How to get a job at Google

Google-SearchIn the heart of Silicon Valley a stark black and white billboard posed a mathematical question for commuters on Highway 101.  The billboard read:{first 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits e}.com

Some curious people did log on to the web to solve this and were led to another web page with another equation to solve.  A few more equations and web pages later led them to a page on Google Labs, the company’s research and development department, which read: “One thing we learned while building Google is that it’s easier to find what you’re looking for if it comes looking for you. What we’re looking for are the best engineers in the world. And here you are.’  It was Google recruiting.

A Google spokesman explained this unusual approach by saying ‘As you can imagine, we get many, many resumes every day, so we developed this little process to increase the signal-to-noise ratio.”

Wow, what a great way to recruit and reward curiosity.    There is an old adage that says ‘Curiosity killed the cat’.  Compare that with what Einstein who said ‘I  have no special talent, I am only passionately curious’.  An attribute cherished by Google too.

Our challenge as communicators is how to invoke curiosity in our audience? How do we increase the signal to noise ratio? Instead of always providing the answers and could we replace the industrial mindset communication frame of ‘Tell them once, tell them again and tell them that you told them’, with a frame that arouses curiosity and gets people to pursue the answers instead.



Making ‘Shift’ happen


What is going to shift for you in 2014?  I have started 2014 on an introspective note, thinking what do I want to shift personally, professionally and if this is not too grandiose in the world.  This is confronting but I am going to put it out there!

Personally I want 2014 to be my year of fitness and professionally I want to hone my craft as a speaker (both of these turn out to be linked).  I am also getting the help I need to make these shifts happen.

So just this morning with my personal trainer James Rose, I  put down a goal for a half marathon in October this year.  We have identified a 10km run and a 15 km run as milestones that will help me get ‘half marathon’ ready.

As some of you might know, I already speak for a living, but when Steven Jobs said ‘stay hungry, stay foolish’, I have always felt he meant this specifically for speakers and leaders.  With speaking I have enrolled in Matt Church’s Speakership program, which runs through most of 2014 and is considered one of the best programs globally.  Matt also talks about being ‘speaker fit’ so the best speakers have to be at their peak physically and mentally.  The half marathon is looking important in the scheme of things!  I am also looking forward to my whole half marathon experience for great stories to use when I am speaking.

I am still grappling with what I want to shift in the world, as it can be overwhelming. I don’t think I have an easy answer to this but have begun the year by supporting the work of Alexie Seller and the inspiring team at Pollinate Energy, a group of young Australians creating sustainable products for the urban poor in India.  Currently they focus on energy solutions, but are looking to grow this.

What about you?  What do you want to shift personally, professionally and in the world for 2014?  I would love to hear from you.