This essay will introduce the use of three kinds of creativity tools and seven kinds of innovation management in Google, and will compare with module materials and other companies. It will give critical evaluation on the use of one creativity tool and two aspects of innovation management in Google, and two recommendations on how Google can improve its use of creativity tool and innovation management. CREATIVITY TOOLS IN GOOGLE 1. Brainstorming Based on the module materials (Week five), Brainstorming can be used to reduce the barriers for participation, and will be good for creating plenty of new ideas.
Google has a loose environment to use brainstorming sharing all information and suggestions for employees (Barron, 2009). It established an ideal system by sending e-mails, all the employees could give their own ideas directly ( Iyer & Davenport,2008). For Google, it is significant to collect useful ideas to create new products. In 2005, Google’s scientist Lawrence who led his team to have developed a new search engine for using Brainstorming. Then, the Google Desktop Search appears in 2006 (Stross, 2009). 3M also uses Brainstorming to get ideas ( Iyer & Davenport, 2008), which is the famous 15% rule ( Mcleod & Winsor 2003).
Both Google and 3M encourage employees to use some of their working time to do their favorite things, but Google uses more brainstorming than 3M (Iyer & Davenport, 2008); they won’t accept any final decision without sharing and discussing it. (Mcleod & Winsor, 2003). 2. Six thinking hats De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats (Week five lecture) requests to look at problems from different angles to find the best solution. Google uses all six hats as the creativity tool (Iyer & Davenport, 2008) in different aspects of innovation.
Google uses blue hat to think and manage other hats, but Corning Glass seldom uses blue hat. Therefore, Corning Glass cannot make any discussions and group studying continuously (Tidd et. al 2005). When they have to judge information and ideas coming from somewhere, both Google and Corning Glass use black hat to face the problems. (Tidd et al, 2005) Google uses blue hat to make decisions and thinks generally about new product (Iyer & Davenport, 2008). While 3M directly expresses their feeling about launching new product by using red hat (Mcleod & Winsor 2003).
Google prefers to wear white hat in the innovation process because they trust that data drive all decisions (Barron, 2009) , but 3M wears the yellow one when they make decisions and meet the failure (Mcleod & Winsor 2003). 3. Fish bone Fish bone is a creativity tool. According to module materials (Week five lecture), fish bone offers a method for people listing the reasons of a problem and help people to find out solutions easily. Google encourages their staff to keep trying even after failure. Through the analysis of failure, they can find right solutions for the difficulties (Iyer & Davenport 2008).
Google still encourage creative products even some of products from Google are failure (Iyer & Davenport, 2008). Using the fish bone could help Google find some reasons which lead to failure and then have solutions for it. GOOGLE’S INNOVATION MANAGEMENT 1. Managing human resources Managing human resources is an important part to Google. Because Google thinks people are the most important asset (Barron, 2009) and this rule will attract gifted and excellent employees (Iyer & Davenport, 2008). Google prefers to hire smart people because it could make them learn more with each other. Mayer, 02:53, 08/09/09) BBC company’s hiring is quickly, they just watch people’s CV. Compared with BBC, every employee of Google should have 8-15 interviews and communicate with at least 6 interviewers on average. (Barron, 2009) This kind of recruit is more likely to hire better employees 2. Managing knowledge acquisition Google uses a knowledge acquisition management system that everyone could hand in their ideas about new products or company improvement through e-mails (Iyer & Davenport, 2008). Google owns information resources themselves with a great number of internet platforms.
Google almost doesn’t share information with any commercial organizations (Iyer & Davenport, 2008). But it shares application software and services with third-party, which could create new applications through integrating Google’s practical factors (Iyer & Davenport, 2008). Google and Corning Glass have some differentiation in ideas management. Barron’s guest lecture (2009) says that Google prefers to use internal force to collect information. Whereas, Corning Glass prefers to use external power to get new ideas (Tidd et al, 2005). Corning Glass prefers to use outside sources frequently and get the ideas from other places (Tidd et. l 2005), eg. the external partners. 3. Managing the organizational culture One of the most important innovation management is organizational culture. There is a” 20% time rule “, which means: staff in Google could spend 80% of time on the core business, and the 20% on their interested aspects (Iyer & Davenport, 2008). Numerous great ideas come from this way, such as Google News and Google Gmail (Kiss, 2009). 3M also has a similar principle to Google, that is “Rule of 15% time”, which means 3M employees can use 15% of their daily job time to think about their own things (Mcleod & Winsor, 2003). M and Google regulate different time but for same goals: To encourage their staff for creation. This rule gives staff the right control of their own time to do whatever they like, and make them feel comfortable. In this way, the employees have a good condition to create ideas. The only difference of these 2 rules by Google and 3M is offering time. 4. Managing partnerships A successful company cannot do without the partner’s support. In the case of Google, it likes to share new technology and services with third-parties which could integrate and recreate applications to Google (Iyer & Davenport, 2008).
Google not only supports the third-party for development, but also ally itself with other companies to improve infrastructure (Iyer & Davenport, 2008). Whereas, external partners bring Corning Glass with different information and advanced technology (Tidd et. al 2005). It helps to give up their earlier internal reliance as well (Tidd et al, 2005) . While 3M did not cooperate with any external partner (Iyer & Davenport, 2008). 3M uses their own creativity technology to develop in different fields. (Mcleod & Winsor , 2003) Procter& Gamble believes that information property should be shared by companies on win -win strategy . Managing innovation strategy Google says that it is their mission to collect and arrange the information from the world and to make it useful for users (Iyer & Davenport 2008) . They have a clear opinion on getting their innovation goal with different innovation strategies and the advantages from innovation system. This innovation ecosystem produces a lot of circle for them. (Iyer & Davenport, 2008). Whereas, Corning Glass makes a wrong decision on moving into the new and important fields, which make them think about how to develop next step( Tidd et al, 2005).
Google says “fast is better than slow”. Innovation is a competition on the speed of time. Corning Glass also has the similar ability to “dance”, that is, to achieve knowledge together and turn it into practice at once with a high speed when the ideas were expressed clearly (Tidd et al, 2005). It is important for both Google and Corning Glass to reduce the distance from ideas to products on management of innovation. Because of the theory of “Trials by Fire” about launching for push ideas to products quickly, 3M feel pressed for the strategy of managing innovation. (McLeod & Winsor, 2003) .
However, Google has more patience on this, their motto is “Launch and iterate”. (Barron, 2009) 6. Managing innovation costs Google spent billions of dollars not only in infrastructure investment and third-party development support (Iyer & Davenport,2008), but also spent a lot on research and development of their own technologies including their own internet-based operating platform. Moreover, Google determines the best solution by developing useful applications (Iyer & Davenport, 2008).
The main cost of Corning Glass on the R&D exists not only on the innovation process, but also on the entrance for some new and key areas (Tidd et. l 2005). Similarly, 3M cost over one billion dollars to invest on their research and development every year (Mcleod & Winsor, 2003). The difference is in that 3M does more work on the R&D (about 70% of revenue) and launches new products (Mcleod & Winsor, 2003). 7. Managing innovation New ideas are created by employees frequently, after being given free time on innovation in Google. (Iyer & Davenport, 2008). Google gets lots of critical feedback ideas from customers or their partners about new products and services, in order to reduce failure risk (Iyer & Davenport, 2008).
Compared with Google, Corning Glass focuses on innovation process and gets new products by entering into different fields in the market (Tidd et al, 2005). Corning Glass prefers to obtain new information from external partners (Tidd et al, 2005) Compared with 3M, Google only has one product, ie. search engine, whereas, 3M produces a wide range of fields from transportation to office supplies. They know what to do, but do not know how to do with new product. Therefore, they do plenty of research work to look for appropriate ideas and methods (Mcleod & Winsor, 2003). CRITICALLY EVALUATE 1.
Brainstorming is a team work creativity tool, where people could join in freely and freewheeling is welcome. (week five lecture). In Google, they established a loose environment to share information together, and they also have an e-mail system to collect ideas directly from the staff. But it still has shortcomings. It is possible for a group to become a homogeneous team, thus to lead solutions arriving quickly because of the same taste and morale. Their ideas will be not sufficient to improve expertise and creative thinking. And collect ideas from e-mail without a face-to-face meeting will decrease the efficiency. . Barron (2009) says that one of Google’s most important rule is “ hire the best”. Google has very strict system to recruit for the best employees. Obviously, this should spend lots of time and energy for Google, which we think is not necessary. For interviewees, it makes them to spend too much time and money for the preparation, and take a long time to get this job. 3. Referring to Barron’s presentation (2009), Google has a “20% time, do your own working” rule. This kind of rule gives Google’s staff a part of free time to think their own ideas and make people more creative.
Numerous great ideas come from this way, and do make a large number of contributions to Google. However, this rule has shortcoming itself. Because employees might handle their time by themselves, some staff only spend 20% time on their daily job secretly and nobody else will know this (Kiss, 2009). This is not good for the entire company to improve efficiency. RECOMMANDATIONS 1. To overcome the brainstorming’s shortcoming Try to make diverse team members in different ways to work, and meanwhile, arrange some face-to-face time, besides e-mail collecting ideas method. . The recommendation for some staff misappropriate the job time secretly First, to strengthen the supervision on the staff ; Ask them what they did in 80% time and 20% time separately. Secondly, to set a deadline for every task to employees. Thirdly, to increase the staff’s awareness through continuous training on employees. CONCLUSION This essay has made analysis on the creativity tools and various innovation management methods in Google, and made us understand Google’s successful innovation system and differences through comparison with other creative companies.
We can know what we should learn from Google for the innovation philosophy, and meanwhile, we should try to avoid any shortcomings. Anyway, innovation is the way leading to success for all companies.
References: 1) Anon, How Google Fuels its Idea Factory, Business Week , 29/04/08, Retrieved 08/09/09 from www. Businessweek. com 2) Barron. , P. (2009) , Presentation in Napier. 3) De Bono, . E. (2006). Six Thingking hats, London: Penguin 4) Iyer,. B,. Davenport,. T. H. , (2008) Harvard Business Review, April 2008, PP59-68. ) Marissa Mayer at Stanford University, 30/06/09, speaking about innovation in Google, You Tube, Retrieved 08/09/09 from www. youtube. com 6) McLeod. , R. Winsor. , B. (2003), Module Material. 7) P&G. (2009) Connect &Develop 8) Surowiecki. , J. (2008). The Open Secret of Success. The New Yorker. 12th May. 9) Tidd. , T. Bessant, . J. Pavitt, . K. (2005). Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological Market and Organizational Change. Chinchester: Wiley. 10) Week 5 module lecture 11) Week 7 module lecture 12) Week 8 module lecture