Innovation is Always About People
Innovation is an important aspect of every successful company. However, it doesn’t just happen—people drive innovation. Having the right people and facilitating them in the right way is key to boost innovation. At Google and Atos, innovation is at the core of our success. We share some of our best practices in this article.
Hiring the right people
Google understands the importance of a structured hiring policy. After having analyzed tens of thousands of hours of job interview footage, Google concluded that there are no good hiring processes. Given their extensive range of data analysis tools, it’s no surprise that the company decided to use big data to improve their HR process. They started empowering search criteria with advanced algorithms to identify innovative candidates better than any other company in the world.
Nurturing Skills and Passions
Atos has a similar approach to hiring. A panel of employees contributes input for the hiring process. After having hired the most suitable employees, Atos goes further by providing them with state-of-the-art training programs. The Atos Excellence Program (AEP) improves the company’s know-how by offering both local and global educational initiatives in a warm and college-like atmosphere. Students focus on a wide series of topics, which include public speaking, communication, risk management, value creation, innovation, and creativity. These initiatives nurture employees’ skills and passions, their expertise, and their satisfaction within the company. All this turns into an innovation boost.
Making Time for Innovation
When talking about innovation, time is a crucial element. With all the work that has to be done, it's easy to lose focus on innovation. Google employees’ time management is unique. It’s called the 70/20/10 system. This means colleagues will spend 70 percent of their time to work on the company’s core activities, 20 percent on work which is related to those activities and another 10 percent to whatever project they feel is worth their time. Letting employees spend time on projects stimulates innovation. The system has already resulted in the rise of some of the most well-known Google subsidiaries, such as Google Mail and AdSense. Watch this video to see how the 20 percent time rule boosts Google's innovation:
Case: Google Brain
Google recognizes that to be innovative, you need the right people. In a fast-moving world, Google has a fierce commitment to research. Therefore, the company chooses to make their wealth of data available to researchers and research projects. These top-notch researchers often stay with Google after the end of their projects. Andrew NG, Greg Corrado and Jeff Dean are examples of such researchers. After they joined Google, the trio spent their 20 percent time on a project called DistBelief. This was one of the first machine learning projects that aimed to work on different levels of abstraction. After a while, DistBelief developed so well that it became part of the core business of Google. This allowed the original trio to spend more time and resources on the project. Nowadays this application is called Google Brain and brought about a reduced error rate of Google voice, smart suggestions in Google mail, and better search results on YouTube. Google Brain is an excellent example of how hiring the right employees and giving them time to work on innovative ideas can have a positive effect on the entire company.
Part of Google and Atos successes in innovation are made possible by: the 70/20/10 system, big data use, and an extensive hiring process. All these things would, however, be impossible without having the tools to communicate, store, and analyze data. With platforms like G suite, Google Cloud, and even data analysis solutions like Big Query, we can now offer these experiences to those who matter most to us: our customers.
Interested in reading more about what we do in the field of Innovation? Please continue reading in our dedicated Innovation White Paper.