Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Proudly Serving up Microsoft Goodness

When you have a chance, drop by Adam Barr's Proudly Serving
site (href="">
) and visit. I stumbled across the
site the year before last and I was quite delighted (the old version I
discovered is at
). I especially enjoyed the
story about the
"Proudly Serving My Corporate
" button.

Adam's book was certainly a motivating
factor for me to put some time aside to throw some words together into the
occasional post.

A recent Proudly Serving post I especially enjoyed
reading: href="">
Microsoft Goodness.

One of my beliefs that is
teetering a bit is the belief in Microsoft's fundamental goodness as a
company. I'm not concerned so much about the intentions of everyday
employees; rather I wonder if Microsoft executives, in their heart of
hearts, are really concerned about doing the right thing.

I'd say more concerned about looking like they
are doing the right thing.

Five years ago Ballmer took point in
leading Microsoft. Soon we became Jack Welch'd and our simple hard-working
software development and selling became infused with company values and
E/S/N's and career development videos with acronyms bandied about courtesy
Harvard School of Business. All kind of like The Flood from Halo.

all of this great effort to enforce values and goals, I feel empty sometimes
- like all I've become is an assimilated asset trotted before shareholders
within soap box emblazoned with "Your Passion
Inspires Me to Create Software to Help You Reach it!
" and an
ingredient list of my company values (that's right ladies,

The more we poke and prod and bucket what it
takes to be a successful Microsoftie the more we miss than recognize. I
would dance with glee and never post another missive here if we could just
go back to the old review document (with nary a mention of commitments
nor values - not because I'm value free but because they are so empty and

The old-school href="http://Competencies/">Microsoft Competencies is a great set of
resources. They've been kneed a bit in the midst of all the other
people-research projects we've endured. Let's get back to basics and focus
there. Streamline it to focus on the competencies that matter most to your
job and product and let the rest fall into place.

We are inherently
good people. But instilled values are stale and limiting. It's not working
out (like a lot of things that have happened in the last five years)
and we should rewind the clock here a bit.

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