19 June 2008

Learn to listen like Google

In a recent blog post, Prof Andrew McAfee spoke about a dinner he had with Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

When he asked Eric what other companies could learn from Google since they were so different than most in so many ways, Schmidt answered this way:

"They can learn to listen. Listening to each other is core to our culture, and we don't listen to each other just because we're all so smart. We listen because everyone has good ideas, and because it's a great way to show respect. And any company, at any point in its history, can start listening more."

McAfee went on to summarise with this brilliant statement:

Many participants in the conference voiced the belief that a move away from authoritarian and imperial corporate leadership would be a smart move, and that we need to retire the belief that intelligence, omniscience, and infallibility rise in lockstep with height on the org. chart. It was fascinating, and encouraging, for me to hear Schmidt agree so closely with that viewpoint even though he hadn't been present during the day; he was just the man who came to dinner.

He gave a powerful and actionable piece of advice, and one for which the technologies of [Enterprise 2.0|http://blog.hbs.edu/faculty/amcafee/index.php/faculty_amcafee_v3

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