Google – certainly one of the most progressive companies in the world – has identified a role for a Strategic Initiatives Team. This posting briefly describes the Team, project structuring, and competencies that Google expects of its leaders.
What is the Strategic Initiatives Team and where does it fit in Google?
The Strategic Initiatives Team is part of the Americas Sales Operations Group. The group spearheads tackles key challenges facing online sales, such as identifying and addressing opportunities and threats to Google’s business, ensuring the effective long-term growth revenue and profits. Much of the day-to-day work involves structuring problems, analyzing data, making recommendations and driving implementation. Operationally, the strategic initiative team works cross-functionally with partner organizations and relevant operating groups such as Google’s sales, product, engineering, finance, and HR teams.
What is the nature of the strategic initiative projects?
Google says that its leaders work on one to two projects at a time spanning a few weeks to a few months with end-to-end responsibility.
What are the key leader competencies?
The strategic initiative leaders drive complex, ambiguous, and potentially charged business issues. The stand-out competencies for the leaders include:
- Personable yet persistent - This is the ability to build relationships, yet insist on results.
- Impeccable business judgment – This is interesting. It goes beyond “good problem-solving and analytical skills.”
- Consensus builders – The leader needs to manage many moving parts across cross-functional and cross-regional teams, again with an insistence on results.
- Influencers of senior level audiences – The leaders spends time with key stakeholders probing for needs. They develop compelling recommendations for solutions.
- Good with data and ambiguity - The leader needs the ability to pull data from multiple sources and to work the various stakeholders to interpret that data.
I derived much of this article’s content from analyzing recent Google job postings.
Does your organization have a focal point for strategic initiatives? Do your strategic initiative leaders possess these characteristics?