Thursday, April 21, 2005

Adversity to Diversity?

I know there's been a lot of Microsoftie effort to try and shed public light on the internal outrage regarding Microsoft backing out of supporting gay-friendly legislation (as noted by Scoble and at The Newest Industry). It really hasn't been able to catch fire in the press until today. Microsoft will hopefully come forth and explain itself publicly (especially now given that HB 1515 died in the state senate today). I certainly don't know all the details and I think it's too early to deal judgement.

Let's just take a business look at this issue, putting aside personal beliefs and such, if it does turn out to be true.

If true, this appears to be a short-sighted, dumb move (the type in chess that leads to the exchange "Checkmate!" followed by "D'oh!").

Decisions like this are indicative of the increased layers between the decision makers and those affected by the decisions. If the burning outrage was any closer to the soles of the decision maker's feet, there would be a bit of hesitation. The voice of the everyday contributor is just muffled with all the fat we have in personnel and bureaucracy.

How does the impact to Microsoft of an apparent faux-pas like this become real? When it becomes publicly more difficult to hire and retain quality folks who are offended by such clumsiness.

  • For those folks who feel passionate about such an issue.
  • For those folks who just don't want to work for a company that blows holes in its own feet with such thoughtless abandon, antagonizing its own workforce in the process.


  1. If you are being courted by Microsoft and decide not to come work at Microsoft because of a decision like this, publicly spread your choice and build some buzz around it. I'd be happy to link to it in one of my occasional potpourri postings.
  2. If you are at Microsoft and decide this is the tipping point that has put you over the edge to go and GLEAM someone else's cube, note it as a significant event in your "Moving On" email / blog-posting or such (and I trust you to word it in a way not to burn bridges). It's just part of living your values and what matters most to you (deeds, not creeds). If you're super-talented, you can find a new job in your locale without very much pavement pounding at all.


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