Creativity and Innovation in Business

Added on - Sep 2019

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One of the most important elements in a successful business is the creativity and innovation within thebusiness. Creativity is a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts whileinnovation can be defined in several different ways. Overall innovation is the creation of a new idea,method or device. According to BusinessWeek, innovation today is much more than new products.Innovation is also reinventing business processes and building entirely new markets that meetcustomer needs. Businesses need to select and execute the right ideas, while bringing them to themarket in record time. One of the most innovative and creative businesses in the world today, isGoogle.Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a new approach to online search that tookroot in a Stanford University dorm room and quickly spread to information seekers around the globe.Google is now widely recognized as the world’s largest search engines. It is a free service that is easyto use and usually returns relevant results in a fraction of a second. Google enables you to findinformation in many different languages, check stock quotes, maps, headlines news, and hasphonebook listings for every city in the United States. Google also allows a search for billion of imagesand peruse the world’s largest archive of Usenet messages. The utility and simplicity of Google hasmade it one of the world’s best know brands. Since September 1998, the company has grown to morethan 10,000 employees worldwide, with a management team that represents some of the mostexperienced technology professionals in the ingdusty.Schmidt, has said, “We take our jobs to be innovators and we are failing if we are not innovating quicklyenough.[6]” Many of our best ideas were envisioned by engineers who were passionate about solving aproblem. Popular products, like Gmail, were initially developed by a few passionate engineers outside oftheir normal work. Linus Pauling is commonly quoted as saying, “The best way to have a good idea is tohave lots of ideas.” Google has made its mark on the industry with new approaches to old problems. Forexample, our systems are built on “flaky” commodity hardware and an infrastructure that dynamicallycompensates for that flakiness. Initially this was a subversive idea, as other companies at the time werebuilding servers that attempted to eliminate all failures (like the foolproof HAL9000 from 2001). Weexpect everything to fail and use redundancy and automated compensation techniques to maintainoverall reliability. 2.1 BUILDING FOR SCALE Outside the walls of Google, this innovation factory hascreated desirable products for our users. Inside the walls, it has created large repositories of code, data,dependencies and information that must be managed closely. Consider the logistics of delivering atGoogle’s current pace: • More than 6,000 engineers and >40 offices. • 2,500 ongoing projects (2.5developers / project). • 1,600 active external release branches for products. • 59,000 builds / day eachwith 10-1000 targets.. • 1.5 million tests / day, both manual and automated. • Most products localizedinto 40 languages. • At least bi-weekly release cycles. 2.2 FLAT & AUTONOMOUS The organizationalstructure we use is atypical in the industry. For one, Google is a flat organization with many Nooglersbeing no more than 2-3 steps below senior executives. The company structure can be characterized as:flat and autonomous. At Google, managers are not controllers, they are connectors charged withensuring that teams make effective use of information and tools. Many managers have 15 or moredirect reports, introducing some chaos and reducing the time available to micromanage. Managers arejudged on their ability to enable smart people to get things done. Teams are aligned along business lineswe call “focus areas” rather than around strict product lines. People doing similar work, no matter whatproducts they are contributing to, will find themselves in close reporting proximity to their colleagues.This matrix encourages some amount of competition, but also the reuse of good ideas. Projects live and
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