Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg have recently published a book called “How Google Works”. In it, the former CEO of Google and now Chairman Eric and his product guru Jonathan describe what has made Google successful.
One of their ideas is to organise the business around the people with the biggest impact. The 2 pizza rule from Jeff Bezos is recommended when getting started with projects. A small team that can be fed by 2 pizzas can be highly effective. The 7 rule explains how each manager in a business should have at least 7 direct line reports, as this keeps the organisation flat and avoids micromanagement. Eric and Jonathan actually recommend that organisational reorganisation should be done in a day and the remaining issues left to the smart creatives in the business to sort out.
So what is and who are these smart creatives? Firstly, they are learning animals with lots of curiosity. Of course being smart creatives they are obviously smart people. They want to make the world a better place and are always thinking of a better way of doing things. Smart creatives have a growth mindset and can live with ambiguity.
If smart creatives are what’s needed how do you get them? Google take the whole hiring process very seriously – so much so that every candidate’s data sheet was vetted by Larry Page until recently. Hiring is not just the job of management – it’s the job of everyone in the business. Google only hires great candidates. Great candidates are smart, ethical people who will challenge the organisation. These smart creatives want to make the product much better and get stuff done. They are passionate and believe in collaboration over competition.
Google believes in relationships, not hierarchies, and a culture of ‘Yes’. We all need to hire smart creatives who have an upward career trajectory. We must expand the field of potential candidates and not just recruit for now, but for the future. If we are to become smart creatives ourselves we must become learning animals.