This essay describes three different groups within Google, each having its own distinct personalities and characteristics. The third group of thirds is made up of the savants who have deep analytical expertise in different fields, which are all brought to bear on different aspects…
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This third group is complemented by two other groups of thirds, one third having the traditional HR skills and experience with expertise in traditional human resources, relationships with clients, benefits, and the law, among other things. The next third, meanwhile, is staffed by non-savant problem solvers who have no HR background whatsoever, and whose line of work prior included stints in the consulting firms or stints in other functions within Google, including sales, as well as more traditional engineering. Being incorporated into the different functional units within Google, these third of the People Operations Group takes the role of spearheading problem solving initiatives within the context of the departments or functions. The emphasis here is not the kind of work that is done by the group of analytical third with doctorates, but on the solving of problems as they are intimately linked with the functional groups within Google (Case Facts).
Bock notes that there is encouragement for the sharing of know-how/knowledge as well as for the groups to interact, but this hardly qualifies as making the diverse thirds into a team. Table 11-1 tells us that there are indicators for when a true team exists, and those must be followed and should serve as guide in determining whether a team exists or not. In Table 11-1 a team is a team when there is the sense that leadership has become an activity that is shared within the group. There is a shift towards joint individual and group accountability. There is the development of a group mission/purpose. Problem-solving becomes embedded into the DNA of what the group does, and not something done on the side. Teams measure themselves by their overall outcomes relative to goals. Given this, the Peoples Operations group would do well to craft its own mission statement, for one. Group goal setting should be done with the buy-in of everyone concerned. The groups compensation can also be tied to the performance of the whole group, with each of the thirds working together to accomplish this.
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