Can the Google ITO method work for you?
Everyone in today’s work environment is looking to maximize on their organizations time management and creativity skills. One such company that has seemingly cornered the market on a unique concept is Google. It is no secret that Google’s work environment is not the atypical corporate environment of yesteryear. So it is no surprise that Google incorporated a twist of the 80/20 rule also known as “Pareto Rule”.
Google has taken “Pareto Rule” and morphed it into Innovative Time Off or ITO for short. ITO is generally the concept of organizations encouraging that 20% of the work week or day to be focused on innovation, while the remaining 80% focuses on” core” responsibilities
This concept has placed Google as the rule and not the exception. Here we will explore the nuts and bolts of this concept and how you can merge this into your entrepreneurial activities and/or small business and encourage team building.
- Project Management: It is important to note that while the ITO concept is innovative, the process to implementing this concept between management and employee is one of structure to give continuity and ease of communication. Generally the employee will write a proposal and specify key points and how they plan to measure the progress of the project and what outcomes they expect to meet. This process allows for both management and the general workforce to have interdependence. This goes a long ways towards more efficiency during the 80% of the work week or day that employee is not necessarily working on their project. It is important to also note that this structure also encourages creativity within a structured environment.
- Fail to Succeed: This is an important key point in team building. When employees become encouraged to fail, the fear of taking risks is all but eliminated from the process. Employees working as team members are more likely to build confidence and pursue creative problem solving to come up with ideas that will help the organization. Meanwhile management gets the opportunity to watch and be that voice of reason if things get a little too harried.
- Micro Projects: ITO also allows team members to try their ideas on a smaller scale with little to no extra investment on the company’s part. This is a great way of trying out product launches, new techniques without risking large amounts of the capital to bring a service or product to market. Thereby creating relief to key owners and management and protecting the core business while giving employees the opportunity to spread their wings. As a whole, the organization will be stronger and more on trend to protect their place in the market.
- Bridge the Gap: This point in the process encourages communication between upper, senior management and employees. Owners and CEO of organization get to meet and explore avenues and talents of both middle management and employees in other departments without the added cost of hiring out or outside consulting groups. The process is self inclusive and allows employees to build their resume through projects that they initiated and have had approved for implementation. This type work flow allows the organization to truly promote from within and set up a structured open door policy.
- Reality Check: While Innovative Time Off is great for encouraging creativity it can also be a source of frustration for employees if they have delusions of grandeur the first time out. It is important that at the beginning of the ITO process those employees are not over reaching their expectation that every idea will be a success. For upper and senior management it becomes important to buffer excitement with a little dose of reality. Overall this concept will allow the organization to stay realistically optimistic.
On a last note it is also important that any implementation of this team building process and project management becomes not just a strategy but a sort of corporate culture within the organization. It becomes imperative that before making this transition to an ITO work program that senior and upper management do their homework of other companies that have successfully implemented this strategy. This extra bit of foot work will go a long way to keep up the moral of employees and the organization.
As you can see, this is a process that can help grow a company but yet keep the best of the best with little to no extra investment. Do your due diligence and see how this idea can keep your company on track from the very start.