Google's CEO Eric Schmidt has co-written a piece on MSNBC's Newsweek site outlining his company's "10 Golden Rules" for success, all of which revolve around securing and keeping happy the best and brightest staff around. If you haven't read much about how Google works, this is well worth a look.
The core principles echo the 1959 writings of a business guru who warned that knowledge workers were the key to success and pointed out that they were motivated, not by money, but by the job itself. The key was to make it easy for them to do the work they loved.
Google does a lot more than the on-site chefs, laundry, basketball courts, massage rooms and barbershops that Silicon Valley software engineers have come to take for granted. Everything from hiring committees ("If you hire great people and involve them intensively in the hiring process, you'll get more great people") to a corporate culutre that believes "the many are smarter than the few".
Here's two great ideas in one that I think we could easily adopt to our benefit ....
Google engineers can spend up to 20 percent of their time on a project of their choice. There is, of course, an approval process and some oversight, but basically we want to allow creative people to be creative. One of our not-so-secret weapons is our ideas mailing list: a companywide suggestion box where people can post ideas ranging from parking procedures to the next killer app. The software allows for everyone to comment on and rate ideas, permitting the best ideas to percolate to the top.
You can read the whole list, and the accompanying article HERE
(Thanks to Eric McGuinness for pointing out the piece.)