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Re-inventing the Wheel at Google

March 19, 2011

Filed under: Coaching,Management,observations,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — admin @ 2:49 pm

A week ago the New York Times, featured an article on a lengthy study done by Google on management practices.

I’ve been stewing about it ever since.

Despite Google’s protestations, it seems to me that they spent a year re-inventing the wheel so that their “data-driven employees” will understand their rationale in trying to improve the performances of the managers.

The study uncovered 8 secrets to better management and Google then ranked the ‘secrets’ and began implementing them. I’ll let you read the list and their implementation on your own, but any executive coach or organizational development consultant, or even any good manager could have created the list and developed a blueprint for implementation.

Yes, having data being behind your plans adds credibility, but so would successful implementation by a professional. What Google really found out what something that every other business discovers: technical expertise does not make you a good manager. Or put another way the skills that you need as an employee are not the same as those that you need as a manager.

I guess in all their vaunted testing they never realized that while logic and test-taking skills may be able to predict employee success, they do not translate directly to the ‘soft skills’ that managers need to make their employees better. Now, as competition grows and other businesses are stealing their employees, they have discovered that managing a staff takes some skill and actually translates to the bottom line.

I worked with first-time managers in a variety of industries and the one unanimous concern they have is that the technical skills that got them noticed as a potential manager have nothing to do with the skills they need once they are promoted. I guess it’s good to know that a year of research by Google has led to the same conclusion.

If that’s not re-inventing the wheel I don’t know what is.

Google has been in the fore

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