Look for 10x breakthroughs like Google's Larry Page


By Frank Hayes

Imagine how inspirational it would be to work for a CIO who always thinks in terms of 10x impact, writes Jack Rosenberger at CIO Insight. He's talking about a Wired interview with Google CEO Larry Page, who is always thinking in terms of how a product or service can be 10 times better than it is now.

That's as opposed to a mindset of incremental improvement, such as making things 10 percent better, which Page disdains as a guaranteed path to obsolescence in technology, where there will always be competitors looking for non-incremental improvements.

CIOs can borrow several ideas from Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) to foster a reverence for breakthroughs.

One Google idea (borrowed from 3M) was to let select employees spend 20 percent of their time working on special projects. Another was to create Google X, the skunkworks lab that has produced an autonomous car and wearable computers.

Aside from actually creating groundbreaking products, a reputation for that sort of innovative work can help attract and retain top talent. But there are challenges that come with that mindset.

Rosenberger writes, "Astro Teller, the head of Google X, the company's secretive skunkworks lab, illustrates the impact of Page's 10x thinking with an imaginary story in which he wheels a time machine into Page's office, plugs it in, and demonstrates how it works. Page, however, isn't impressed with the time machine. Instead, he wants to know why it needs a plug or, better yet, what if it didn't use power. 'It's not because he's not excited about time machines or he's ungrateful that we built it,' Teller says. 'It's just core to who he us. There's always more to do, and his focus is on where the next 10X will come from.'"

For more:
- see Jack Rosenberger's post at CIO Insight

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