Matthieu Pellerin is the founder and head of Google’s Growth Lab. His team is responsible for activating Google’s crisis response, as well as supporting growth across Google’s consumer apps, devices, and business solutions. The team runs more than 1,000 campaigns per quarter. Here he shares how he’s thinking about growth in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
My team’s mandate is, at the most basic level, to grow Google’s brand and business. Growth is part of our DNA and even our name: Growth Lab. But as the world grapples with a global pandemic, growth is not necessarily top of mind for anyone. Our raison d’être continues to be driving responsible and sustainable growth, but we’re now operating under a new mantra of “organizational agility.”
Over the last four weeks, Growth Lab has played an important role in Google’s global response to the unfolding coronavirus pandemic. We’ve had to rapidly change focus, reprioritize, and remain resilient. I know many of you are grappling with the same challenges, and it has not been easy. But the more agile we can be, the better we can address our users’ needs and deliver helpful information and experiences. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I wanted to share three changes we’ve made as a team that embody this new mantra. I hope they’re helpful to businesses also trying to respond quickly to uncertainty while operating 24/7.
Prioritize ruthlessly and often
As the scale and severity of the pandemic became clear, we realized that we had to revise our 2020 plans and shift priorities and resources. We went through a “stop, start, continue” exercise: Stop anything that wasn’t mission critical; start any COVID-19 related work; and continue any crucial work as normal.