Genius hour is a movement. One of the catalysts was Google. The search-engine giant allows its engineers to spend 20% of their time working on new ideas or mastering new skills. It’s worked so well that 50% of Google’s projects have been created during this creative time period. Have you heard of Gmail or Google News? Thought so. These passion projects were the byproduct of 20% Time.
Although taking a Genius Hour is a step in the right direction, the exponential leader and organization must not stop here. This precious sliver of autonomy is simply inadequate.
In most cases, a full 70% of time is sub-optimal. We’ve shared in previous books that the exponential leader must master “6 Principles of Time Travel.” The first principle states that you must upgrade your use of time. To illustrate this, we give you a quick lesson in Pocket of Genius, our 41st book in the Exponential Leader series, on what we call the 20Y Time Matrix—a formula for quantifying your per hour value of four different types of time: A time, B time, C time, and D time.
By allowing your entire team to co-sculpt their Pocket of Genius and take up increased residency there, you will harness exponential value. The problem with allowing HR to handle career development is that it cuts the manager out of the process. Pocket of Genius sculpting (beats job sculpting) requires an ongoing conversation between an employee or team member and his or her manager.
This will go mainstream. I predicted this nearly 20 years ago in a paper I wrote in college entitled Future Fitting the Talent War: A Hybrid for Success. In case you were wondering, I did get an A. Today, we’re doing everything in our power to make this the norm. Truly meaningful work fully engages our passion, strengths, and potential to generate exponential value. Mission: Restoration Dignity.
Again, we’re writing in the exponential context of saving 20 years at a time. Ignore the idea of Pocket of Genius sculpting if you want to waste 20 years at a time.