The paper "Triumvirate Leadership at Google" is a great example of a management case study. Management and leadership are two different concepts; management can be described as a set of processes that ensures the continuous functioning of the organization (Erç etin, 2012, p. 43). The processes include; budgeting, planning, staffing, job clarification, performance measurement as well as problem-solving. On the other hand, Leadership is concerned with aligning the followers to the vision through inspiration and motivation. Eric Schmidt was hired by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 2001 to offer ‘ adult supervision’ considering that he had long experience at numerous companies such as Sun Microsystems.
Schmidt according to Manimala et al. (2013) spoke the tech language and offered the need business experience that Page and Brin were lacking. This was a brilliant bi-generational management paradigm that worked during the important period of evolution and scaling for the newly founded Google. Certainly, bi-generational management according to Nussbaum (2011) is a custom for high tech startups, especially the most successful ones. Basically, the management tactics utilized by the triumvirate (Schmidt, Page and Brin) to run Google is very simple; employees are offered a lot of freedom and communication is used as a tool for ensuring everyone moves in the same direction.
The triumvirate has a strong belief in the power of search as well as the significance of the Internet; therefore, such points are communicated during the informal meetings with small teams that comprise mainly of engineering professionals as well as during the ‘ TGIF’ meetings that take place every Friday afternoon. The triumvirate decision making reflects Google’ s culture, and the company is managed through consensus.
Decisions at Google are not only made by the triumvirate, but also by a number of small teams that tackle different problems. The triumvirate has facilitated teamwork by allowing workers to work in open office settings and also offer support and encouragement to the employees. Employees are offered the freedom to do their assignments as they desire and work on their own terms. Rather than setting goals for the employees, the triumvirate assists their employees to meet the objectives set by the employees themselves. The company sees its managers as leaders who expedite inspiration as well as empower employees.
The triumvirate structure at Google makes the reversing of errors faster. A manager could be unwilling to correct his decision when the decision is deemed incorrect, because of self-confidence or excessive pride. However, the triumvirate cannot experience this challenge because the triumvirate shares duties. Therefore, when decisions are made by the triumvirate, it is very hard to pin down the individual who made that incorrect decision, and the probability of a person taking the responsibility is reduced significantly. Multiple perspectives, viewpoints and expertise are supplied by the triumvirate structure and this can help in reassuring customers that there is a person in the company who shares and understands their concerns.
In Google case, Schmidt defends the shareholders’ economic interests while having confidence in Page and Brin in resisting market pressures as well as in focusing the company’ s direction on the production of a quality product.
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Manimala, M.J., Wasdani, K.P. & Wasdani, K.P., 2013. Distributed leadership at Google: Lessons from the billion-dollar brand. [Online] Available at: HYPERLINK "http://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/distributed-leadership-at-google-lessons-from-the-billion-dollar-brand/" http://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/distributed-leadership-at-google-lessons-from-the-billion-dollar-brand/ [Accessed 2 February 2016].
Nussbaum, B., 2011. Google's Greatest Innovation May Be Its Management Practice. [Online] Available at: HYPERLINK "http://www.fastcompany.com/1720052/googles-greatest-innovation-may-be-its-management-practice" http://www.fastcompany.com/1720052/googles-greatest-innovation-may-be-its-management-practice [Accessed 4 February 2016].