Posted: August 28th, 2023
Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, inherited a company that was profitable and successful. Yet it was also a company plagued by challenges and threats — both internal and external. This case explores how a new CEO – and veteran insider – assessed the situation and took bold steps to reignite the passion of the team around a unified vision. He did this while embracing the history that made the company great, acknowledging its shortcomings, and building a strong leadership team.
This case will present you with an opportunity to explore effective leadership principles in action. You will consider how the leadership tools studied in this course have been applied to uncover and address dysfunctional team behaviors and build a winning culture at Microsoft. You will also assess how the examples from this case can serve as guidance in your own leadership journey.
Through this case, you will:
Assignment 2 is organized into two parts:
The first part (due in Week 7) is focused on understanding what happened to bring Microsoft to the position it was in when Nadella took over as CEO; analyzing the leadership principles and practices he used to turn the business around, by charting a new course without abandoning Microsoft’s most successful principles; and evaluating the success of Nadella’s efforts.
The second part (due in Week 10) is focused on which elements of Microsoft’s culture may parallel what you have experienced in your current or previous work; assessing ways you could leverage the practices Nadella used and what you have learned in the course to align your team around a common vision, establish the behaviors and values needed to win, and deal with setbacks and challenges; and exploring how to create a team, department, or organization with the reputation of the place to be.
Download, read, and reread the case Satya Nadella at Microsoft: Instilling a Growth Mindset. Allow yourself plenty of time for this. While this case is not long, you will get more out of it if you read it more than once.
Write a 4-5 page paper answering the following prompts. Your paper will essentially summarize the case, specifically focusing on what challenges Nadella faced as a leader, what steps he took to overcome those challenges, and whether he succeeded or not. Your responses must be supported by the facts of the case, and make appropriate reference to course materials.
1. What was Nadella’s diagnosis of the problems at Microsoft?
2. In thinking about Nadella’s style and the steps he took as a change leader, address the following:
3. How effective have Nadella’s efforts been? In particular:
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