Having seen Google from the inside, Google Analytics cofounder Brett Crosby is now building his own startup. He points to his major takeaways from Google to bring to his new company in his Fast Company article “Four lessons on work culture that I learned at Google.”
- Knowledge sharing. After hearing a tech talk on self-driving cars, Crosby brought the “tech talk” concept to his startup to inspire employees and educate them across disciplines of his company. He started with employees inside his company as speakers.
- Transparency, reflection, and motivation. Every Friday, top execs at Google would present what happened that week and answer questions in what Crosby calls “all-hands meetings.” The concept created openness and transparency. So Crosby introduced the concept at his company on Mondays to add motivation. “We talk about ‘what’s hot,’ what happened last week, and important events coming up. We also introduce new employees, show off new product features, review our metrics, and discuss our pipeline of investments. It’s a great way for people to keep up on all the stuff happening at our startup while we’re moving at breakneck speed. As long as we keep it interesting, it works really well,” says Crosby.
- Goal-setting. Crosby started OKRs – objectives and key results – for goal-setting and to show employees how initiatives fit into larger goals. “When we started setting OKRs, it added a level of clarity and focus to our teams that we never had before. It forced all of us to think through annual and quarterly goal setting for the company, each sub-team, and each person on each team,” explains Crosby. “Once people understood how their efforts fit into the whole picture, it gave their work more meaning. And that’s a powerful thing—OKRs have proven to be extremely motivating.”
- Growth. At Google, Crosby’s group had ambitious growth goals, so they had to get creative. Then it hit them: they’d integrate Google Drive with Gmail to make it more user-friendly. At his startup, Crosby focuses on out-of-the-box strategizing to grow his business. And it’s working.