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December | Culture by Design | Read time: calculating...

12 Holiday Nudges: Growth with a Growth Mindset at Microsoft

Nudge 6: Microsoft culture shift

Recently Bill Gates reclaimed his spot as the richest person on the planet. Jeff Bezo’s divorce settlement notwithstanding, part of the reason could be attributed to the shakeup of Microsoft’s culture when Satya Nadella became CEO. Under his leadership, the company has gone from strength to strength. 

Nadella went about changing the culture, inspired by  Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s work on growth mindset. Individuals with a growth mindset, believe that intelligence can be developed – that their true potential is unknown. They are driven by a need for learning, stretching and improving. Dweck’s research shows that people with a growth mindset reach higher levels of achievement and performance than people with a fixed mindset.  

Microsoft Square in downtown Los Angeles USA.   Microsoft Square in downtown Los Angeles USA.

Nadella describes the culture change as a shift from “know it alls” to “learn it alls”.

The focus on growth mindset continues today, with Microsoft recently rolling out a new management framework, simply titled Model Coach Care.   

Microsoft’s record performance since Nadella became CEO is proof that the soft stuff matters. We’re seeing that show up more often in company successes and – when soft skills are not a priority – failures.    

When you encourage people to be open-minded, experiment, focus on learning and growing – in an environment of psychological safety – world-changing things happen.     

What don’t you know? Move towards it with gusto.


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