Google to Alphabet transformation resulted in the non-alignment of the founding principles of the company, which is “doing one thing really, really well”. No longer abiding by its mantra of excellence, it faces the question of whether these principles and values are still valid and relevant? And if not, how should they be changed?
Robert L. Simons; Annelena Lobb
Harvard Business Review (116029-PDF-ENG)
June 07, 2016
Case questions answered:
- Identify the issue with the Google to Alphabet transformation.
- Analyze and evaluate the situation.
- Provide a recommendation and alternatives.
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Google to Alphabet: Ten Things We Know to Be True Case Answers
Identification of Issues on Google to Alphabet Transformation:
The Google to Alphabet transformation does not align with Google’s founding principles. The company that was originally focused on “doing one thing really, really well” has grown enormously and entered business ventures beyond its original scope.
No longer abiding by its mantra of excelling at search, the company now operates in areas that have no direct connection to search — from glucose-monitoring contact lenses to smart thermostats.
Lacking a central focus, Google must reevaluate its values, identity, and strategies. For example, while Google was originally identified as a customer-first company, dedicating its efforts toward improving the end user’s experience, Alphabet identifies as innovative and technologically driven. Merging the values of the original company with the ideals of the new venture presents a challenge for the organization.
CEO Larry Page and President Sergey Brin: Want to grow the company while remaining true to their founding principles and not ostracizing high-performing employees.
Employees: Familiar with the intense culture at Google but increasingly dissatisfied with the perceived lack of social justice in employment practices. Additionally, the transition from Google to Alphabet changes the start-up culture for employees and leaves some feeling like a tiny cog in a machine that is more focused on metrics than good ideas and people.
Analysis and Evaluation:
Google has two options: It can…
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