How Google’s Rules Can Work In Your Office

Well, my alma mater, Wharton School, has come up with a useful post that we can reblog. It’s a little unfocused, but that’s why we try to put it into a less than five page format.


My impression is that Google doesn’t have many rules for its employees, just show up and get the work done. But, here are their rules, as interpreted by Wharton:

1. Take power away from managers. Interesting, but you’ve got to have employees who are pretty well self disciplined. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal last week about a company CEO who didn’t have ANY managers until he got to about 100 employees, but that’s probably an extreme. Management theory says that your managerial span of control is the inverse of the complexity of the work, ie. the more complex the work, the fewer workers per manager. Or supervisor.

2.  Have meaning in your work. Have a mission that all your people understand. Hard to believe, but productivity gains cited by the authors just from this range from 30% to 400%.

3. Data driven decisions. Wharton apparently thinks our intuition is wrong most of the time (we think it’s the decider when data is unclear). Can you measure the impact of your decisions? It doesn’t sound like Google managers can decide who to hire or promote; it’s all done by committee. This is not all bad; most of our clients, especially the larger ones, use about the same approach. The use our personnel profiling system in the American School of Entrepreneurship for both hiring and evaluation, even of sales people.

4. There’s some verbiage about ‘nudging’ people which is unclear, but I think the authors are talking about suggesting something to your managers or direct reports, but not ordering them to do it, per se.

So, there you have it, an entire book summarized in 300 words. Put the checks in the mail, payable to CEO to Go, through PayPal.

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