Google’s 20% Rule – How Employees Can Use the 20 Percent Rule from Google to Fight Back Unreasonable Mangers


Managers are well known to push employees to the wall in search high levels of productivity. Most employees complain that managers expect them to use the current systems to produce higher results. However, you cannot do things in the same way and expect different results. The organization cannot succeed unless there is a high level of innovation. However, most managers tend to block the innovative capacity of their subjects.


Some managers believe that allowing employees to be creative threatens their current position. The challenge of blocking the employees from thinking outside the box is that it does not benefit the organization in any way. In fact, it simply blocks the growth and development of the organization. Thanks to the 20 percent rule from Google that gives employees a defense mechanism.


Visionary leaders will tell you that smart companies manage chaos instead of killing it. That is the fact that Reid Hoffman who is the founder of LinkedIn and Greylock partner understand very well. One of the assertions state that you must learn to suppress the management team if you have the intention of reinventing something at an enormous order of magnitude or wish to invent something new altogether. These sentiments came from Hoffman on “matters of scale” which is a podcast that explores counter intuitive thoughts to the growth that he hosts. He asserts that it is important to allow your employees to chase wild ideas as this may open your eyebrows.


The current chairman and former CEO of Google, Erick Schmidt vividly knows something else. This great mind is well known for his anti-management philosophy. He introduced the concept that product leaders have to convince engineers to join them at Google.


He also assisted in the implementation of the renowned free-time rule that allows workers to spend 20% of their time on anything they wish. He reports this as allowing employees to spend one day on doing what they wish but the implication was to check and balance on the authority of the engineering managers have over the other workers.  He goes ahead to say that employees should give their bosses 100 percent of their 80 percent time without any fear of intimidation. The employee should be able to share with the boss these facts when he asks him to work hard. This is an excellent wat to empower the employee with some choices and dignity. This is what is widely referred to as the “Masters of scale.


Schmidt and Hoffman went ahead to discuss how managers misunderstand their roles in their sixth edition of the “masters of scale.” They explained that this works at the cost of the creativity of their teams.  According to these great minds, micromanagement is the major hindrance to creativity in the workplace. It is also a stumbling block to honesty and generation of ideas. They explain in their one-of-a -kind conversation that these are the elements that assist the enterprise to innovate at a rate that allows them to thrive.