How does Google achieve innovation? It avoids the classic innovation pitfall of ignoring the customer. Google actively documents every stage of its innovation process and encourages feedback loops, which foster collaboration and improve existing products and services. Google scientists work hand-in-hand with product teams to develop new products and identify areas for research. The Google Brain team captures project information from across the company. It then combines this information and makes it available for other Google teams to evaluate.
In addition, Google is pioneering a new category of robotics – self-driving cars. Google recently acquired startups developing robotics technology. Google scientists and engineers then use the new technology to develop new products and features. Google doesn’t rely on a single innovation strategy; researchers go where science takes them and engineers work on 20% time projects. This strategy has resulted in a range of new products and features.
The Google culture fosters improvisational behavior. Everyone in the company has an opportunity to come up with a new product or feature, and this approach is responsible for the high quality of Google employees and the volume of new ideas it generates. Recently, an article in the New York Times explored the perceived attack of Google on Microsoft’s hegemony in business software applications. The results were impressive. Google was able to capitalize on the new business environment by rapidly innovating and integrating new technologies and practices.
Google’s innovation strategy is fueled by a simple ethos. The company encourages its employees to draw a line between their day-to-day obligations and the company’s mission of organizing the world’s information. Google’s employees have a compelling reason to get out of bed every day. Its mission is to help the world make information more accessible to all. With this philosophy in mind, innovation is not only a means to achieve financial goals, but also a means to improve employee experiences.