CEO Satya Nadella: Microsoft's future is not about past success, it's more about reinvention

CEO Satya Nadella: Microsoft's future is not about past success, it's more about reinvention

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took the helm earlier this month and Microsoft watchers, along with consumers, are eager to see what new changes he has up his sleeve for the devices and services giant. In a recent interview with the NYTimes, Nadella spoke about his leadership style, as well his goal for the company.

"Longevity in this business is about being able to reinvent yourself or invent the future. In our case, given 39 years of success, it’s more about reinvention. We’ve had great successes, but our future is not about our past success. It’s going to be about whether we will invent things that are really going to drive our future," Nadella states in the interview.

Nadella doesn't believe in the company's past success as a means to identify the company's future. Instead, He believes reinvention is the key to future success. In the interview, Nadella reveals that he isn't big on people who say, "this is how we do it." For those of you who work in large organizations that have been in the business for years, you can relate to that phrase. 

Nadella, on the other hand, believes that statement is a dangerous trap. He believes one should take valuable experience and apply it to the current context and subsequently raise standards. In other words, use what you know and make the company better.

"given 39 years of success, it’s more about reinvention"

"I fundamentally believe that if you are not self-aware, you’re not learning. And if you’re not learning, you’re not going to do useful things in the future," Nadella adds.

An organizational culture is formed from years of operation and is by far one of the most difficult changes to make. As a leader trying to make a culture change in an organization, you are faced with changing employees' attitudes, assumptions, practices, and much more.  The new vision needs to become the new norm in order for the change to be effective, or else it fails. 

Nadella admits that Microsoft has done well thus far, but now its time for innovation and fostering new growth. "Culturally, I think we have operated as if we had the formula figured out, and it was all about optimizing, in its various constituent parts, the formula. Now it is about discovering the new formula," he adds.

This kind of change will not occur overnight or because the organizational chart was shuffled around. Instead, Nadella believes Microsoft employees need to own an innovation agenda and collectively share that vision.

Nadella's goal is to reinvent. What could that mean? What does Nadella have planned? We will likely get our first glimpse at what Microsoft has in store for us at the company's upcoming BUILD 2014 Developer Conference in April. I'm sure we will be hearing more about this shift towards reinvention - after all, Nadella's role as company CEO has just begun.

Head over to the VIA link below to read the full interview, including how Nadella hires employees and what kinds of questions he asks.

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