Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Google & Pixar: 2 Cases of Culture Creation in Innovation-Centered Businesses (2)

Empowerment Is a Key
Empowering your carefully selected teams is a must. When you empower your team members you’ll leverage and develop their leadership skills, they’ll feel more responsible to the business and they’ll take the risk to be initiative and to innovate. We all want to have an impact and the key is empowerment. Amongst 3 main principles of Google’s management style empowerment was one in addition to communication and moving quickly. Google considers the empowerment of smart people one of the major success factors. Driven by the university theme, Google teams are busy doing what they are empowered to do and what they want to do, and they come back only when they feel they need help.
Pixar values empowerment and considers it one of its success factors. Pixar defines production leaders who have full power on the movie creation from beginning to end. The leaders are powered by a creative brain trust that serves as an advisor to the leaders; the creative brain trust includes senior figures from Pixar. Leaders have the full authority to take or to leave the creative brain trust’s advice

Free Up the Communication
Just as how Google listed communication amongst their 3 main principles, they took this into action. Google’s decisions are not taken until a disagreement is reached, discussed and a decision is taken after that. Google have some internally planned practices and values that are there just to enforce a dialogue. At a certain point of their history, Google went thru what they called “the disorg” in which they literally got rid of all the executives and the whole 150 employees reported to 1 person.
Pixar’s model of communication differentiates between communication structures and decision making processes. Everyone in Pixar has the right to communicate with anyone to get something done. The manager doesn’t have to be aware of everything. Pixar believes that it must be safe for everyone to offer his ideas. Pixar has a very organized process of doing daily reviews of the work while being done, which they call the dailies. This process established the concept of freedom to show your work unfinished, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be presented.

Break Them If You Know Why and How
It’s so clear that Google, Pixar and multiple other businesses have broken rules everyone in the management field thought were a must. The core concept here is, is it the best, is it fundamental and how do we manage the risk? Google’s executives believe that Google is Chaos, but they believe that they are still a high-performing organization. Google’s risk mitigation in all the innovations, including their management style, relies on smart people, quick moves and debated decisions as a risk elimination procedure.
Pixar believes that in order to do their job well they have to be in a big risk. They simply have to do things and so they have to remain scared all the time. Pixar’s mix of risk mitigation tools includes their talented people, the community spirit and very well-designed post-mortem meetings.

More posts on this series:
Google & Pixar: 2 Cases of Culture Creation in Innovation Centered Businesses
Google & Pixar: 2 Cases of Culture Creation in Innovation Centered Businesses (3)

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