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The Customer-Driven Culture: A Microsoft Story

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The Customer-Driven Culture: A Microsoft Story

Six Proven Strategies to Hack Your Culture and Develop a Learning-Focused Organization


15 min read
11 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Everyone used to hate Microsoft, but now its customer-centric culture is working to earn the love.

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When Satya Nadella took over as CEO of Microsoft in 2014, he drove change throughout the giant software company. Using a customer-centric focus, Nadella transformed Microsoft’s corporate culture. Travis Lowdermilk and Monty Hammontree, two Microsoft user-experience (UX) experts, walk you through Microsoft’s culture-change program. The authors explain how your firm can use similar programs to revolutionize your corporate culture to benefit your customers, your employees and your bottom line. 


Microsoft’s third CEO, Satya Nadella, transformed the company by obsessing about customer needs.

Microsoft’s reputation had suffered grave damage. Customers and commentators in and out of the tech world regarded the giant software company as an evil, grasping monolith that despised its customers and did little to provide for them. Those on the inside felt that Microsoft had devolved into separate warring “siloed” kingdoms constantly battling one another. Software engineers – and especially open-source developers – viewed Microsoft as an out-of-touch dinosaur and avoided its developer services.

Then, in 2014, Satya Nadella, became Microsoft’s third CEO. He was determined to transform the cantankerous corporation.

Nadella’s plan was simple: In the future, the company would obsess over customer satisfaction. Its new mission statement ambitiously said: “Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” Under Nadella’s leadership, “customer empathy” became Microsoft’s guiding light. The corporate giant began to emphasize customer outcomes and experiences...

About the Authors

Travis Lowdermilk is a Microsoft UX (user-experience) researcher and designer. Monty Hammontree is the principal director of User Experience Research for Microsoft’s developer tools and platforms division.

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