Since launching this campaign towards Microsoft numerous topics have been examined within this blog. Typically, a news topic concerning Microsoft will foster a post or comment. However, this post was created from different circumstances.
In the past year I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to attend Leadership Summits. Last year, I attended a Leadership Summit which included Colin Powell as a guest speaker.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend Maximum Impact. Refer to http://www.giantimpact.com/aftertheevent
This event included numerous guest speakers. It included a founder of the fastest growing advertising agency in the United States. It included the President of Disney Parks. It included former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
While sitting listening to the various leaders it caused simple reflection and analysis into required practices for a leader. It also caused reflection concerning Microsoft.
One of the guest speakers presented a topic called Play at Work. Also refer to http://www.creativityatwork.com/articlesContent/playwork.htm
The guest speaker had the opportunity to meet with an executive at Google. The executive discussed how Google has created a culture of "Purposeful Play". It was discussed how fostering this environment within the workplace can improve quality of work, retention and attract new talent.
In contrast is Microsoft. Although the article is dated 2005 it is still pertinent. Refer to: http://minimsft.blogspot.com/2005/10/middle-managers-bureaucracy-and-no.html
It is still pertinent primarly because a reader can still view the same type of comments on the Mini blog. After four years since this article, employees are still commenting on layers of middle management and bureaucracy. Refer to http://minimsft.blogspot.com/
Perhaps, this is why employees indicated within the "New Strategy" that "middle management" needs to be streamlined.
During the Maximum Impact seminars or speeches there were numerous other important comments. Al Weiss the President of Disney Parks referred to "Servant Leadership". The company Chi-Fil-A ,the sponsor of the event, commented on pursuing "customer satisfaction".
Continental Airlines discussed the importance of teamwork, dignity and respect and how they are held in the same regard as profitability. The company also recognised that it had to reward and celebrate success with everyone. It was stated that no group takes credit for success or blame for failure. Everyone is considered a team and integral to the overall success of the company.
All these comments caused analysis and comparison of Microsoft. Microsoft is far removed from "Servant Leadership". The mentality of Microsoft is focus on yourself and your career, your success and when you advance up the levels "help yourself". This is a stark contrast from "Servant Leadership". What about empowering your employees?
What about advancing up the ranks and creating an environment where your subordinates can excel and become their best at the job?
This mentality subsequently creates an environment where employees are empowered to succeed at their role.
There is the issue of making customer satisfaction "top priority". Ford Motor Company recognised this importance when they launched "Ford. Quality is Job One." Then there is Microsoft. Enough said.
Microsoft has various divisions and teams. This campaign obtained a letter from a former employee that indicated a monetary reward for accomplishing a goal. Comments on Mini demonstrate that Microsoft rewards teams or groups for success. This creates dissention and animosity within the company. Microsoft is required to adopt a culture where the entire company celebrates success. This will create a team environment as oppossed to isulating a group for failure or success.
Mr. Ballmer's comment regarding "Developers, Developers" creates division. Everyone, celebrates the success and everyone is considered important. This is the corporate culture that fosters productivity and success.
There is also the issue of ensuring that dignity, respect and teamwork are valued with the same regard as profitability. It appears evident that at Microsoft there is no real dignity and respect and the only focus is "Profits". The primary example of this mentality is the recent layoffs. A company with $21 billion in cash announces layoffs. The only reason was profits and appease Wall Street. Secondly, announcing layoffs then forcing people to wait. This totally lacks respect towards employees.
There is a very simple lesson that can be drawn from the various leadership speeches. The better you treat employees, the more efficient your company will be. The more effecient your company becomes, it equates to innovation, increased productivity, customer satisfaction and more profitable.
This left one final question. The Maximum Impact Conference was viewed by 50,000 leaders in numerous countries. Was anybody from the Microsoft SLT in attendance?
If you want to be a "Leading Company" you are required to have "True Leaders".
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