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Book Review: Googled By Ken Auletta

If you like business stories, you’ll like Googled by Ken Auletta.  It’s a year-by-year story of Google’s rise from inception to powerhouse.  Auletta asks the requisite provocative questions on privacy, copyright, and censorship, while also highlighting Google’s great achievements to date.  It’s a fast read, yet comprehensive.

As a coach, I was struck by Google’s employment policy of giving its engineers and some of its non-engineering staff 20% of their work time for personal projects.  This engenders loyalty to management and raises the creativity of the staff, a  win-win for company and staff.  How could we adopt the 20% policy in our own life and work?

Can we take a day of the week or 2 hours per day to step back from the day-to-day grind and reset, recharge, and refresh by refocusing on something different?

Can we encourage our teams (whether we are a manager or not) to take time to step back and work differently?

Is 20% enough or too much?  What is the right frequency — every day, once a week, or monthly?  How do we best spend that time?

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