Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Google's Experimentation: Overcoming Competency Traps

I had posted earlier about Google's ambidexterity. One of the key features of ambidexterity is a balanced focus on experimentation and execution. We know they are good at executing (llok at their recent performance figures!). We also know that they experiment with labs, they let each Googler allocate time on a 70-20-10 basis. Now, we also know that they do selective, strategic experimentation to continually enhance user experiences. This post on Google's blog provides a peek into their experimentation practices.

In other words: there's an important role for continuous experimentation as part of strategy formation and execution. Successful companies not only capitalize on their core competencies but also figure out a way to overcome competency traps through selective, strategic experimentation.

The broader management message: Don't just focus on your core competencies. Focus also on what you are doing to overcome competency traps.

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