Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Google - unique place.

Our staff took another trip to Google this week and enjoyed a great lunch with a couple South Bay Church members and other Google employees. Google is definitely a unique place and there are lots of things churches could learn from them. Here are a couple thoughts to consider:
  • (1) Every single Google employee I've met at Google is majorly high on Google kool-aid. They are raving fans and absolutely love working there. In many ways, their life is Google. In fact, Google tries pretty hard to keep employees there all the time by providing free b-fast, lunch, dinner, laundry mats, massages, work out gyms, pools, games, cafes, concerts, etc. The result is that Googlers are fully devoted to Google.
  • (2) Creativity and simplicity - Google's environment calls out the creativity in you. Their facilities are filled with white boards, huge plastic balls, fun statues, colorful chairs, creative technologies, etc. However, even though they are creative, things are fairly simple - nothing really extravagant. In fact, everyone dresses like they are on a college campus, people bring their pets to work, and ride their bikes from building to building.
  • (3) Team success - one of the most impressive parts of the Google culture is their team approach with things. There is no one superhero in Google - they all feel like superheros. Almost every employee working there is a specialist or expert in their area, and together they create impressive results. Not one person really gets credit for anything, yet each employee is encouraged to pursue projects that they feel passionate about.
Most of these values that Google tries to implement in their culture are the same values that Jesus started teaching 2000 years ago to his followers: 1 - radical devotion and passion (for God) / 2 - simplicity, creativity, relevancy / 3 - team success; individuals becoming powerful by using their unique gifts and strengths to advance God's Kingdom and not one of them getting the glory for it...

It's funny how many of the principles and values that make these powerful tech companies in Silicon Valley succeed, are the same ones that Jesus taught so long ago. The funnier part is that these companies think they are being innovative with their approach, but they are just applying age-old teachings and principles... They are the same principles and values that make God's Church effective also, but so many refuse to apply them. Things like openness, creativity, relevancy, valuing individual gifts, celebrating team success, putting people ahead of things...
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