Laszlo Bock: “Education Lessons from Work Rules! That Will Transform How […]” | Talks at Google

SPEAKER: His New York
Times best-selling book, “Work Rules– Insights from Inside
Google to Transform How You Live and Lead,” has
been published in 24 languages and garnered numerous
book of the year honors. From 2006 to 2016, Laszlo
was senior vice president of People Operations and a
member of Google’s management team, growing the company
from 6,000 to 72,000 employees and ensuring the firm’s culture
remained innovative and robust throughout. During his tenure, Google
was recognized over 150 times as an exceptional
employer, including being named the number
one best company to work for in the United
States seven times and every year since 2012,
which was when I joined, so just hold onto that one. It must have something
to do with this. Laszlo is credited with creating
the field of people analytics, the application of
academic quality rigor and Google paced innovation
to people management. He also led development of
the Google Cloud Jobs API and what is now known
as Google for Jobs with the goal of
solving unemployment by better matching people and
jobs through applied machine learning and people analytics. He joined Google from the
General Electric company and beforehand was a
management consultant at McKinsey and
Company, probably a better management
consultant than what you heard from me earlier. He has served on the boards
of Pomona College, Evolve, and whoops– I’m going to
mispronounce this one. I’m just going to
scoot right by it– another one. In 2010, he was named
human resources executive of the year, and in 2015, the
HR professional of the decade. He briefly was ranked number one
in the world in the video game “Assassin’s Creed.” Laszlo earned a
bachelor’s degree in international relations
from Pomona College, graduating in three years,
and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. Please join me in
welcoming Laszlo. [APPLAUSE] LASZLO BOCK: That was great. I wish my mom could
have heard all that. That was terrific. How’s everyone doing? AUDIENCE: Great. LASZLO BOCK: OK, nothing
standing between lunch and you, except me. So I just have like
200 or 300 slides I want to walk you through. It is– I was going to
say it’s great to be here. It’s super weird, actually,
to be back at Google. I left at the end of the
year, and I don’t even think they had this
building at the time. So it’s kind of– I just got to get
that off my chest. It’s also great to be here. It’s actually a real
privilege, because there’s a long history of
teaching and caring about education in my
family and in my own life. And so more than anything else,
I want to thank all of you for the work you do
every single day, for all these kids, who are
the future of this country. And I’m sure you’ve heard
this again and again and again, but it’s
the most important job there is on this planet. My mother was a teacher. I was born in Romania, and
she was an English teacher. And we defected. We snuck out. We stayed in a refugee
camp in Austria. We came to the United
States in 1974, and my mother and her side
of the family are Jewish, and what she always–
and so, you know, if you’re from Europe, and you
know, my mom was born in 1945, she had lost chunks of her
family in the Holocaust. They were murdered
in the Holocaust. And my mom always raised
me with the phrase, they can never take
away your education. That’s one thing they, whoever
they are, can never take away. So what you’re doing is
the most important thing there is out there. I dabbled a little in education
when I was in high school. I worked as a summer
school teacher for three years teaching
a debate program in a forensic debate thing
the school had set up. I spent a summer teaching
in Japan, teaching English, like everyone does. I did a bunch of tutoring. It still sounds
weird, but I remember there was one guy I
tutored, and my gift to him at the end of the tutoring was
a copy of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” which,
coming from me, was probably a pretty
weird thing for him. But he, years later,
followed up with me and thanked me for that. And the impact you
have, as you know, you don’t feel in that
year all the time. You feel it five years later,
10 years later, 15 years later, if you’re lucky enough to
have students come back. So I’m incredibly
grateful for the work you do, and it is
a sincere honor to be here and be
talking to you. So I hope you find it helpful. I was– I did leave
Google fairly recently. And this was my mission
when I was at Google. So I led People Operations,
and this was it. And the way we came
up with this mission– find people, grow
them, keep them– we had our first
global get-together for the People Operations team. And literally, 30
minutes before it, we had no idea what our unifying
mission was going to be. This amazing woman
named Judy Gilbert said, isn’t it just
these three things? And so the unifying spirit
behind everything we did was find exceptional people,
grow them as fast and as much as you can, give them the
tools, the capabilities, the experiences to get better,
and then keep them here as long as possible. I recently left. I left Google at
the end of last year and a few months ago, started
a company called Humu– not an education
company, unfortunately. And we’re actually
still in stealth, so I can’t say
too much about it. But the underlying
idea is how to make work better and the
experience of work better for everyone in
every environment. And eventually, there may be
some education applications for students, but
I guess the stakes are a lot lower when dealing
with grownups than with kids. And so we start with
grownups, and then maybe we eventually work our way to kids. But if you want
to learn more, you can sign up to
learn at What I really want to
talk about is an epiphany I had when I was
at Google, which is we spend more
time working than we do anything else in our lives. And it’s a little
crazy, because think back to when you’re, like,
in junior high school or high school. You’re first starting
to discover that there’s other people in your life you
might want to be romantically involved with, and you
start caring about stories like “Romeo and Juliet,” and you
start thinking, somewhere out there, there is someone for me. And I’m going to find
that perfect person, and I’m going to dedicate
my life to that person. I’m going to be
fulfilled and happy. And then you grow up, and
you find the person, usually. And you never get to see them,
because you spend all your time with all these bozos you got to
work with day in and day out. And there’s a member
of our team at Humu, who, among other things,
she was a fourth grade teacher for a few years
at a local charter school. And she said, yeah,
this is a good chart, but what you should tell
the teachers is it really should just be work and sleep. Teachers don’t get
the other stuff. But it seemed wrong to me
that for too many people, it’s a bad experience. Work is a means to an end. Amy Wrzesniewski is a
professor at Yale University, did a study that found in every
profession, about 30% of people find meaning in it. The other 2/3, not so much. And even in
professions you would expect everybody’s fired up
about the meaning, right? Like nursing, like medicine. Like, it’s fine. I understand lawyers. 2/3 of them don’t care. But for teachers, for people
in ministry, only about 1/3 of them, because it’s hard to
sustain that your whole career. You have bad days. You have bad moments. It just becomes a job after
the first 15 or 20 or 25 years. And so what we tried to figure
out while I was at Google was, how do you solve this problem? How do you make it better? And so they were kind
enough to let me write a book called “Work Rules.” And the idea here was
to find some science and some information
about Google’s experience, but more importantly, about
the rest of the world, about what works to
make work better. So there’s a bunch
of stuff in here. The only reason I’m
mentioning it is all the money goes to charity. Actually, the publisher
keeps whatever they want, but I have donated
and will continue to donate all my money to
charities related to refugees and immigration issues,
to educational access, so giving kids who otherwise
won’t have access to education or better educational
opportunities, and to veterans’ charities, so. [APPLAUSE] It really like– because
there’s a good chunk of this which is Google stuff,
which isn’t my story to tell. And it felt like it’s not
mine to profit from either. So this is some of the
stuff that’s in there. There’s more in the book. I’m going to touch on
a few of these rules that I think are particularly
apropos to teaching and the profession of not
just being in the classroom, but administering and running
educational institutions. And then we’ll
have Q and A time, and I’m totally happy to
debate and discuss and learn, if I’m completely
wrong on this stuff, because I imagine I’m
probably 50% to 100% wrong on the education piece. So I look forward to that
part of the discussion. But whenever I talk about
stuff, and whenever people come to Google– you guys have seen the beanbags. You’ve seen the lava lamps. You’ve seen, like, you know,
like clearly this company spends money on people. And I was once giving
a talk in Chicago to a group of heads of HR, and
somebody said, well, at Google, you can do this. You got all the
money in the world. You got 30% profit margins. You’re everywhere. You got– of course, you can do
all these things to make work better for your employees. I’m an insurance company
on a state pension fund. I can’t do this. And before I could respond,
somebody stood up in the room and raised his
hand, and he said, well, actually, basically,
what they’re talking about is giving people freedom. And freedom is free. Giving people in your
workforce more freedom doesn’t cost you
anything, except giving up a little bit of control and
allowing them to do things. And then in the course
of writing the book and being at Google in
sessions like these, there’s all these companies
from very different industries, very different businesses,
very different economics, who look very different from
Google but feel very similar. So my favorite example is
a company called Wegmans. Is anyone here
from the Northeast? Any Wegmans fans? AUDIENCE: I just went there. It was awesome. LASZLO BOCK: He said
he just went there. It was awesome. In 2006, Google was named,
for the first time, the best company to work for in America. And the year before,
Wegmans had been named best company to work for. So I was asked to be
on a panel together with this guy named
Jack DePeters, who’s the COO of Wegmans. And the person
organizing the panel thought we would,
like, go at it, because Google, 30% margins. Everyone’s got a
master’s degree or PhD. People at the time
went to fancy schools. That’s changed a little bit. The company recruits more
broadly now, thank god. And Wegmans– it’s a high
school-educated workforce, largely. They promote from within. It’s family-owned. It’s a grocer, so they have
1% or 2% profit margins. And they put us on stage,
and every question– how do you think about hiring? Well, these are the
things we look at. We look for people who are
conscientious and thoughtful and go the extra mile. Yeah, we do, too. How do you think
about promotion? We want people who really
care about their customer. We really care about the user. Everything we went
through, we do, too. We do, too. And Jack and I have
since become friends. Completely different company,
completely different industry, completely different
economics, completely different workforce– exactly the same
in terms of how we treat our people and the
experience people have. And they do it without
a ton of money. So I want to share three
examples, three kind of rules, things to take away that
I hope will be helpful. The starting point is finding
meaning in people’s work. You know, I had talked
about Amy’s research. This is the most
important thing. And yeah, everyone
says, OK, check. We should have meaning in work. You know, that’s important. I want to give you a
sentence of two pieces. One is, what’s important
in setting up a mission? And the second is the
impact this can have. So Google’s mission is organize
the world’s information. Make it universally
accessible and useful. What’s amazing
about that is you’re never going to achieve that
goal, because there’s always more out there. So mission needs
to be unattainable. It needs to be something you
can always kind of move towards, but you never quite get there. If your goal is to be the
number-one rated school in the town or the district
or the state or the nation, once you get there, where
do you go from there? The second thing is having
a strong profound mission that is different from the
other institutions around you is a filter for
people who are applying. It makes people
want to be there, because there’s
something different about your institution. So even in education,
every school is different. The students are different. The parents are different. The community’s different. The level of support
is different. The faculty is different. The administration is different. Find what is different
and special and unique. And it doesn’t
matter if the school is high performing or low
performing or struggling or not. There is some magic
there, some spark there. If nothing else,
other than that spark you see in those kindergartners
when they show up for that first day, they just
want to learn everything. Like those of you who work
with kindergartners know this. What is cooler than
having somebody experience something for the first
time in their lives? Somebody who doesn’t know what
a slope is, so all these kind of trivial things we
take for granted– that’s an amazing
thing to connect to. So find that mission, and
then be vocal about it, and make it different
and special. The other thing, though, is
that if people are connected to that mission, they work way
harder than they will if they don’t feel that connection. So Adam Grant is a
professor at Wharton, the business school, Wharton. And he’s a great guy. He’s a good friend,
and he’s like one of these like crazy accomplished
people who you would hate if he wasn’t such
a nice human being, because he was an
Olympic-caliber diver and a magician and youngest
tenure ever faculty at the university. But his original research was
around mission and meaning, and this is what got him tenure. He wanted to quantify, does
this stuff really matter? There’s all these books,
“The Purpose-Driven Life,” and you go to church, and
they tell you about meaning, and everyone’s like, OK. Everyone kind of performs
the same afterward, so it’s not like everybody
who does one of these things or reads this book
suddenly performs better. So he went to a call center. And this call center was doing
fundraising for universities, so he basically
hired these folks. You give them your alumni
list, and they call everyone on the alumni list
saying, can you please donate college to Laszlo
University or whatever it is? And these fundraisers were
raising $1,300 per week on average for the universities. And Adam thought, if I
connect them to meaning– because his research
says that works– they will get more productive. So he went out, and he
found a bunch of students who had gotten
scholarships and said, do a one-page essay
that we’re going to give to these
people about the impact the scholarship had on you. And he got these
beautiful essays back. I went to college. I learned all this stuff. I was able to get
this great job. I’ve lived happily ever after. I’ve got a family. Like life is good. Anyone want to guess what
happened to productivity, where it went from $1,300
after these people read these one-page essays? Went down? Pessimist. Anyone else want to guess. Doubled. It’s a trick question. It didn’t change at all. Our pessimist was close. And they wrote about
what they learned and how much money they made–
didn’t have an impact at all. And Adam, then,
completely freaked out, because he was like, oh, my god,
I’m not going to get tenure. So he went back to the
scholarship recipients, and he said, write
a different essay. Write to me about what it meant. And he got an essay
back, instead, that said, instead of like, oh, I took
this Shakespeare class. It was awesome– that
said, I read Shakespeare for the first
time, and I learned about the English language and
where all these phrases we use come from. And I learned something
about the human condition and that it’s universal and
that people hundreds of years ago were going through the same
thing I’m going through today. It changed me. It affected me. And now, everybody, except
our pessimist friend, what do you think happened? No change? It went up. It went up to $3,100 a week,
more than doubling just by reading a one-page essay
talking about what this meant. And then he said, oh, I
can do better than this. So we had these students
come in, these scholarship recipients, once a month
to give a five-minute talk about what it meant. And these fundraisers started
raising more than $5,000 every single week. And so Adam’s
replicated this study in a bunch of
different settings. He did a similar
thing with lifeguards, and he found that lifeguards
became 21% more attentive– you know, more time watching,
less time Facebook, whatever. He did it with tutors
and proofreaders, and he found that when
people felt more connected, when proofreaders,
editors read something about how meaningful this was
to the person whose paper was being graded and reviewed,
they spent 20% more time on every single
paper and gave more detailed and
substantive comments, just because they could
feel that connection. So it’s possible to do this in
all kinds of different fields. Meaning and finding that
meaning and refreshing it and reminding people
of it again and again is essential, particularly in
a job where most of your time is spent by yourself or maybe
with you and an assistant in one setting, where you don’t
have all that interaction all the time. It’s not like at Google, where
you’re constantly on a team, and you may be on three
or four different teams at the same time, and
you spend all your time with other people. Rekindling that spark,
rekindling that connection, and the way you do it is
through narrative and stories and exposing people to
this underlying meaning. Second thing I
want to talk about is make sure people are
learning, which kind of seems self-evident. That’s kind of the
whole point of teaching. But if you think about it
in a corporate environment, and if you’re an
administrator or a manager, most learning happens either
through training programs. And the research on training
programs is not good. In the US, large corporations
spend $120 billion a year on training classes. $120 billion. And there’s not a whole
lot of benefit to it. There’s certainly almost
no measured benefit to it. I mean, if you think back
about trainings you’ve gone to and programs you’ve gone
to, how many of those things do you use
every single day? Or if you’re–
this was, I guess, a four-week session
or a four-day session? Sorry. Four-day session, not four-week. If only. Four-day session. Like, play forward in your mind. I’m sure this is well
done, and the pedagogy was fantastic, but even
including this talk, you have four days of content. It’s not like every
single moment, every single second is
transforming how you do things completely from here on in. There’s a limited
amount we can absorb. And that challenge is
compounded by the fact that in professional settings,
what typically happens– and in academic
settings, a lot– is learning is married
to consequence. So in a corporate setting,
you have a performance review. That’s when you get
all your feedback, and the manager sits down. You get your performance
review, and then they tell you what your salary
increase is or maybe not. So the whole time
you’re getting feedback, in the back of your
mind, you’re going, oh, man, oh, man, oh,
man, oh, man, oh, man, I want to get a raise. I hope it works out. And what happens is
as soon as you tie learning to
consequence, learning shuts down, because
people become defensive. They care about the evaluation. They care about the score,
the grade, the doing well, and they focus on that rather
than, what can I learn here? Whereas as many of you know,
you learn more from failure than from success. Failure’s where you dig down
and say, what did I do wrong? What can I correct? At Google, we did this thing
called the Upward Feedback Survey, and the idea was
we did a whole study called Project Oxygen, and it was about
what makes managers effective. And it turns out there’s
eight things managers do that make them effective. And it’s things like
have a regular one on one with their people, act as
a good coach, and so on. So we turned that into a survey. Survey goes to everyone
in the company. I hope it still does. Google people? Yes, it still does? All right. OK. Because this is really
important for the company. And it’s 10 or 12 questions. Does my manager act as a coach? Do we have regular one on ones? And every employee takes– I mean it’s an optional
survey, but just about everyone fills out the survey. The manager gets a score. And the score is how
they did on each question from a strongly agree
to strongly disagree, and then there’s
an aggregate score, which is the average of those. And then the manager is also
told where that average falls in the distribution
of the company, because if everyone
gets a perfect score, there’s still a– well, not if everyone
gets a perfect score, but there’s still a
distribution, right? Even if everyone’s
getting 90% favorable or 85% to 95%
favorable, there’s still a distribution within that. So we tell managers,
here is where you are. When we started doing
it, their managers were rated 58% favorable. And that’s all. We just told them,
here’s the score. Here’s where you are
in the distribution. You’re in the top, middle– well, top third, second, or
bottom quartile of the company. And that’s all we did. Then six months later,
we measured it again, and managers got better. And we measured it
again six months after that and six months. After five cycles, the
average favorability rating went from 58% to 78% favorable,
which was awesome, because I didn’t have to spend any money. What happened was there
was no consequence. We just told people, here’s
what your people think, which you can’t debate,
because it’s their opinion. Like, I don’t care
what you think, and this is how they feel. And here’s where you
fall in the distribution. We’ll see you in six months. And most people are good people. Most people want to get better. And if you tell
them where they are, they’ll kind of look
at it, and by the way, here’s eight or 10
things to do differently. Here’s where you scored. I’m going to do this
one that I was lower on. And they got better. It was amazing. There’s a school nearby in
the town of Los Altos called the Bullis Charter School. And some of you
may do this, too. In the middle schools,
which, for them, is sixth through eighth
grade, any time a kid takes a math test,
they’re allowed to retake any questions
they got wrong, and they get 50% credit for it. And the principal there,
Wanny Hersey, who’s amazing, she says, it’s important
that my students learn algebra and pre-algebra
and all these other things they’re learning. But she told me, it’s
equally important that they learn how
to learn from failure and that they learn
resilience and that they learn how to recover. So the big lesson
here is– and I don’t know how much this
applies in your world versus in the corporate world. In the corporate
world, development needs to be a completely
different thing from evaluation. And I know there’s like state
standards and all this kind of– and that’s a big issue. That’s way over my head
and area of expertise, but giving people the
opportunity to fail and simply learn from it is tremendous. It’s the biggest gift
you can give them, and they will learn
faster and learn more. There’s another Google
person named Astro Teller, and he runs Google
X. And there’s a YouTube video of him
giving a talk about failure, and it’s fantastic. And it’s all about all
the different things they do at X to encourage
people to try things and fail and learn from it. And it’s really instructive. It’s worth checking out. But the big message
here is, give people that opportunity to develop. Keep it separate from
evaluation as much as you can. The last thing I
want to talk about is how to have a really
big impact on things without a lot of money and
without a lot of effort. There’s a concept called nudges. So there were two professors,
Thaler and Sunstein– one’s at University of
Chicago, one’s at Harvard– who wrote a book 10 or 12
years ago called “Nudge.” And their whole idea
was they observed that you can make small
changes in the environment or present decisions
in a certain way that drives people’s behaviors
in really, really big ways. And the reason is it
goes back to how much you retain from learning
environments and from training programs. We only have so much
cognitive capacity. There’s only so much we can
learn, so much we can remember, so much we can act on. We only have so much
willpower at a given time. So if you structure
your environment in a certain way or present
decisions in a certain way, you can make it easier to
make a better decision. So for example, it’s
really hard to lose weight. AUDIENCE: Yeah. LASZLO BOCK: Yeah. Yeah. I can see I’m not alone
in knowing this and having lived this. It’s really hard. Our biology
conspires against us. Our peer groups
conspire against us. You know, getting older– I mean, I’m now 44,
which, depending, feels a lot older than
I was a long time ago, but I know it’s like I’m
not even halfway there. And it’s just harder
to do anything. Like recovery time– my
body needs fewer calories. In high school, I
was on a swim team. I remember coming
home, opening up the jar of peanut butter, the
crunchy style peanut butter, and just eating spoonfuls of it. And I literally the other
day was with some friends, and we were just sitting
around talking about what we used to be able to eat. And we’re not that
old yet, so it’s hard. So here’s a nudge. If you open up your
refrigerator– picture this in your mind– what’s
sitting on the middle shelf there, that big shelf
right in front of you? What’s in there? I see people
laughing and smiling. You going to admit it? No. Usually, you got,
like, you might have some juice, some
milk, maybe some take-out containers, some leftovers
from the restaurant last night. Everything that is high in
calories, low in nutritional content right there, because
that’s the big space. That’s where all those
big things go, right? Where are your vegetables? Down at the bottom, and no one
wants to go in that drawer. Like it’s like you don’t know
what you’re going to find. You may have created
new life in that drawer. And where’s the fruit live? The side of it or
on the counter. Counter people? Where on the counter, though? Who said counter? In a bowl. And where’s that bowl? Yeah. On top of the refrigerator
to keep it nice and warm. I like that. Or like behind in some corner,
where it’s out of the way. And you know, you
have some fruit flies. And it’s– what’s that? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. LASZLO BOCK: Yeah,
and you’ve got that peach that’s been there. It’s been there long
enough that you don’t even want to reach for it, because
you think your fingers might sink into it. And then you throw it away. You want to eat better,
take the juice out. Take out the to-go containers. Take out all that stuff. Put your fruit
right in the middle. Put some carrots next to it. Put some strawberries
right on that big shelf every time you open it. You actually will eat
better, and you can still have all the other stuff. But it’s just easier, because
every time you open it, it’s staring you in the face. Same thing with
your pantry, right? Big shelf– sugary cereal,
all the easy grab and gos. That’s a nudge. And there’s lots of
applications and businesses and a tremendous, tremendous
amount you can do, and it’s one of the
things that over at Humu we’re super, super excited
about and doing some cool stuff. I’ll give you a
Google example just to prove I’m not all
about weight loss. So one of the
problems we had was we’re hiring all these people,
and like in your organizations, you want people to get
productive as fast as possible. There’s a difference in the
quality of and the impact of a brand-new teacher
versus somebody who’s been doing it
for two or three years. And you want them to get off
that curve as fast as possible. We wanted the same thing. What we found was
the average time from when somebody joined
Google to when they were fully productive was nine months. So we’re like, well, what
can we do differently? How can we accelerate that? And because we love
our science, we did a bunch of analyses about
what are these people doing differently, and what are their
managers doing differently, what are the teams
doing differently. And there’s five things
that they do differently. One thing is they meet
at least two people in the first couple of
days, because it turns out building a social network
makes a huge difference. And again, I don’t know
how it works in teaching, but at Google, you can actually
just show up and for two days, just kind of sit at
your desk and hang out. And there’s cafes
and everything, but if you’re an
introvert, you’re not going to go meet
people, so meet two people. If you’re an engineer, the
ones who got productive faster, they checked in code
in the first week, meaning they wrote something,
checked it in the system, got accepted within
the first week– made them more productive. Having a computer that works
and a desk, because it turns out part of what happens is when
you’re new at an organization, you’re particularly
open to learning. Think about the kids in the
first two weeks of school versus like 3/4 of the way. I mean they’re still there. They’re still interested. First two weeks, though,
you can teach them anything. I had a– I don’t know what he was. He was the principal’s
son, and he was in the classroom
for some reason. And I remember this is in
like second or third grade, and he was, like,
in the future, we’re going to be able to–
doctors will cut slits in the side of your
neck, and we’ll all breathe water like Aquaman. And for like two
years, I believed that, because it was early,
and I liked Aquaman. And I was like,
that’d be really cool. So people are more open
to learning early on. They do a whole bunch
of other things. So one option was build
all this special training. Well, we already had
an onboarding process, and it was giving us nine
months to full productivity. So instead, we said,
what’s the nudge? What’s a smaller invention we
can have to change behavior? So we sent a couple of emails. So anytime– and I don’t
know if this is still true, so Google people
can keep me honest– when a new employee gets hired,
the day before the first day, they get an email that
says, here’s five things to do that we’ve shown– I see head nodding,
awesome– that we know make people more productive sooner. The manager gets an
email two or three days before, so that they’re
ready, that says, here are five things that
you should help them with, because you can’t rely on the
employee, the new hire paying attention, because
often they do. Sometimes they don’t. But if you get to both
sides of the equation, you’re much more likely
to have an effect. And what happened was
the time to productivity shrank from nine months
down to six months, which on the one hand,
percentage terms, that’s a big improvement. On the other hand,
yeah, three months. Who cares? At the rate at
which Google hires, and if you look at
average employee lifespan, it’s a 2% productivity boost
across the entire company. 2% is like for every
50 employees you have, you get a free person. So think about what that
means for your schools. That’s actually– that’s
a lot of free bodies. So that’s another example
of a small intervention. So what does that look
like in education? I’m going to go
out on a limb here. So don’t get too mad. So I went out, and I Googled– my search engine of choice– I Googled– let me get
the exact phrase right. What was it? I Googled children in classroom. And this is what I got. I imagine this is what most
of your classrooms look like. Like what is that? Like a nine-to-one
teacher-student ratio? Yeah. Yeah, lots of technology. Oh, I didn’t even notice that. Yeah, they’ve got
crazy technology. You’ve got– it’s clean. Oh, man, you guys are
breaking my heart. There’s four walls, and
everyone’s fully clothed. I mean, I joke. I make light of it, but
that’s like a real issue. So in East Palo
Alto, so you’ve got Palo Alto where Stanford is. You cross the 101 freeway. You have East Palo Alto. My wife and my daughter,
one of my girls, does volunteer work over there. More than 30% of the kids
in that school district are homeless. And I mean they live on
the street every day. I mean they don’t
know where they’re going to sleep that night. Could be in the car. Could be in a friend’s house. That’s five miles from here. So I don’t know. How much is Google worth? $600 billion, $800
billion, right? You’ve got Apple down the
street worth almost a trillion dollars. Five miles from here,
more than 30% of the kids. So I’m joking a little,
but you all live this. Like this is– and who’s raising
their hands in this picture? Right? You’ve got the two girls
raising their hands. Who really raises
their hands first? First time you ask a question
in a classroom, whose hands are like, me, me, me. Is it the girls or the boys? It’s the boys. I see the men raising
their hands in the room. This is what it’s more like, I
think, in an actual classroom. I’m trying to find a
more realistic depiction of a California classroom. There’s a couple
of problems, where I think nudging and
things like checklists, like that manager feedback
survey I talked about, might actually help a lot with,
which I kind of alluded to. Who gets called on
first in classrooms? Whose hands are up the most? Boys, right? Boys’ hands go up. And it’s because on average–
this is based on the science. This isn’t me just
making stuff up. We had an incredible
people analytics team. So anytime before I would
talk about this stuff, while I was still here, I would
go back to the team and say, can you just make
sure this is true? And like scientifically
validated and correct and not based on what I
happened to see down the street, but, in fact, true
across humanity. Boys raise their hands
earlier, and so do men, because boys and men aren’t
as hindered by certainty or knowledge as women. Men are more likely to go,
oh, I think I know the answer, whereas girls in classrooms
wait longer until they’re sure of the answer. And what happens is it
creates this vicious cycle, because if I’m the teacher,
and I ask a question– 2 plus 2, why is an
apple red, whatever– and the hands that
come up are boys, I want to call on somebody. And it’s kind of
weird and awkward to go, like, OK, boys, I want
to hear from one of the girls, because that also is a weird
way of isolating people. So I’ll call on a boy. And the boy will go,
oh, you have 2 plus 2. That’s 8. I go, no, that’s wrong. And I mean all the
girls know the answer, and I keep calling on boys, but
what’s happened is two things. The boy has gone gotten
re-encouragement, positive encouragement,
positive reinforcement. He raised his hand. Stimulus response. Teacher called on him. Positive. The teacher’s also gotten
positive reinforcement. I asked a question. This person raised their
hand, and you know what? It wasn’t the right answer,
but look, they’re trying. They’re engaged. They’re connected. And over time, we call more
on the boys than the girls. And it makes it harder. And the girls also
get a message, which is like, I’m just– I’m not going to bother. And what’s crazy is I was
at an event at a girls’ school, a girls’ high school. And the science teacher
was doing a demonstration. It was for a bunch of adults, so
a mixed group of men and women in the classroom,
female science teacher. And the demonstration was she
had an aquarium, fish tank, and she had– I think it was a
lemon and a lime. And the question is, when
I put this in the water, is it going to float or sink? It might have been a
lime and an orange. It was two citrus fruits. I remember that for sure. And she said, what’s
going to happen, and one’s going to sink. One can float. What do you all think? And in the audience,
whose hands went up? All the dudes. Not me, because I knew this. I was like, I’m not
raising my hand. I know they went up, and even
though it was a girls’ school, and all she does is teach girls,
she called on the men first. And it speaks to the fact that
this is just how we’re wired. This is just society. This is, on average, boys
are more risk-taking. This is part of why, if
you look at birth rates, there’s more boys born
than girls for every 100 childbirths. We have a slightly
higher birth rate of boys than girls as
a species, and it’s because roll the clock
back 10,000 years– who’s more likely to die? Boys are more likely
to die, because we’re more risk-seeking, and
we do stupid things, and then once you have
hunter-gatherer societies, there’s a division
of labor and so on. So the reward, we are wired. We boys and men are wired to I’m
going to just put it out there, just a little bit more
on average than women. And if you look at the
population distributions, there’s a lot of overlap. So it’s not true that every boy
is more wired than every girl. There’s a lot of overlap. But we create these
vicious cycles where this happens in the classroom. There’s roots of this, too,
not just in the classroom. And so part of the answer to
addressing this kind of issue and the application
of nudges isn’t just– it’s not your responsibility. There’s a book that just came
out recently called “Everybody Lies,” and it was written
by somebody who, basically, his whole trick– and it’s a good trick– is he looks at– there’s a product
that Google has called– it used to be
called Google Trends. And it’s also called
Ngram, N-G-R-A-M, which lets you look
at search frequency, so what are people
searching for? And the underlying data
from that is what informs– when you start typing
in Google, and it starts auto-filling in
everything you’re doing, same data. So his old trick is he
thinks that better reveals who we are than what
we say on Facebook, for example, because Facebook
is who we want to be. It’s like, oh, here’s some
shots from my vacation, and look at my avocado
toast this morning, and my kid won this award. What we search for on
Google, nobody else sees. And his two big areas of
study in this book, he talks about politics
and the recent election, actually, the last
three elections. And quite frankly, he
talks a lot about sex, because apparently, people
use the internet for that. I did not know that. But apparently, people
search for that. But there’s two
pages in his book where he talks about education. And he said, if you look at
parents of small children, if the search query is
my child is a genius, or is my child a genius,
or is my child gifted, parents of boys are
two and 1/2 times more likely to enter is my child
gifted than parents of girls, which is weird,
because at young ages, girls have better vocabularies,
perform better in schools, and are 9% more likely
to be in gifted programs. If you look at the search
query is my child overweight, they are much more
likely to look for that if it’s a girl
than if it’s a boy, even though there are more
overweight young girls than there are
overweight young boys. It’s something like
39% versus 33%. And I’m a parent. I screw this stuff up, too. I’ve never done those two
searches, just for the record, but this is just the
society we live in. This is like the air we breathe,
and it’s how we have evolved. It’s who we are. It’s like at the end of the day,
again, 10,000 years ago, you see somebody coming
towards you, or if it’s somebody you know who looks
like you, sounds like you, the optimal decision is to
assume they’re more like you. If it’s somebody
who looks different, who’s not from your
tribe, who has– it’s a little safer to
be a little cautious, just like how we’re wired. But today we got to
overcome this stuff, because it shows up at
home and in the classrooms. And what I would
posit, what I would put to you is that
one of the ways to address this stuff
in the classroom, in addition to everything
else that’s being done, is smaller inventions and
small nudges and small actions. One of the ways we
tackled this at Google when it came to things
like performance ratings, so the way ratings happened at
Google, was I’m the manager. I give my employer a rating,
but before it’s final, I sit down with a bunch
of other managers, and we all discuss our ratings. And there’s all
these things that happen in our brain, independent
of gender or ethnicity, that causes us to
make bad decisions. There’s something
called recency bias, and you have this
in education, too. If I just had a meeting with
someone, and it was awesome, and then two days later, I’m
doing performance reviews, I’m going to give them a
higher rating, because I just had this meeting with Sally. She was fantastic, and now,
of course, she’s awesome. It doesn’t matter what she did
the prior six or 12 months. It’s recency bias. Same thing in classrooms. You have a great interaction
with the kid on the playground or something happens, you’re
more likely to assess them better subconsciously,
particularly on qualitative subjects. Math is math, but
everything else, it’s tough. This stuff shows up. So what we did was we had a
one-page handout with here’s a bunch of biases, and you
just have this in front of you when you do ratings. And it reminds you, it’s
a trigger, it’s a nudge, and a checklist that says,
here’s a better way to do it. And this I say,
again, like this part with humility, because in this
field, you are the experts. I just have an opinion, and
everyone’s got one of those. But I would imagine there’s
a lot of small things you can do in terms of– and I would do it
in terms of trying one thing for three months. It’s not like here’s
six things we’re going to do to revamp things. But if you believe what I shared
with you about boys and girls raising their
hands, tell teachers like, hey, for the next month,
make sure that you alternate calling on a boy or girl. Just keep it 50-50. Or you can go two
to one the other way if you really want to be crazy. But just try it, and then
at the end of the month, let’s all sit together and
see if that made a difference. And if you want to
get sciencey about it, say, OK, we’re going to give
the kids a test on something or measurement of
their trajectory, and see if that
trajectory has changed. Or compare first and second
trimester performance, or something like that. But a small
intervention like that can have a huge, huge impact. So pick small things
people can do. And second thing is, then,
remind them about this stuff over time. Maybe there’s two or three you
rotate through over a year, or maybe there’s like– I mean, there’s a
handout people use. Maybe there’s a checklist. But keep coming back
to it periodically, and you will see changes. But it’s these little tiny
things, which, it turns out, are actually easy
to do in the moment, as long you don’t swamp people
with a lot of direction, that have a huge impact,
tremendous impact, on what’s going on. So the last thing– I guess there were
actually four things. This last thing, number
10, go back to number one. So all of this is
iterative, so figure out what your purpose is. And think about nudges
and small interventions, and constantly kind
of like iterate. Try it. Go back and do it again. Try it. Go back and do it again,
because it’s a lifelong process, and each time you go through
this cycle, you’ll get better. One of the challenges
when you’re trying to build organizations
or build individual capability is it’s not a linear path. And you know this from teaching. It’s not like someone gets
10% smarter every year, and then at the end of 10
years, they’re 100% smarter or whatever the
compounding would be. They learn. They slow down. They go on summer vacation. They come back. They’ve forgotten
everything you taught them. You have to start from scratch. So you have to keep iterating,
kind of moving through this. There’s one other resource
which I want to offer to you. And it’s not mine,
but it’s free. One of the things we were
big on while I was here, and I hope it
continues, was a focus on open sourcing and
sharing people practices, not just from Google, but from
lots of other organizations. So there’s a website
called Rework, and you can see the
address– it’s– where none of the things
that I’ve talked about are there exactly as
I’ve talked about them, but the manager
checklist stuff is there. And so there’s a
lot of other things. And there’s also things
that Google partnered with a lot of nonprofit
organizations and government organizations to do, and also,
that we just learned from them, or I should say they
learned from them, because I’m no longer there. So it’s free. It’s available. And then, of course, we’ll be
up to stuff over at, if you’re interested
in that kind of topic. But more than anything, it’s an
honor and privilege to be here, and I was not
kidding around when I said you have the most
important jobs there are. I mean, yeah, there’s a bunch of
engineers here building stuff, and there’s a bunch
of sales people, and there’s lots of jobs. But you actually shape
the future in a way that nobody else
on the planet does. And just like we spend
more time at work than we do anywhere
else, our children spend more time at
school than they do doing any other single thing. And it’s a bastion of– go
back to East Palo Alto– it’s a bastion of consistency
and safety and security and positive adult role models. Like the kids in Palo
Alto, the town itself, they’re going to be fine. You know, they’re
going to be fine. It’s all the other kids, the
other 70% or 80% of the kids out there that you’re
serving, and it’s an honor to be
able to talk to you a little bit about this stuff. And I’m incredibly
grateful as a kid who went up through
public education for all of the work all of you do. So I’ll pause there. We can take questions
and chat about whatever else you might like. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] And I’m only going
to call on the women, so guys, don’t worry about it. You’re good. Yeah. Thank you. AUDIENCE: You had mentioned
about [INAUDIBLE] work failures [INAUDIBLE] success. Where is that place that you
have failed and [INAUDIBLE]?? LASZLO BOCK: Oh, my god. Do you mean today, or do
you mean like in general? The other day, I screwed
something up at home this morning. The– I, actually, every
day, I use my commute home to think about what I learned
that day and what went wrong. I guess since I’m
at Google, there were a couple of things
I was wrong about. One was that I learned. We developed this
unconscious bias program to help people be more aware
of their biases of the company. And I remember telling
the team, we’ve got to make this mandatory. This is important. Like, everyone should
be aware of this. And the team was
like, don’t make it mandatory, because people
will totally shut down. And I was wrong. So we did not make it mandatory. About 60% of the company went
through the program voluntarily in the first six months or so. And what was crazy was
that was enough to change the tenor and conversation
inside the company. I mean, it didn’t
make Google perfect, but what happened was
suddenly, you’d be in meetings, and somebody would
interrupt a woman, or a white person would
interrupt a black person, and a white or Indian person
in the company would go like, no, no, no, that’s not cool. Let her finish. And so it showed up
in these small ways, and I was wrong in that I
thought you had to force it. But number one, turns
out people learn better when you
don’t, which was what inspired this part of the talk. But the second was I also
thought we had to have everyone learn, and it turns
out we didn’t. You just had to get to
enough of the people that the culture changes
and that some things, which were previously acceptable,
are no longer acceptable. And it’s just like– it blew my mind. Great question. What else? Yeah. AUDIENCE: So in
your mission, you said that it was to find people,
to grow them, and to keep them. And obviously, a
lot of the things that we’ve been seeing
the last few days, we can see why
you’re keeping them, or why [INAUDIBLE] keeps
them and grows them as a professional. Can you talk to us a little
bit about how you find people and what that practice is like? LASZLO BOCK: Yeah,
so the question was, going back to find,
grow, keep, you’ve got an exposure to
how Google keeps them. We feed them a lot. But how do you
actually find them? So there’s a few things. When the company was small,
there was a huge focus on, go to all the fancy schools. Hire all the people with fancy
pedigrees, high test scores. That was efficient
but wrong, because 2/3 of people in this country
don’t finish college. So 1/3 don’t ever go. 1/3 do some. 1/3 do. And there’s really talented,
amazing people out there. Then there’s all the biases that
cause you to overlook people and so on, and your top
performer at a state school is going to be way better
than your average performer, or even top 10% performer off in
a place like Harvard and so on. So we started looking at many
different places, and part of that– one of the lessons there was
that it took real investment to build relationships. So the first year we
went to Howard University to try to recruit, we
had exactly zero people hired from Howard
for internships or for anything else. And what we realized was
what the students told us was like, yeah, you’re
Google, but you just showed up. And Microsoft has been
there for 15 years, and Goldman Sachs have been,
all these other companies. So we had to invest and
build a relationship, so lesson one was
we went to places that we had not gone to before. And that’s actually expanded. I think Google, when
I was last here, was recruiting at something
like 700 different schools around the world, so
casting a really wide net. Internet makes it a lot cheaper. And actually the
Google for Jobs that’s now integrated in the
search that we worked on when I was here, that
makes it much easier, because it’ll
scrape up your job. The second was we changed
the hiring standard from– I almost said, what
do you look like? It was never explicitly
like physically what do you look like, but what
do you look like in terms of did you go to
these right schools and have these right scores
to what’s our assessment of your capability? And there’s four attributes
everyone gets screened for. I think these are
still the same four? Yes. It’s only been seven
months, but who knows? Yeah. So general cognitive ability,
which is not an IQ test. It’s problem solving,
and how do they kind of– how quickly can they absorb
and integrate information? Emergent leadership, which
is different from leadership. Leadership is I’m
in charge, and I was president of this
and captain of this, and that is leadership. Emergent leadership
is I see a problem. I’m going to step in. I’m going to help. My piece is done. I’m going to step out and let
somebody else take the lead. The third is what we
used to call Googliness, and Googliness has
two components– intellectual
humility, which is– I mean you can have a
big ego and be here, but you have to be willing
to admit you’re wrong when presented with new information. And the second is
conscientiousness, because if you look at the
science of what predicts job performance, the best
predictor is actually having them do the job. Duh. The next best is
cognitive ability. So how do they learn? And the best thing to add to
that is conscientiousness. Do they care about the
environment around them? Do they care about the people? The least important thing
was actual experience in the field and
expertise in the field, because it turns out if you
have those first things, you can develop that last thing. And then the other last
big change that happened was when we were small, most of
the hires were from referrals. And we found that as we got
bigger, referrals dried up. Referrals were also
really homogeneous. My friends are all going to
like the same teams and all this kind of stuff. So we built a pretty
significant capability to go out and actually find
people that we call sourcing, and so it’s all about just
going out and finding people, because the very best people
aren’t looking for work. I mean like all of
you, like you’re here because you’re
really, really good, and you’re not
picking up the phone. You’re not sending out resumes. You’re valued by
your organizations. You’re doing good,
important, meaningful work. But you’re the
people, if you wanted to build the best school on
the planet, you would hire. So that’s harder to
do with the resources in an academic environment. What I would offer,
suggest, make up is what you don’t often see
is different schools pooling resources in these kinds
of ways, because in a way, like if you have schools
within like a 10-mile radius or a five-mile radius, not every
school’s going to be hiring for every position every year,
but they all should constantly be kind of looking. And so if you start
sharing candidates or even had like a shared
person at the district level whose whole job is to go
out and spend time on LinkedIn or look at other
school districts or what have you, who
is constantly generating a stream of people, even if
you only need that person once every two years, you’re sharing
the cost with everybody else. And then you have
that capability. Great question. AUDIENCE: Google, the employee
survey, is that public? Can other people see that? [INAUDIBLE] how you make
yeah, the question was this management
survey– is that public? Is that available? And the second was,
what’s the impact? How big an impact
has that had on kind of the rankings as
number one employer and how people feel
about the company? Is that fair? So it is public,
completely public. So it was one of the
first things we shared, and the public
name was Project– well, the internal name,
which you can Google, is Project Oxygen, because
the idea is managers, good managers are as
essential as oxygen. There’s resources
on the Rework site. There’s also, if you just Google
Project Oxygen New York Times, there’s a great “New
York Times” write-up. They actually eventually did a
Harvard Business Review case. But if you just look at the
“New York Times” write-up, it’s got the eight
factors, and then there’s three factors which are
really bad indicators. And it’s basically, you
ask, does the manager do these things, or does the
employee do these things? And whatever your scale is– high to low, agree to disagree. That’s it. And then you just
sort of– everybody gets a report back that
says, here’s your score on this question, and here’s
the average of these scores. And here’s how your
average compares to everyone else’s average. That is– that’s
the whole thing. But if you go on the Rework
site, you can find it, or the “New York Times”
article is great for it. I actually– I think that’s one
of the more impactful things we did, because it
touched everyone. There was a clear,
measurable effect, so it was kind of
self-reinforcing. And one of the hard things about
leading large organizations is there’s very rarely a
one size fits all answer. And even in small
organizations, that’s tough. And what was beautiful
about this was I didn’t have to know what
training to send you to or which of these
things you were weak on, or across the
5,000 managers, when we started doing this,
like who is good at what, and customize. I just told everyone,
these are the things. And then this goes back to
the freedom is free thing. You get better at it. You figure out
how to get better. The trick was– and this is
not in the “New York Times” write-up, the last
question on the survey is always my manager shares
these results with me, because that makes the manager
accountable to the team. And the only way you
get 100% is if you’re really good at sharing
the results back, and that causes the manager
to improve, work on it, get better. But yeah, it had a
really big impact. I do think the rankings
are a little goofy. I mean it’s always like the
high-rated companies that are like, oh, the
rankings don’t matter. But I think there’s some
weirdness behind it, so yeah, take that with a
grain of salt. What else, if anything? How are we on time? SPEAKER: Maybe time for one more
question, if anybody has it. Otherwise. LASZLO BOCK: Any last questions? SPEAKER: Burning questions? All right. Well, then– oh, we got one. LASZLO BOCK: Is that OK? SPEAKER: Yep. AUDIENCE: As a principal
of low income kids, what can I do to prepare
them for a job here? LASZLO BOCK: As principal
of low income kids, what can I do to prepare
them for a job here? The research suggests
the most important thing that kids learn in sort of pre-K
through second or fourth grade is our social and
emotional skills, not the academic skills. The ability to
function in a team, the ability to
delay gratification, the ability to show resilience
in the face of failure– those are, if you
look at what incomes are 15 and 20 years out
and job level attained, those are the things that
most predict performance. Sorry? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. LASZLO BOCK: Yeah,
they were resilience in the face of failure. What did I say? Well, social emotional
skills is a high one, but then the examples were–
there’s a whole cluster of things underneath that. So team and
collaboration skills. What was the second one? Self-regulation, yeah. Yeah, there goes my credibility. But no, those are
the attributes, which would stick with
you throughout life. For Google
specifically– and then I’ll close with one other
thing, which your question just reminded me of, because it
relates to low income kids. To get into Google, it’s funny. I always used to index high. Like actually at Humu,
I just hired somebody, because what I saw
on their resume was that they went to San
Jose State, so bachelor’s and master’s at San Jose State. And they did well and
strong academic performance for our People Science team. But the reason I zeroed in
on that for this young woman was you go to a state school
for a couple of reasons. One is you’re
smart, but you don’t have the role models to tell
you, here’s the process, and here’s how you navigate
it, which I didn’t have. I lucked into it. Or you just don’t
have the money. And so I meet her. We start interviewing. We hire her. She’s amazing. And then eventually, I ask
her, what’s your story? And she’s in her late 20s. She’s had 13 jobs. All the time she
was an undergrad, she was a manager at a
Claire’s like in a mall, one of these earring places. She said she’s pierced
over 2,000 ears. So when I was at Google, one
of the things I’d look for is if somebody went to a
community college, then transferred, that’s a signal. If somebody went to a state
school and performed well, that’s a signal. If somebody had a
job that was not– I went to Kenya and
helped build churches, but the job was like, you know,
I worked at a Gas and Sip. I worked at a 7-Eleven. Like I wanted to see those kids. The ideal path, of course,
is you do well academically. So the conventional
advice, and this is like for any company, the way
to stand out– so for Google, perform well at
whatever you are. Show an increasing rate of
progression in your results, so not just I did well
here, and I did well here, but I did well here faster. Once you’re in the workforce,
if you’re getting promoted, if you’re getting promoted
faster than every two years, that’s a good signal. But for students, absolutely,
identify if you’re from a low income household. Identify if you’re the
first in your family. Identify– and it’s not
about writing a sob story. It’s just like put
it in your resume. This is the context, right? That’s really, really important. The thing– the generic advice
is for most organizations– so Google’s a bit of a
special case, and I’m biased. Most organizations
focus on brands, and they focus on academics
and all these stupid things. So the way to cheat your
way on that side is– because not everyone gets to
work for Procter and Gamble or some fancy brand everyone’s
going to recognize– is wherever you work, try
to do project work that connects to a fancy brand. And mention that in
the bullet points on your resume or
your application, because people will
be scanning that. And the first people who kind
of make it through the filter– again, not at Google, but
like in the real world– the first people
are the people who went to all the right
schools and right companies. The next people are the
people whose resumes mention those words,
and they get called up. And then eventually, you
get to everybody else. So that’s signaling and
branding is really important. The thing I’ll
close on, if I can– actually, my wife has a friend
named Michele Colbert Krantz, who’s a principal at a school
called La Mesa Junior High School in Santa
Clarita, California. So it’s a few hundred
miles south of here. It’s just north of Los Angeles. And largely Hispanic school,
largely low income school– she wanted to be at that
school for those reasons. And she does a couple of
things that are really amazing, and the students love
her, and the school is now a high-performing school. And it’s a lot of work. She greets every kid every
morning, shakes their hand, looks them in the
eye, says their name. And the other thing she does– and I was reminded of it,
because you guys had these. And all I could see was
this kind and brave, so she does this thing, where– and you know, there’s
like Kind bars. So what Michele does, and
she’s done this for years, she gives out Kudos
bars, because she doesn’t have a budget. It’s a low income school. So she goes to Costco,
buys like 40 Kudos bars, and when she sees a kid
doing something well, or she sees a staff member
doing something well, she’ll carry three or
four in her pocket. She just gifts the kid. And what’s wild is they
don’t always eat them, because it’s a trophy. It’s a memento. It means something. And it costs almost nothing. Those are the small nudges,
the small interventions. It is incredibly hard. Like, you guys don’t get
the kids for that long. I mean, you’re the
source of stability, but you don’t actually
have them for that long. They’re in your classroom. Then they move on. And teaching is a solitary
profession in a lot of ways. I mean, you’re doing what
you do in your classroom. Yes, you can compare notes. Yes, you do. But it’s like you
doing this thing, and let me try something
differently this year, and I’ll know in 20 years
if it was a good idea. That’s really hard. But there’s so many small little
things that stick with people. And for those of you
who are administrators, I know you’re all
going to be coaches. And I don’t know what the
content is that you guys have, so I hope I don’t screw it up. But really try to focus in. My advice would be, what are the
small things you can ask people to change and that they
can try again and again and run in small experiments? So they try something. Go try this for two weeks. Let’s talk again and
see how it works. Now let’s try. Now stop doing it for
two weeks, because you want the people on the other
end to experience not just that it worked, if
it worked, but you wanted them to experience what
happens if you take it away. So do the 50-50 calling on kids. Then stop. See what happens, because
you want people to feel this, if you want to change behavior. You want that connection. And I can’t wait to
hear what you all do. It’s super exciting. So thank you all
for having me here. [APPLAUSE]

7 thoughts on “Laszlo Bock: “Education Lessons from Work Rules! That Will Transform How […]” | Talks at Google”

  1. 4:23 – "I left Google fairly recently. This is what I did when I was at Google." — Laszlo Bock

    4:30 – "When I was at Google so I led people operations and this was it and we keep the way we came up with this mission find people grow them keep them we had our first global get together for the people operations team and literally 30 minutes before it we had no idea what our unifying mission was going to be and this amazing woman named Judy overt said it isn't just these three things and so the unifying spirit behind everything was we did was find exceptional people grow them as fast and as much as you can't give them the tools the capabilities the experiences to get better and then keep them here as long as possible." — Laszlo Bock

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