Best Practices in Corporate Culture from Google

How new CEO Marissa Mayer is using best practices from Google to improve Yahoo’s corporate culture


‘Best practices’ is a term consultants love to throw around.  Observe what works well and implement it in your organization.  Seems simple enough.  How often, though, do attempts to incorporate lessons learned from industry actually pan out?  So often, an energized stakeholder will champion a cause, only to have it never gain traction internally.  “That won’t work here.”  “No way the CEO would approve that!”

Sometimes a good idea never gets off the ground because of a stubborn internal view of “this is how we’ve always done it.”  Other times, an initiative will lack the full backing of the C-suite and the teeth to go with it.  Even then, attempts at incorporating best practices can still go awry due to poor change management planning and implementation.

So, you’ve got a great idea, but how do you drive real change to your organization?

  • Explain the business rationale.  Why does this idea make sense for us to incorporate?
  • Connect the dots.  Get your team on the same page.
  • Prepare for change.  Do you know how this will affect different levels of the organization?
  • Communicate the change.  Articulate the why to those affected, along with the how.
  • Know where to find help.  No matter how good your idea may be, it is just the nature of some organizations to reject internal change; be prepared to bring in an expert who can lend some credence to your efforts.

Let’s go to Yahoo! for a specific example.  The tech giant seemed to install a new CEO every time you blinked.  Its reputation in the industry was far from sterling, in fact, potential employees were avoiding Yahoo! like the plague.  Then the board of directors brought in a new CEO from Google.  A pregnant CEO.  Though the move only recently happened, Marissa Mayer is already making waves at Yahoo! and things seem to be on the upturn. So what does all this mean?  And what does the fact that she is pregnant have to do with anything?

I was asked about just that for a piece in CareerBliss: Marissa Mayer Using Google Charm to Improve Yahoo Culture Hiring a pregnant CEO can be seen as a stroke of genius by Yahoo!.  By simply doing that, they’ve greatly improved their standing as an organization that values family and encourages its employees to find a good work-life balance.  Regardless of the fact that she will be working throughout her pregnancy, there is still an improved perception of the company, which should help Yahoo! take a step in the right direction regarding talent acquisition.

Whether your great idea is in its formative stage or if you’re deep in the muck of the implementation, Stegmeier Consulting Group can help.  We can help you achieve your vision as we offer services to assist with the following:

  • Presenting the business case
  • Executive education/development
  • Change management planning
  • Change management implementation
  • Live, facilitated training
  • Development of communications materials
  • Help with middle managers

We specialize in workplace initiatives and are recognized globally as thought leaders on the following subjects:

  • Work-life balance
  • Talent attraction
  • Talent retention
  • A multi-generational workforce
  • Flexwork
  • Telework
  • Mobile workers
  • Work from home programs
  • Alternative workplace strategies

Contact us today, and let’s talk about how we can help fuel your organization’s success.


Matthew Stegmeier is a Consultant with Stegmeier Consulting Group, a globally-recognized leader in workplace change management known for helping organizations effectively implement telework programs and other alternative workplace strategies.

He has been instrumental in applying the firm’s best practices and proprietary Critical Influence methodology to clients’ mobility, flex work, shared-space environments, and other alternative workplace strategies. Matthew Stegmeier is a graduate of Miami University’s Richard T. Farmer School of Business and co-author of the forthcoming book, CAVE People in the Workplace: Managing Citizens Against Virtually Everything.