What Startups Can Learn From Satya Nadella

Microsoft recently exceeded expectations for its 2018 3rd quarter reports with a whopping $30.6 billion revenue led by a strong performance by its cloud business platform. Credit goes to its chief executive officer Satya Nadella, who after assuming the leadership role in 2014, turned things around and brought the giant tech company on an epic rebound that’s one for the books.

After falling short on its efforts for smartphones, cloud storage, and search engines, Microsoft was able to triple its share price value and regain its mark as the richest publicly-listed company above its competitors five years after Nadella took over.

If you wish to venture into startups, there are lots of things you could learn from how Nadella maneuvered Microsoft back to glory and we’ve broken down a few for you below:

A culture of collaboration.

Nadella started Microsoft’s return to the peak of the industry with an email to his employees. His message focused on how cloud and mobile will soon dictate Microsoft’s future, and how the industry “respects innovation rather than tradition”. From this, the CEO went on to establish a culture motivated by collaboration and productivity.

Nadella got rid of the regular negative performance reviews done by managers and established the annual Microsoft Hackathon. This eliminated competition among Microsoft teams. Instead, he encouraged them to work together on certain developments sharing their respective skills and ideas with one another. With renewed cohesion, Microsoft went back on track in competition with today’s digital giants.

Your startup can also benefit from the same approach especially if it is adopting a coworking environment. By giving your employees flexibility in their individual capacities, they can share ideas and help each other produce better results for bigger and more innovative projects.

Positive synergy.

It didn’t hurt the company when Nadella admitted defeat to its competitors Apple and Samsung for mobile supremacy during a 2016 tech conference. The CEO simply turned his attention to how Microsoft can win big by developing apps for Android and iOS systems. With an optimistic view on partnerships, Nadella made Microsoft the most successful open-source code contributor in 2017.

Today’s startup companies can emulate Microsoft’s maturity in shelving legacy aside and placing partnerships front and center for better innovations. By applying Nadella’s method of positive synergy, Microsoft was able to beat Google in acquiring the open source platform GitHub for $7.5 billion, a move that translated to more profits for the tech company.

Engagement and acquisition.

After taking over the CEO position at Microsoft, Nadella placed investments on cloud and AI technologies and employed computer experts from various fields by the thousands. The result was the launch of Intelligent Cloud which now stands as the world’s largest money-making commercial cloud company, along with several acquisitions that work to make AI accessible to more developers. In this way, Nadella was able to streamline Microsoft’s way of transforming industries digitally and assert the company’s role as an industry force to reckon with. By this, Nadella teaches us to transform how things work on an organizational level and that branching out to other proponents who can help develop better improvements make great returns.  


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