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Google CEO: 'The One Sentence Manager' accountability system

I had to chuckle when Google CEO Dr. Schmidt publicly explained his management system for Google last week -- I 've dubbed it -- 'The One Sentence Manager.'  

  • In a speech to Washington insiders at the Economic Club where Dr. Schmidt exhorted how the world could learn a lot from Google's "scalable values"...
    • Dr. Schmidt actually admitted how hard it was to get Googlers to be accountable to his minimalist automated reporting requirement of writing a one-sentence summary by email of what that person did that week.
      • He further explained that his automated system would "harass" the people with ever increasingly funny prods -- until they complied.

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows one of my pet beefs about Google is how completely unaccountable Google is and how they go out of their way to remain unaccountable to anyone or anything.

  • Let's imagine some of Google's weekly accountability sentences and the 'One Sentence Manager' replies: 
    • For engineers: "I worked some more on our search algorithm."
      • Automated reply: "Keep up the good work!"
    • For lawyers: "I filed some more briefs against those guys who are suing us for copyright theft." 
      • Automated reply: "Keep up the delays."
    • For Managers: "I hired xx more people."
      • Automated reply: "Let them eat cake!"
    • For Government Affairs: "I pushed net neutrality."
      • Automated reply: "Don't be evil."   

We also learned more about Dr. Schmidt's management philosophy in this speech in that he said didn't like to hear negativity or the word 'no' -- so Google actively fosters a "culture of yes!"

  • This is a unique Google 'innovation' of the tired, old-fashioned, analog -- 'can do' spirit.
  • I can hear the positive conversations now at Google:
    • "Yes! We will take whatever content we want without paying for it."
    • "Yes! We can get anything we want from NASA!"
    • "Yes! we can respect privacy by not posting our privacy policy as required by law."
    • "Yes! Accountability is a buzz kill."
    • "Yes! Yes! Yes! We will fire anyone who says no! Yes! Yes! Yes!