Google has historically maintained an open internal culture since its founding. Recent years have changed that and one source of leaks has been the weekly company-wide meetings hosted by Sundar Pichai and other top executives. The CEO announced today that the weekly TGIF is becoming a monthly occurrence next year.
In an email attained by The Verge, the Google CEO describes how TGIF “traditionally provided a place to come together, share progress, and ask questions.” Pichai notes three big challenges to the current format — which is actually hosted on Thursday afternoons despite the acronym — that allows employees to vote on and ask direct questions to executives.
The most notable is a “coordinated effort to share our conversations outside of the company after every TGIF.” Various recordings have emerged in recent years following very contentious topics that led Google to restrict playback after the fact. According to Pichai, this “affected our ability to use TGIF as a forum for candid conversations on important topics.”
Other reasons touted today include how some Googlers have different expectations for TGIF. A typical session includes a presentation on new products followed by Q&A, while Pichai says viewership is now only at 25% “compared to 80% a decade ago.”
Google’s solution going into 2020 is making TGIF a “monthly meeting focused on product and business strategy, with Q&A on the topics being discussed.” Meanwhile, town halls will be used for “important workplace issues.”
We’re hoping this mix of forums will provide a better experience for Googlers. We know you have only so much time to attend meetings and we want to spend it well. We also have to account for how we spend our time as a company.
More about TGIF:
- Larry Page, Sergey Brin have been absent from Google’s TGiF town halls in 2019
- Google co-founders attended their first 2019 town hall last month
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