Google Vision

This week, for the first time since becoming an Institute of Directors member, I attended the Annual Convention which was held in the Royal Albert Hall. The event boasted an array of speakers to die for and was punctuated by the venue’s “famous” box lunches (which quite frankly was less than impressive, in my opinion).

I decided to go because Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electrics, was to make an appearance. It was a shock to discover he was beamed in by live satellite but nevertheless was as impressive as I always thought he would be. He has launched an online MBA with the Jack Welch institute, which the website advertises for an eye watering $36,000!

Much will be written on the various speakers and the topics discussed, however, I wanted to put down my perspective on the presentation from Googles UK Managing Director, Dan Cobley. He gave a stimulating discourse on the wonderful world of Google and its approach to business and its achievements.

Two things struck me. First, a lot of the innovative companies have a great foundation but a launch pad and semi-monopoly position makes it easier to be enormously radical than a mass-market commodity. Secondly, the limitless of creativity to maintain and maximise dominance in a market place is truly awesome.

Recently Chainbow made some quantum changes and we continue to drive residential property management into new spheres. There will always be the core aspects that will be our bedrock but the revolution continues to create a marketplace where customers are really king and service is given without suspicion or cynicism.

Mr Cobley imparted some extraordinary perspectives but none more so than the ‘moon shot’ philosophy alongside 20% staff ‘free time’ during a working week. Natural conservatism within most businesses would cause worry on people swinging the lead. In my experience, any time spent team building, embracing responsibility from staff members and generally motivating and rewarding is the most effective.

Of course there has to be profitability and performance at the forefront of activity and endeavour. This is the bottom-line but a dream built on firm foundation is always a desirable thing.

Mr Cobley expanded the moon shot theory into a Google philosophy of shooting for 10-times differential when doing things as opposed to a 10% improvement. He said to get an extra 10% is a slight tweak of process or delivery. To get 10-times you have to fundamentally rebuild. And that is the exciting bit. Translating this to my industry, leads me to ask how can we make residential property management 10-times more effective and deliver 10-times more customer service?

So in short, what will we do to change the world in which we work? Watch this space. Although having seen Mr Cobley walk around in Google glasses for an hour, I can’t see it catching on. It is a bit like the Captain Scarlet ear pieces – trendy and fun for a while but I don’t think it will last long-term!