Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 10th Jul 2014 14:45 UTC

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has just published a letter to employees about... Uh, yeah, about what exactly?

The day I took on my new role I said that our industry does not respect tradition - it only respects innovation. I also said that in order to accelerate our innovation, we must rediscover our soul - our unique core. We must all understand and embrace what only Microsoft can contribute to the world and how we can once again change the world. I consider the job before us to be bolder and more ambitious than anything we have ever done.

I've read through the whole thing - twice - but I still have no idea what I'm supposed to take from this. There's nothing concrete, nothing we haven't heard before - it's so vague that I'm not really sure it even has a point to begin with. I think it's supposed to announce some sort of change in direction, but that's the problem - there isn't one.

Especially these two successive paragraphs are startling.

More recently, we have described ourselves as a "devices and services" company. While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy.

At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.

What's the difference between "devices and services" and "mobile-first and cloud-first"?

That's the problem with vague, abstracted drivel from company executives. It's essentially homeopathic communication - so watered down it's essentially just water with zero medicinal effects.

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RE: Lack of priority
by CaptainN- on Thu 10th Jul 2014 17:04 UTC in reply to "Lack of priority"
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I think the emphasis was supposed to be on "productivity." Judging by multiple reports on the memo, no one seems to have gotten that out of it. I guess this phrase was too long; "Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world." This means an emphasis on cloud productivity software - like Office Online, running on cloud platforms like Azure. This is interesting because it's an emphasis on cross platform software - a very new direction for Microsoft.

This is a classic cognitive mistake. Leaders often assume that the people they are leading (especially at tech companies) are more capable of reason, and therefor, better at interpreting more complex reasoned statements. This is not true of any population, even populations with higher average IQ scores, but never the less, it's a common mistake - one that IMHO, is made more often by more thoughtful people.

A little bit of thought put into how to frame his intent in accordance with all the current cognitive science, would go a long way to help deliver that actual intent.

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