most businesses won't generate their best work. And the closed, centralized technology systems inside big corporations are anathema to the open source generation.

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