Google modules are the perfect example of how a company can embrace change, even the random, unpredictable, messy, business model challenging change, that is the subject of so much fear within organizations. Modules are little applications which can change anything from the functionality to the appearance of Google’s website and they are built using an API written and released by Google. If you haven’t checked out the unofficial Google modules site yet, you should if only to check out the possibilities of modules.
Whats really interesting about modules to me is the amount of control they give to users. Think about it. There are modules to change the logo , the look of the page, the primary links and even modules to highlight criticisms of Google itself. And the vast majority of these changes to Google’s multi-billion dollar homepage are not with the companies control. From the third-party developers that create these modules, to the directories that list them Google has little control over what gets created and how its used. Of course, they can always modify the API, disable personalized homepages or exert more control over the kinds of modules that run on their site, but this would stymie the creativity and passion that Google has tapped into with its modules.
So the question is how can the lunk-heads that run large companies tap into their “inner Google” and find creative ways to not only release control to their stakeholders but engage and re-energize them in the process.