Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Freedom to Follow your Nose

In the Future of Management there is a fascinating account of Google.

Have you ever had a job that demanded loads of your time and energy but doing it seemed to sap your creative soul?

I thought so.

What usually happens is you leave and go somewhere else. This happens in businesses, the arts, in parenting, in marriage and in the church. People are always 'leaving' in life-sometimes physically or maybe just emotionally-but going somewhere they think will be better-but seemingly not at Google.

Google have invented what they call 'the 20% policy' which allows every developer the freedom to devote up to 20% of their time to non-core initiatives. This is the sentence that really caught my attention:

"The 20 percent policy ensures that no one has to leave Google to pursue a personal passion" [Page 113]

We might do well to think on the implications of this:.

What does it mean to give those you lead their 20%?

How would the 20% change the way you lead or parent or work?

What would it mean to give 20% to your spouse?

What would it mean for you in the work-place to be given the 20%?

How would it change the way you plan and make priorites?

As you prepare for the decade ahead here is a business leader who might inspire your hopes. Listening to this will be 15 minutes well spent and I think Steve Jobs used the 20% pretty well:).

1 comment:

Clout said...

I prefer my own 80% policy, as I find "core initiatives" don't then get in the way of my "personal passions"!