Today, Microsoft announced it would lay off 15% if its entire workforce to help refocus its business. Having experienced the true horror of Windows 8 first hand, I agree that change is needed.
But in this process something surprised me. The new Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella (at left), sent a 3,000 word plus memo to all emplyees explaining the need for change. As he outlined his formula for change at Microsoft, he actually articulated a formula that any company wanting to keep with up wth rapid change could learn from.
Here are some great quotes from the memo, and you can read the entire memo at the link at the bottom. The quotes:
Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture to deliver on this core strategy. Organizations will change. Mergers and acquisitions will occur. Job responsibilities will evolve. New partnerships will be formed. Tired traditions will be questioned. Our priorities will be adjusted. New skills will be built. New ideas will be heard. New hires will be made. Processes will be simplified. And if you want to thrive at Microsoft and make a world impact, you and your team must add numerous more changes to this list that you will be enthusiastic about driving.
I am committed to making Microsoft the best place for smart, curious, ambitious people to do their best work.
First, we will obsess over our customers.
Obsessing over our customers is everybody's job. I'm looking to the engineering teams to build the experiences our customers love. I'm looking to the sales and marketing organizations to showcase our unique value propositions and drive customer usage first and foremost.
Second, we know the changes above will bring on the need for new training, learning and experimentation. Over the next six months you will see new investments in our workforce, such as enhanced training and development and more opportunities to test new ideas and incubate new projects. I have also heard from many of you that changing jobs is challenging. We will change the process and mindset so you can more seamlessly move around the company to roles where you can have the most impact and personal growth. All of this, too, comes with accountability and the need to deliver great work for customers, but it is clear that investing in future learning and growth has great benefit for everyone.
Finally, every team across Microsoft must find ways to simplify and move faster, more efficiently. We will increase the fluidity of information and ideas by taking actions to flatten the organization and develop leaner business processes. Culture change means we will do things differently. Often people think that means everyone other than them. In reality, it means all of us taking a new approach and working together to make Microsoft better. To this end, I've asked each member of the Senior Leadership Team to evaluate opportunities to advance their innovation processes and simplify their operations and how they work.
Rainer Maria Rilke's words say it best: "The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens."
We must each have the courage to transform as individuals. We must ask ourselves, what idea can I bring to life? What insight can I illuminate? What individual life could I change? What customer can I delight? What new skill could I learn? What team could I help build? What orthodoxy should I question?
With the courage to transform individually, we will collectively transform this company and seize the great opportunity ahead.
Great words! Read them all at this link: