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Growing Google: Megan Smith on the work culture at the internet giant

By John O'Hanlon
 Growing Google: Megan Smith on the work culture at the internet giant
 
 
By John O'Hanlon If Google was populated - as I bet some people still think it is - by geeks and nerds I don't think Megan Smith would want to work there. In fact, it's a company that knows it depends on talent, does everything it can to assemble the most effective teams, and then allows them to do their own thing to a large extent. Where else would employees be allowed to spend 20 percent of their time - one day a week - working on their own projects? When Megan Smith describes what it's like, it's the balance between freedom and focus that comes out. "We work together in teams of course, and people bring their own skills. You need a product manager leading the production schedule, an engineer technician to write the codes and think about the architecture and the technology side, and if there's a business person on the team, they get to lead the business partnerships! Everybody has their particular role but people are happy to get ideas and input from each other." And if you want to move to a different role or department within the company, that's cool if you have the skills or can acquire them. "I have people in my new business development team from legal, finance, engineering and sales. It's a company where everyone's ideas are welcome." Relying on talent Megan is a thousand miles from the conventional idea of a business woman. Quietly spoken, courteous, not flashy or pushy, she doesn't seem to feel the need to force her presence. When she talks she doesn't use gestures or body language. And she is responsive. She knows the art of conversation, and listens to her questioner, sensing their interest and motivation, and gives them the assurance they have her entire attention. The more I got to know her over a period of days, the more I came to understand how she has ended up at Google where the how and when of business are always considered alongside the why. "One of the reasons I like Google so much is that it's an organization that relies on entrepreneurs who are thinking of interesting things to do, and getting them out there along with customers and partners to make better offerings for the world..." To read the full article, click here
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