Memo From Steve Ballmer to Microsoft Employees: Let's Go!

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today announced a reorganization of the company around four areas: operating systems; devices and studios; applications and services; and cloud and enterprise.

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Process wise, each major initiative of the company (product or high-value scenario) will have a team that spans groups to ensure we succeed against our goals. Our strategy will drive what initiatives we agree and commit to at my staff meetings. Most disciplines and product groups will have a core that delivers key technology or services and then a piece that lines up with the initiatives. Each major initiative will have a champion who will be a direct report to me or one of my direct reports. The champion will organize to drive a cross-company team for success, but my whole staff will have commitment to the initiative's success. We will also have outgrowths on those major initiatives that may involve only a single product group. Certainly, succeeding with mobile devices, Windows, Office 365 and Azure will be foundational. Xbox and Bing will also be key future contributors to financial success. Our focus on high-value activities -- serious fun, meetings, tasks, research, information assurance and IT/Dev workloads -- also will get top-level championship.

Culturally, our core values don't change, but how we express them and act day to day must evolve so we work together to win. The keys are the following:

Nimble

In a world of continuous services, the timeframe for product releases, customer interaction and competitive response is dramatically shorter. As a company, we need to make the right decisions, and make them more quickly, balancing all the customer and business imperatives. Each employee must be able to solve problems more quickly and with more real-time data than in the past.

Communicative

In the new, rapid-turn world, we need to communicate in ways that don't just exchange information but drive agility, action, ownership and accountability.

Collaborative

Collaborative doesn't just mean "easy to get along with." Collaboration means the ability to coordinate effectively, within and among teams, to get results, build better products faster, and drive customer and shareholder value.

Decisive

As a global company with literally billions of diverse customers in an accelerating business environment, we must have a clear strategic direction but also empower employees closest to the customer to make decisions in service of the larger mission. This is tricky in a big company, but it is the key to higher levels of productivity, growth and customer satisfaction.

Motivated

In our industry, every day brings more challenges and more opportunities than the day before. But we have a unique chance to make the lives of billions of people better in fundamental ways. This should inspire all of us -- those who love making products and services, those who love engaging with customers, and those who love planning and running our company in the most effective way possible. We want people who get up each morning excited to make Microsoft better -- that's how we come closer to fulfilling the potential of all people around the globe.

Our leadership team has discussed these cultural aspects a lot and is committed. In my own staff meetings, we are modeling these new characteristics yet also find ourselves occasionally slipping back. One strategy, united together, with great communication, decisiveness and positive energy is the only way to fly.

Seizing Our Unique Opportunity

Together, we have created great products and great success, but we all want more. That means a strategy to deliver a family of devices and services that best enable people for the activities they value most and the enterprise extensions and services that are most valuable to business. A new structure to bring these to market faster. Stronger centralized services so we can be more efficient and effective. Priority focus areas, short and long term. New characteristics of how we work together. In other words, better execution and innovation through strategy and goal and discipline and engineering coherence. One Microsoft all the time.

Across Microsoft, we are facing incredible new opportunities. As devices become further integrated into everyday life, we will have to create new and extraordinary experiences for our customers on these devices. We are going to focus on completely reinventing experiences like creating or viewing a creative document and what it means to communicate socially at home or in meetings at work. We are going to immerse people in deep entertainment experiences that let them enterprise information assurance. We will make these high-value activities priorities in our strategy have serious fun in ways so intense and delightful that they will blur the line between reality and fantasy. And as we develop these new experiences, we will also support our developers with the simplest ways to develop apps or cloud services and integrate with our products. We will help businesses that find themselves in a new world of ever-mounting information to manage that information through greater.

Lots of change. But in all of this, many key things remains the same. Our incredible people, our spirit, our commitment, our belief in the transformative power of technology -- our Microsoft technology -- to make the world a better place for billions of people and millions of businesses around the world. It's why I come to work inspired every day. It's why we've evolved before, and why we're evolving now.

Because we're not done.

Let's go.

Steve

This story, "Memo From Steve Ballmer to Microsoft Employees: Let's Go!" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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