I would like to extend my heartiest thanks and my gratitude to each person who assisted me in making this effort a success and easier task. Without the help of them, this will not be such successful.
I wish to offer my special thanks to Mr. N.M. Mohamed Fazal for his kind cooperation and assistance by giving me relevant guidance and advices whenever I needed them without such kind of assistance, it would be difficult to complete this effort in a victorious way.
At the same time, I would like to convey my heartiest appreciation for my family members and my colleagues for their kind assistance in making this a success.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Introduction 1
2. Six Thinking Hats 2
2.1 Literature Review 2
2.2 Application 3
3. Innovation Value Chain 4
3.1 Literature Review 5
3.2 Application 5
4. Creative Leadership 6
4.1 Literature Review 6
4.2 Application 7
5. Fostering Creativity 7
5.1 Literature Review 7
5.2 Application 8
6. Overall Recommendation & Conclusion 8
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1 : Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats. 2
Figure 2 : Hansen and Birkinshaw’s Innovation Value Chain 5
The Google story has begun in 1995 at Stanford University. Page and Brin met at Stanford, when Larry was visiting the campus to help him make a decision on whether or not he would attend Stanford to study for his PhD. Sergey was assigned to show Larry around. This has been the origin of their partnership. They had built a search engine that to determine the importance of individual pages on the World Wide Web. They had called this search engine Backrub but changed subsequently. The mission of Larry and Sergey had been “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Over the next few years it has been able to attract investors as well as academic communities. In August 1998, Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim has invested $ 100,000 with Larry and Sergey and Google has been officially born. With this investment, the newly incorporated team had made the upgrade from the dorms to their first office: a garage in suburban Menlo Park, California.
Google Inc., starting very small with a smart algorithm, has developed a totally to a new business venture and in a few years, the world leading search engine, has been developed with applications such as Google Earth, Google Video, Google Maps, Gmail, thus enjoying a huge success. Google, starting from scratch, has won the challenge against a giant like Microsoft and also against the previous search engine market leaders Yahoo, Lycos, AltaVista, hotbox and Excite.
The work force has been increased to 60,000 in 50 different countries. It has introduced hundreds of products used by billions of people across the globe, from YouTube and Android to Smart box and, of course, Google Search.
2. Six Thinking Hats
Dr. Edward de Bono introduced the Six Thinking Hats which allow thinkers to simplify thinking by dealing with points consecutively and carry out, a switch in thinking. Whereas the Six Thinking Hats is prominent for carrying out parallel thinking, questioning, investigating, forming hypotheses, interpreting data, analyzing, developing conclusions, and solving problems.
2.1 Literature Review
De Bono (1992, has cited in Eldeen and Maher, 2016, p.285) thinking to be divided in to six caps that means six different roles which each showed different forms of thinking as follows.
Figure 1 : Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats.
The White Hat concept has been there in the company. Google’s mission has been to “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. The company has developed products for its users to have access quickly and easily to find. For this purpose they have employed expertise teams to address the changing and developing changes. Google had seen a threat from the new version of Microsoft’s IE and Version 8 of IE and having identified the information needed, they had struck against the core of Microsoft’s market strength in a period shorter than one year. The process of white hat thinking has provided Google to collect that information.
According to Hamel Google has been a dramatically flat and radically decentralized organization (Hamel, 2007). Brin and Page had believed that breakthroughs that came from questioning such as assumptions and smashing paradigms had not come right with the authority being said what to do. Google’s culture has been highly democratic, tightly connected, flat and radically decentralized. This modern management thinking has allowed their expertise team to come up with fresh ideas and new developments.
The concept of Yellow Hat has been observed in the company, they have positively approached Google’s first multibillion dollar acquisition of Motorola Mobility and they had become a hardware producer as well. Google has taken an extraordinary challenge of buying a dying smartphone manufacturer at a huge risk apparently focusing benefits to be achieved some time later.
There have been failures in Google’s as well and they had failed in lunch of Orkut Social networking in 2004, Google Friend Connect in 2008 and Google Buzz in 2010. In 2010 Facebook, Google’s most dangerous competitor overtook them and ranked as the most visited web site within the USA. If they have quickly pinpointing holes, dangers, flaws, and limitations of the proposed plans of lunching of social networking according to the Black Hat Concept they would have been successfully addressed the competitor threat.
Google entering the Federal Communication Commission Auction of 700 MHZ wireless spectrum in 2007 has been an attempt force major telecom service providers into the auction with an aim of developing new section of the wireless spectrum for the wireless internet service to offer Android system and mobile internet services without making any investment. This is an example how Google has created new ideas in the industry. Google has been sticking into creativity and innovation through rule of “70-20-10”. Based on this 70% has been devoted for engineering development while 20% has been devoted for development of other core areas. Balance 10% has been allocated to fringe ideas. This mechanism has helped Google employees to spend more time for their own projects focusing on creativity thinking and generation of new ideas which could be a green hat concept. They constantly focus on creativity thinking and generation of new ideas as of Green Hat concept.
An example is that at Google, paying attention how employees work and helping them to correct mistakes has been critical. Instead showing the damage and blaming a person who has done the mistake, the company has been interested in finding the cause of the problem and how to solve it as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Also its culture has been to understand that what breakthroughs were needed in the workplace, experimentation, failure and repeat the test were essential. Therefore, mistakes and failures had been minimal. Good ideas have always been encouraged at Google. However, before they were accepted and put into use, there has been a clear procedure to confirm whether was a new idea and practical or not. According to the Blue hat thinking has been interconnecting with critical thinking and a process of problem solving, higher order thinking which involves active control over the cognitive processes engaged in seeking for a reasonable solution to a problem. It has helped to identify strategies and to plan activities that could be implemented to solve a given problem as it has been considered a higher order thinking hat (De Bono, 1995).
3. Innovation Value Chain
Hansen and Birkinshaw (2007) the innovation value chain has been described as idea generation, conversion and diffusion.
3.1 Literature Review
Figure 2 : Hansen and Birkinshaw’s Innovation Value Chain
Hansen and Birkinshaw (2007) have found that several functional groups like cross functional teams and cross unit collaborations provided new ideas through brainstorm sparks. That has been the responsibility of managers to screen them and strengthen the funding for implementation without allowing the flow of the ideas getting dried up. Amabile (1998) has said to enhance creativity there should always be a safety net below the people who make suggestions since some creative ideas rise and others sink.
In the context of Google they believe in small, self managing teams hence those who have involved in product development process work in small teams with three or four engineers. Google launched their Gmail project in April, 2004 and that was a huge project but project team consists with only 30 Googlers. The project team was broken in to teams of three or four with their own leaders and engineers were given permission to switch teams without approval of the Human Recourses Department. Therefore they would have been successful in the project and they were successful in within the units and collaboration across other units in idea generation. But they have failed accesses external units in this process, tapping into the insights and knowledge of end users, competitors resulting in missed opportunities and lower innovation productivity. That has been proven in their social network launching.
In many companies, tight budgets, conventional thinking, and strict funding criteria combine to shut down most novel ideas. Employees quickly get the message, and the flow of ideas dries up. But in the Google’s case they work according to the rule of “70-20-10”. They have devoted 70% of its engineering resources to developing the core business, 20% to extend that core in to related areas and 10% allocated to new ideas. Hence, there was no shortage of good ideas at the company and selected ideas well screened and funded and these ideas will be turned into revenue-generating products.
In idea diffusion Google has successful stories in their history. But they have failed social networking concepts. Concepts that have been sourced, vetted, funded, and developed still need to receive by its end users. Their Orkut concept successful in few countries and most of social networking concepts were failed. Facebook was successful in their effort and they have overtook the Google in 2010.
4. Creative Leadership
Creative leadership is the ability to deliberately engage one’s imagination to define and guide a group toward a novel goal and direction that is new for the group (Puccio et al., 2011).
4.1 Literature Review
According to Amabile ; Khaire (2008) the first priority of the leadership is to engage the right people, at the right times, to the right degree in creative work. Not every large company’s leader would, if asked about organizational priorities, bring up the topic of encouraging collaborative help in the ranks. (Amabile et.al, 2014). The leader’s job is to map out the strategies of innovation and recognize the different processes, skill sets, and technology support that each requires (Amabile ; Khaire, 20018). According to Dyer et.al (2009) innovative people have had creative intelligence and they engaged both sides of their brains. Building strong relationships and partnerships and working as a group or a cross functional team increased creativity according to several authors.
The Google’s phenomenal growth and capacity for innovation rested upon their unique management system. According to Gary Harmel Google’s leaders believe that one exceptional technologist would be more valuable than one average engineer hence they hiring best out of the best and treat them well, reward them.
The leaders of Google concerned more about the demands and abilities of each individual, the study of the nature of human being, an appreciation their employees as their customers. Through the employee empowerment the management allows their employees to grow and contribute to the company At Google, the founders thought they could create a company that people would want to work at when creating a home-like environment. It is real that they focus on the workplace brings the comfort to staff creatively and freely (Lebowitz, 2013).
5. Fostering Creativity
Amabile (1998) has described that fostering creativity has been in the hands of managers as they think of designing and establishing the work environment (Amabile, 1998).
5.1 Literature Review
According to Reeves and Daimler (2011) sustainable competitive advantage has no longer arisen exclusively from position, scale and first order capabilities in producing or delivering and offering. A Amabile and Khaire (2008) have said that motivation of people to perform at their peak was specially vital in creative work. As per to Amabile (1998) he has described of six managerial practices i.e. challenge, freedom, resources, work group features, supervisory encouragement, organizational support for the individual creativity which foster creativity.
The policy of Google has been to motivate and empower their employees and therefore has been achieved the recognition by the Forbes in 5th place in the world. To foster creativity the identified capable employees with new ideas were to be paid and treated in an attractive manner and protected.
6. Overall Recommendation ; Conclusion
Google has introduced a successful model for building and maintaining employee satisfaction and people operation which has promoted customer satisfaction. A good example is what has been said by its founder Larry Page i.e. “We don’t just want you to have a great job. We want you to have a great life. We provide you with everything you need to be productive and happy on and off the clock.” This statement has been proven that how Google implemented and practices six managerial practices i.e. challenge, freedom, resources, work group features, supervisory encouragement, organizational support for the individual creativity as per to Amabile (1998). This attitude not only attracted talented new employees but this made it much easier for current employees to stay.
Google’s corporate culture highly depends on Larry Page and Sergey Brin and their Executive Chairman Eric E. Schmidt and they have highly relied on skilled personnel. The loss of key personnel could seriously harm their business and if they were unable to retain or motivate key personnel, hire qualified personnel, or maintain their corporate culture, they may not be able to grow effectively. According to the Amabile & Khaire, 2018 findings, I suggest that they would have restructured their organizational corporate strategy and management structures or else this would negatively impact their future success.
They have been mainly focusing on revenue from ads and their weakness has been seen in social media it could have improved over time. By doing so Google could have gained another source of revenue and could have developed a stronger social media base. Google also has had to worry about the threat from its unprofitable services. Google has offered many online services for free, so they had received no revenue. The strategic changes Google should have implemented would have been to establish many sources of revenue.
According to the above discussed points and literatures, Google has been the world’s best in people operation and creative leadership. Google has failed to execute some parts of Innovation value chain model idea generation and diffusion, De Bono’s Six Thinking Hat model. Had they revisited these models and executed the same properly they would have been potential to be an unquestionable leader in its industry, with these changes in place it would have sent a message to its competitors that Google was not an ordinary company.
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De Bono, E., 1995. The Journal for Quality and Participation. Creative Education, Vol.6 No.3.
Dyer, M.J. et al., 2009. Three-dimensional manipulation of carbon nanotubes under a scanning electron microscope. Nanotechnology. Three-dimensional manipulation of carbon nanotubes under a scanning electron microscope. Nanotechnology, pp.10(3), p.244.
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Hamel, G., 2007. The Future of Management. The Future of Management.
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Puccio, G.J., Mance, M. & Murdock, M.C., 2011. Creative Leadership: Skills That Drive Change. In Creative Leadership: Skills That Drive Change. SAGE Publications Inc.
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