To understand what Google Courage? innovation means, we need to understand how they make decisions. Google encourages its employees to experiment and innovate, but it also has clear rules about the time they can spend on it. The company grants its employees 20 percent of their time for creative work, but still demands that they innovate within a set of rules. This approach has resulted in a culture of excess and creativity that defies constraints.
Google has acquired several companies that are currently proving to be popular. The company has invested in Picasa, YouTube, DoubleClick, Keyhole for satellite photos, and Urchin for web analytics. Recently, Google announced an ambitious plan to generate green electricity for its users at a low price. While very few of these ventures are profitable today, a number of other companies are investing in Google’s ambitious strategy. Despite the challenges, few people doubt Google’s ability to make progress toward its ultimate goal.
The company doesn’t shy away from experimenting with radical ideas and tolerates failure. But it also demands active innovation management, cultivating a large pool of ideas and supporting them through their development and testing. It also sets high expectations for new innovations, and it suspends or cancels projects that fail to meet these expectations. Regardless of the size of your business, Google isn’t afraid to try new ideas. Its culture is tolerant of failure, and Google’s size is large enough that it can afford the occasional mishap.