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Google's Project Oxygen Pumps Fresh Air Into Management



What do we learn from Google's research?

The model is nothing new. Is Google's model unique to Google? Certainly not. The model would likely be valid in almost every organization and with every manager.

The model focuses on the basics. Every sports fan knows that a common characteristic of champions is a relentless focus on the basics. The basics are the few core skills necessary for success.

Create and document your own management model with clearly defined "basics." Practice your model obsessively until your behavior changes. You won't get a better performance rating for being well-read. Ask your team to assess your behavior against the model. Ask them to them choose one behavior to practice for a three- to six-month period. Just one. Make progress reports a standing team meeting agenda item. Then schedule a team meeting on June 30 to report your progress and to let your team set your next goal.

Management is not knowledge; management is a skill. The best swimmer does not become the best by reading the most swimming books. He becomes the best by understanding the basics and practicing them for thousands of hours. So clear away the books and ask, "What will be my model of management success?"

Then practice, reflect and practice again.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

Hall was formerly Senior Vice President of Talent at ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam and IBM Asia-Pacific's executive in charge of executive leadership and organization effectiveness. During his tenure, IBM was twice ranked No. 1 in the world in Hewitt/Chief Executive magazine's "Top Company for Leaders." He is the author of The New Human Capital Strategy and has been an instructor in Duke Corporate Education's teaching network. Hall completed his Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology at Tulane University, with a dissertation on people management practices of Japanese corporations. He current resides in Shenzhen, China.
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