Earlier today, Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella sent a lengthy letter to Microsoft employees around the world.
The tech world is abuzz about the letter, which reveals some interesting points about Microsoft’s future.
I don’t expect you to read the full letter, so I summed up the most important points below. If you do (for whatever reason) want to read the full letter, which is titled “Bold Ambition & Our Core”, then you can do so here.
“Nothing is off the table”
Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of the speech is that “nothing is off the table” when it comes to changing Microsoft’s culture and future. Satya claims that he and his executive staff are taking “important steps to visibly change” the culture at Microsoft.
For years, Microsoft has held a reputation as a tough place to work. Reports of cutthroat office politics and staff fragmentation have portrayed Microsoft as a totally different work environment compared to the fun-loving workplaces of Apple and Google.
The “nothing is off the table quote” reveals a lot about Satya’s intentions for the company:
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
More than just a “devices and services” company
A few months ago, Microsoft stopped calling itself a “software company”. Instead, Microsoft and Satya started calling themselves a “devices and services” company.
In the letter, Satya states that the company must move beyond “devices and services” and needs to “hone in on our unique strategy”.
Satya suggests Microsoft brand itself as a company that helps people “get stuff done”. That “stuff” includes term papers, painting, poetry, running a Formula 1 racing team, and running cities.
Instead of a simple devices and services company, Satya states in his letter that Microsoft “is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world.”
Satya ends his letter by saying “with the courage to transform individually, we will collectively transform this company and seize the great opportunity ahead”.
He encourages each and every employee to adopt a new culture where they “obsess” over consumers and bring individual ideas to life.
The future looks bright for Microsoft
Microsoft is investing heavily in the Xbox One. It also appears to be fixing the mistakes in made in Windows 8 with Windows 9 – or whatever the next Windows version may be.
These facts combined with Microsoft’s modernization of its engineering processes should create a bright future for Microsoft.
Of course, Satya’s letter is all talk and no walk at this point. Talking about corporate culture change is easy: actually changing that culture can be difficult.