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The Google Way: How One Company Is Revolutionizing Management as We Know It

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Shortly after World War I, Ford and GM created the large modern corporation, with its financial and statistical controls, mass production, and assembly lines. In the 1980s, Toyota stood out for combining quality with continuous refinement. Today, Google is reinventing business yet again-the way we work, how organizations are controlled, and how employees are managed.

Management consultant Bernard Girard has been analyzing Google since its founding in 1998, and now in The Google Way, he explores Google's innovations in depth-many of which are far removed from the best practices taught at the top business schools.

As you read, you'll see how much of Google's success is due to its focus on users and automation. You'll also learn how eCommerce has profoundly changed the relationship between businesses and their customers, for the first time giving customers an important role to play in a major corporation's growth. Finally, Girard speculates about the limits of Google's business model and discusses the challenges it will face as it continues to grow.

Google's culture is one of innovation. Why not make that spirit of innovation your own?

256 pages, Hardcover

First published May 23, 2006

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Bernard Girard

25 books3 followers

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5 stars
180 (31%)
4 stars
166 (29%)
3 stars
156 (27%)
2 stars
46 (8%)
1 star
16 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Penny.
251 reviews5 followers
February 19, 2022
I'm sure if I had read The Google Way closer to its publication date, I would have given it at least one more star. It describes the early days of Google at the time of the 2008 crash and recession, so it's dated in that sense. However, the text is well written and logically presented, enumerating the ways in which Google revolutionized management by ignoring many of the traditional management principles. It's triumvirate of Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt makes for an unusual leadership structure, one that multiplies the brain power of the traditional CEO structure by three. It works because these men are friends and because they rely heavily on mathematics for decision-making. Also powerful is the manner in which Google relies on its consumers for feedback and acts on it without going through the traditional survey model used by many firms. And I was also struck by the 20 percent rule they've implemented that allows their engineer employees to devote twenty percent of their work time on personal projects that they can then offer to Google for implementation. That keeps employees happy and allows Google to continuously roll out new products, keeping it fresh, lithe, and competitive.

Having visited Google headquarters in Chicago some years ago, I was hoping to read more about their workplace culture and the ways in which they keep morale high and their employees creative ... for application to school settings. There was little of that. This book is about management, mostly structures, and about the challenges and opportunities Google's unique management structure generates. It is a very pro Google book and sees Google succeeding in the coming years ... which would bring us to today and the opportunity to evaluate Girard's analysis and find it to have been accurate. Google rocks!
Profile Image for Rodreyes.
67 reviews1 follower
July 19, 2018
Lo leí en español. Acá está la papa para todos los que trabajan en Desarrollo Organizacional, Marketing y RR.HH. Bien vale la pena una lectura. al menos para saber cómo funciona la mente de los genios... Sin parámetros.
March 26, 2019
Muy buen libro para los empresarios y aquellos que quieren conocer como son los avientes de trabajo de una empresa como Google, como llegar allí y tantos tips tan interesantes e importantes para tu propio negocio.
Profile Image for Jack.
272 reviews6 followers
August 6, 2011
I started reading this book expecting that it would strengthen my idealization of Google, but it has instead revealed a lot of flaws and organizational weaknesses. This book does not go into much detail in terms of the history of Google's development, but instead focuses on its strategic and institutional organization. It declares Google's management approach to be revolutionary, and that the main novel components thereof are small teams, creative flexibility (in the 80/20 rule which provides time to work on personal projects), emphasis on math/rigor/proof in management, use of peer review in all stages, and coordination through technology. Although I agree that most of these features are positive, not all of them are novel. Use of math and technology in management have definitely been done before, although the execution may not have been as optimal. Additionally, an overeager trust in data may compromise the human relations part of management, which I believe is the bulk of what makes up good management. The book then goes into challenges Google faces in the marketplace and potentially in the future. The author expounds on the usual argument about Google's need to diversify its revenue stream and monetize some of its other products, and also the threat it faces in the advertisement market from other web companies, especially one named Facebook. Google also faces the threat of accumulating bureaucratic waste as its "organized chaos" model may not provide a needed level of product and strategy integration.
Profile Image for Ricardo Roman.
37 reviews6 followers
December 13, 2007
El Modelo Google es la historia de la empresa, pero también la exploración a sus métodos de gestión, a su manera innovativa de innovar, al modo como unió tecnología, cercanía al espíritu de los clientes y velocidad para poner nuevas ofertas en el mercado. El motor de búsqueda es su secreto y su fortaleza, pero puesto en la óptica de una agudeza de entender el proceso cultural que se vive en la red y de los nuevos visitantes que llegan. Pero también es un poderos análisis al proceso de la red como tendencia de colaboración en redes globales, en la líena Long Tail y Wikinomics. Lo más llamativo es la fuerza de las comunidades de bloggers externas e internas a la compañía, y cómo han modelado una nueva relación de los administradores con el entorno. Las comunidades vigilan, participa, ayudan a probar a promover, pero son exigentes. Algo similar en el interior de la empresa. Muchas preguntas cruzan el libro, lo que le da frescura y ánimo para seguir navegando en la conversación. Nota interesante es el papel de Ferry Winograd y su libro en coautoría con Fernando Flores Uderstanding Computers and Cognition (1986) como visión de la red como espacio de conversaciones, coordinación y diseño. Winograd fue uno de los mentores de los fundadores de Google.
Profile Image for Alejandro De Luca.
34 reviews1 follower
May 31, 2017
Bernard Girard hace un repaso de cómo se maneja Google como empresa. Su administración, la forma en que captan recursos humanos e intentan mantenerlos y otras filosofías empresariales que hasta hace unos años parecían ir en contra del sentido común.

Lamentablemente este libro está ya un poco desactualizado. Para poner un ejemplo, el libro dice que la empresa toma como empleados casi exclusivamente a los mejores de las mejores universidades. Pero no hace mucho tiempo el gerente de recursos humanos de Google declaró que hoy en día su empresa no tiene tan en cuenta este aspecto a la hora del reclutamiento.

Recomiendo el libro únicamente a los que quieran conocer un poco de la historia de Google y entender cómo de a poco se convirtió en lo que es. Pero imagino que para conocer solamente su historia debe haber ya otros libros mejores.
Profile Image for Raul Mercado.
55 reviews1 follower
November 19, 2015
Un libro que repasa las características únicas de Google como empresa, tales como el triunvirato en la dirección de ésta, el 20% de su tiempo laboral que tienen los ingenieros para dedicarse a proyectos personales relacionados a la tecnología, el meticuloso proceso de selección de los postulantes, la ausencia de una fuerza de ventas, la decisión de modificar el logo (doodles), el cual va contra toda la literatura acerca del impacto que tiene un logo en la marca, el uso de las matemáticas avanzadas para el desarrollo de sus algoritmos, y sobre todo, un real enfoque en el cliente. Es un libro que merece ser leído, ya que deja muy buenas enseñanzas acerca de este innovador enfoque de cómo se gestiona a este mounstruo que es Google. Hay una cita de Bill Gates que se menciona en el libro: "es extraño sentirse David contra Goliat"
336 reviews
September 13, 2016
I gave up on this one halfway through, so this is only a half-review. One problem with the book is that its been 7 years since it was published, and much of "the Google Way" has changed in that time. The leadership is no longer a "triumvirate", Google has become increasing secretive about its future product plans, and Google's knack for turning employee ideas into products is now debatable. The other problem is that this is strictly an outsider's opinion of "the Google Way" - there is no originally sourced material in the book. All quotes by Google employees are taken from other peoples' interviews. The author clearly has a very high opinion of Google, and while that view might have seem justified in 2009, it now seems rather naive.
Profile Image for Raj.
Author 4 books3 followers
April 17, 2014
So many thought provoking management concepts, plus the story behind google, should be compulsory reading for technocrats. Google's success is due to its focus on users and automation. eCommerce has profoundly changed the relationship between businesses and their customers, for the first time giving customers an important role to play in a major corporation's growth.
Profile Image for D.J. Webber.
Author 1 book9 followers
December 3, 2009
This was one of the most disappointing books I have read. I was drawn in by the great book cover and because it had "Google" in the title. However there is very little information in this book that you couldn't find out by googling, and that is probably how Girard did his research.
Profile Image for Jesus Guerrero.
15 reviews1 follower
March 22, 2010
La historia detrás de Google es fenomenal. Google no solo se basa en la tecnología más avanzada para crear sus servicios. El modelo administrativo de la organización es tal vez igual o más interesante que la parte visible de esta empresa y Bernard Girard lo expone de forma excelente en este libro.
Profile Image for Caroline Gordon.
153 reviews8 followers
September 20, 2011
Now I'm actually going to read the Google ads and see what they actually say about me, if anything. So many thought provoking management concepts, plus the story behind google, should be compulsory reading for technocrats.
70 reviews
February 3, 2012
A really depressing book when I compare it to my current job. We're just grateful for paper towels and hand soap. How can we even think about catered meals and rewards. We're more of a stick company than a carrot company.
Profile Image for Alvaro Alcocer Sotil.
122 reviews3 followers
January 17, 2013
Muy buen libro, muestra como se administra google (matematicamente), el gran nivel de exigencia de reclutamiento de personal. Terminando de leer queria mandar mi CV sabiendo lo gratificante de trabajar en Google
1 review
July 29, 2009
was very good one. talking about google's model , and how the co-founders have built the decent empire. I strongly recommend it.
Profile Image for Naomi.
8 reviews
January 17, 2014
Unbearably boring. This book read like a poorly written undergraduate textbook, and I would not read it again or recommend it to a friend as an inside look into Google.
Profile Image for Denise Blumenfeld.
229 reviews1 follower
September 22, 2016
Es interesantr pero bastante aburrido. El tamaño de bolsillo tampoco ayuda.
Creo que hay otros libros o lugares que tienen la misma información y no aporta demasiado.
Profile Image for Vishanta.
17 reviews2 followers
Want to read
September 9, 2012
The start is good and lets see how it goes till the end...
14 reviews3 followers
July 7, 2017
Google's formula for success:
leadership; innovations in HR- hiring the best; keep innovation alive in product conception
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews

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