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  • Amanda Paterson

Google's 8 Principles of Innovation

What if I told you that I knew the foundation of Google's innovation strategy. That there's 8 (or 9, depending on the source) key fundamentals to unleashing exponential results.

I'm going to share the first 4 with you now.

I am so grateful to have learned the concepts of Design Thinking, Moonshots and Innovation from former Google X employee, Doug Wightman. I am also fascinated by Peter Diamandis' work - he too has quoted Google's Principles on numerous occasions. These two genius men have slightly different explanations... but the overarching messages are the same.

Here's how I interpret Google's Principles of Innovation.

1) Focus Intensely on the User

Are you creating a product/service for the masses? When you sell to everyone, you are effectively selling to no one. Pinpoint exactly who your ideal customer is - become intimately acquainted with their problems and learn how to solve them.

2) Open Will Win

Open your doors and let ideas pour in - literally, from outside the boardroom. Crowd-source ideas from everywhere: employees (field workers, administrators, the old {I mean seasoned}, the Millennial, etc.), clients, the public, and the list goes on. Ask, and let these people help you.

3) 20% rule

Google allows employees to dedicate 20% of their work time to passion projects. Before I lose you - I'm not suggesting you run off and give all employees 20% time off. But what might happen if you gave your employees a bit of freedom to learn new skills, or bought a subscription to Lynda or Skillshare for your staff?

4) Think BIG. Start Small.

How can we think like Google and attain an outcome 10X bigger and better than our competition, as opposed to a incremental 10% improvement? It is human nature to have doubt, and to find reasons NOT to do something. Next time you're brainstorming - encourage crazy ideas. THINK BIG: Pretend as though you have NO budget, no restraints - what would you do? Now, take those ideas and find a way to make them happen for a 10th of the cost.

START SMALL: Look at your list of ideas - is there one thing that you might be able to test today? It could be anything. An email to a client asking if there might be interest in the idea. A phone call to set up a meeting with a new distributor. Anything counts - do it now.

Part Deux - Google Principles #5 - #9 will be on the blog in February!

Photo Source: That's Pepper. She's been developed for ATB Financial by SoftBank Robotics to engage with customers. That's thinking BIG! Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash (a great free resource for commercial use photography)

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