How Google changed the innovation game

Posted on May 3, 2016 by ATB Chartered Accountants

Innovation is a strong factor which influences a business’ success, so it is no surprise that businesses all around the world are doing what they can to encourage employees to be more creative. One company which has done exceptionally well with innovation in the past is Google. Google have changed the innovation game on a global scale through keeping employees innovatively creative with their policy called ‘20% time’. Essentially the policy allows employees to spend one day a week working on a project of their own choice they think will benefit the company.

The ideal behind this policy is that is recreates a sense of urgency in that employees are motivated to do what they can for Google, and it is an opportunity for Google to share their vision with their employees. Wonderful ideas came from 20% time, including widely used tools such as Gmail and AdSense. With this innovation, employees feel empowered as they are able to essentially help create the future of the business, where Google themselves can use this innovation to improve their own business.

Given the apparent advantages of such innovation and the successes it has had in the past, it may seem shocking that Google no longer employs their 20% time policy for everyone, with only select individuals and teams receiving as much time as they need. Google’s reasoning behind this has been that the company have a desire to sharpen the focus of Google’s product offerings. While this is a reasonable objective, the previous innovation model was a fantastic initiative that could and should be emulated by enterprises on a global scale.

WHY IS CREATIVITY IMPORTANT IN BUSINESS?

An increase in creativity in business has been shown to have a strong link with overall productivity. If employees are able to express their creative vision of the business they work in, they are likely to feel more valued and satisfied in the work they are doing. As well as this, allowing employees the time and resources to explore new innovative ideas is a cost-effective way to solve business problems, and provide your business with a competitive advantage.