The new Google Europe HQ is
apparently a really fun place to work. It has a giant slide and firemen’s poles
for the playful engineers.
The philosophy behind this
is that happy staff are productive, loyal and creative staff.
What should the small
business make of all this? How are we to compete with attracting and keeping the
best people if this sort of trend develops in large corporates?
Fear not. Google is
trying to do what large organisations the world over, throughout history, have
failed to achieve – maintain dynamism and creative efficiency.
Of course, it is entrepreneurs
and inventors who design and bring innovation to the world. Where large
companies most often acquire their innovation is through the purchase of entrepreneurial
organisations. Intrapreneurship is largely a business school myth.
Google will probably
be more successful than most. But in time, the weight of bureaucracy, procedure
and compliance will take its toll.