What a timing I must say, I just finished reading “Hit Refresh” by Satya Nadella and within a few days I received registration confirmation from Microsoft that I can attend the “Microsoft Future Decoded 2018” event. I was very much excited to attend the event as that was my chance to experience what I just finished reading in “Hit Refresh”. However, before I write about my experience at the event, let me first write something more about this wonderful book called “Hit Refresh” by none other than the present Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.
Working day in and day out in the Microsoft product stack (like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, Customer engagement, PowerAps, PowerBI etc), I wanted to read something more about Microsoft, not from a technical or product related perspective but more from the organization perspective. With this thought in mind when I entered the Foyles bookstore in Waterloo and I got this book. I have always loved autobiographies as they are the first-hand account of what the person in question has gone through in his/her life. In terms of motivation and having a different perspective on life, autobiographies are way much better than the self-help books, because autobiographies are more straight from the horses’ mouth and hence more effective and long-lasting in terms of the impact that they make.
The book talks about Satya’s personal journey from his childhood in India to the point of he becoming a CEO of Microsoft and beyond. The book is a very engaging and interesting read but key takeaways from the book are some of these statements mentioned below. I actually have the habit of reading books with marker/ pen/pencil in hand, so that I can mark / highlight / underline the lines that I liked the most. In a nutshell, this book not only talks about his personal journey but also talks more about the journey on which Microsoft has been and what its journey would be like in future.
Some of the lines from the book “Hit Refresh”, which I couldn’t help from quoting it here are as below. They are mostly around leadership, technology, future trends at Microsoft.
- Compete vigorously and with passion in the face of uncertainty and intimidation.
- You must always have respect for your competitor, but don’t be in awe of it. You must go and compete.
- One brilliant character who does not put the team first can destroy the entire team.
- Leadership is about bringing the best in everyone, to bolster the confidence of the people you are leading.
- An empathetic leader should always think about how the technology his team creates affect the daily lives of the people using it.
- Consistency is better than perfection.
- For anything monumental to happen, there has to be a great mind or a set of agreeing minds.
- Microsoft mission – to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.
- The world is divided into learners and non-learners, demonstrating that a growth mindset can move you forward but a fixed mindset can limit you.
- Learning to fly is not pretty but flying is.
- To be a leader in this company, your job is to find the rose petals in the field of shit.
- Bring clarity to those you work with (while explaining this point, Satya mentioned that he does not want someone to be the smartest person in the room, but he wants that same person to use their smartness/intelligence and use it to develop deep shared understanding within teams and define course of action in the event of uncertainty.
- Leaders need to inspire optimism, creativity, shared commitment and growth through times good and bad.
- Success can cause people to unlearn the habits that made them successful in the first place.
- Trust is built by being consistent over time. Trust has many components as well, respect, listening, transparency, staying focused and being willing to hit reset when necessary.
- Partnerships are journeys of mutual exploration and so we need to be open to unexpected synergies and fresh ways to collaborate. Openness is the best way to get things done and to ensure all parties feel terrific about the outcome.
- Being straightforward with one another is the best way to achieve a mutually agreeable outcome in the fastest time possible.
- Tomorrow always begins with a chance to create new opportunities.
- Time needs to be managed with Employees, Customers, Products and Partners.
- We tend to overestimate what we can achieve in the short run but underestimate what can be achieved in the long run.
- Mixed Reality (MR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Quantum computing are all independent threads today but they are going to come together in future.
- MR will become an essential tool in medicine, education and manufacturing.
- AI will help forecast crisis like Zika epidemic and help us focus our time and attention on the things that matter the most.
- Quantum computing will give computational power to cure cancer and global warming.
- At Microsoft, we are betting that quantum computing will make artificial intelligence more intelligent and mixed reality even more immersive.
- E + SV + SR = T/t (Empathy + Shared values + Safety and Reliability = Trust over time)
- No product or policy works if it fails to reflect and honour the lives and realities of people and that requires those who design the product to truly understand and respect the values and experiences underlying those realities. So empathy is a crucial ingredient in developing a product or a policy that will earn people’s trust.
- Trust is essential and it is also painfully vulnerable to a multitude of forces.
- (Education + Innovation) * Intensity of tech use = Economic growth
- Societies that utilize new tools quickly are likely to be more productive.
- Although automation tends to reduce employment and the share of labour in national income, the creation of complex tasks has the opposite effect.
- The third wave of globalization will come when telepresence and telerobotics(like HoloLens) become affordable.
With all this fresh in the mind, I attended the two-day “Microsoft Future Decoded 2018” event here at the Excel exhibition centre in London. More about that in part 2 of this thread, till then hit refresh..:-).