One of the most impressive things Google, as a company, does internally pretty much since day one of their existence is TGIF (which stands for “Thank God it’s Friday”). TGIF is a weekly all-hands (back in the day on Fridays, today on a Thursday to accommodate Googlers in all parts of the world) where the Google founders Larry and Sergey bring the whole company together in an informal way. If you are at Google HQ on the Mountain View Campus, you can walk over to the big cafeteria Charlies, if you are remote you can watch a live stream at your desk or your office together with your colleagues.
During TGIF Larry, Sergey and many leaders of the organization share openly what they are working on, present new initiatives, celebrate wins and welcome new Googlers (“Nooglers”) and take very open and direct questions for which they provide candid feedback. Also, pretty much every time someone creates a couple of GIF memes which make the rounds during and after the meeting.
It is incredibly impressive to see a publicly traded company be so open, transparent and profoundly trusting of their employees – rarely does anything from TGIF ever leak. Also, equally impressive is that Larry and Sergey make it a priority to be at the meeting every single week.
TGIF creates trust and alignment. It is incredibly powerful.
A lot of (small) startups do something similar on a regular basis. However, somehow many companies lose this when they grow bigger. The daily evening ritual turns into a TGIF (which is a good cadence IMHO), which then turns into a monthly meeting which later becomes a quarterly meeting with the occasional email from the CEO – as we are all so busy.
I encourage you to create your own TGIF with a steady, regular cadence and a clear understanding that it is one of the most important and impactful things you, as a CEO or leader, have to do.
P.S. Wondering what TGIF at Google looks like? I found this video from a TGIF at Google in 1999…