Can Microsoft jumpstart growth via a reorganization

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: Microsoft’s big reorganization

Microsoft announced a major reorganization this week. A news report offered Microsoft is:

“organizing itself around key areas designed to make the company more nimble in a fiercely-competitive technology sector. The company said it will deliver multiple devices and services as a single company, rather than a collection of separate divisions, after completing its first major overhaul in five years.”

Oh my, Microsoft! I’m giddy with excitement and anticipation. Not! How many eye rolls did this news produce internally and externally? Raise your hand if you truly believe Microsoft’s “problem” can be fixed with a reorganization. Hmmm. Well, I saw Steve Ballmer’s hand go up.

Microsoft’s “problem” isn’t going to be fixed by a reorganization. Just what is the “problem?”

Microsoft is a legacy company with a status quo, complacent culture trying to stay relevant with its customers. What do customers really care about? Themselves. What does Microsoft really care about? Making money. Microsoft is all about protecting revenue streams. Microsoft isn’t much of an innovator. They are doing a poor job playing defense when they should be playing offense.

Microsoft has lost my attention:

  • I grew weary of the user interface changes in MS Office that added no value to my use of the suite. I use Libre Office, an open source, free tool.
  • One of my happiest technology days in recent memory was liberating myself from Microsoft Outlook. Why? I couldn’t find things in my email–the search function is horrible, wasted a lot of my time and added to my frustration. Now, I use Gmail which is fast and integrates seamlessly with my CRM system (ACT!) and leverages Google’s search capability. Search is fast and pretty foolproof. With MS Outlook, it was slow and a real crap shoot.
  • Sharepoint–a repository–is “free” and is pushed by IT as a collaboration tool. It has a horrible architecture and only serves to silo data and teams.
  • Skype was far more reliable before Microsoft bought it. Google Hangouts are free and offer much better service.

Microsoft is a follower and not a fast follower at that. There’s been little innovation perhaps in part due to Microsoft’s desire to not disrupt anybody. I’ll acknowledge Windows 8 has been a bit disruptive but not in a good way.

Microsoft suffers from big company syndrome. They have not given themselves or the marketplace a compelling “why” or vision that inspires Microsoft leadership, Microsoft employees, channel partners, shareholders or customers. That’s no way to thrive. And, certainly no way to accelerate growth. So, anybody excited about the re-org?

Thought for the week:

 “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffett

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting
© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved
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2 Responses to Can Microsoft jumpstart growth via a reorganization

  1. Paul Dunn says:

    Not sure where Mr. Ballmer’s hand is but it sure is up somewhere!


  2. Dave says:

    Thanks, Paul!


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