Finding the Corporate Soul

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Satya Nadella rose to CEO of Microsoft in 2014. While some critics view Apple and Google as the ultimate winners in tech company competition, Microsoft has no shortage of recent successes.

The Xbox, for example, dominates its niche, netting profits in the billions as the company continues to research and develop cutting-edge gaming technologies. After 43 years and scores of wins and losses in the fast-paced tech market, Microsoft is still going strong.

Harvard Business Review recently interviewed Nadella about his new book, Hit Refresh, a memoir reflecting on his first few years at the top of Microsoft leadership. He offers insights on reinvigorating company culture in a mature business, recognizing when the culture needs renewal, and re-aligning with the company’s mission and values — what he calls the company’s soul.

So, how does he define the soul of Microsoft? He goes to the roots, at the site of emergence, and draws up what Microsoft needs today:

“The first product Microsoft created was the BASIC interpreter for the Altair. It was about creating technology so that others can create more technology. That’s who we are at our core, in our soul, and especially in today’s day and age where every business, every walk of life, is more digital; and, in fact, everybody is more of a software company, it’s even more possible for us to be that tool provider, that platform creator—that’s really who we are,” says Nadella.

If there’s one thing the huge tech rivals, Apple and Microsoft, have in common, it’s their leaders’ emphasis on the company soul. Does your company need a hand getting in touch with its soul? Does the idea of a company having a soul inspire you, or make you roll your eyes? The soul of a company makes showing up to work every day meaningful. It inspires the team and infuses enthusiasm into the corporate culture.

At Venture Up, we sometimes replace the term “soul” with “juice”; the juice that motivates employees, unifies them and drives internal brand loyalty. If you want to get in the groove or rev your engine, Venture Up has a track record of success guiding groups just like yours to build trusting relationships for a fun and fulfilling place to work. We look forward to talking to you about your team today.