Mike Howard, the CSO of Microsoft, was interviewed at the Great Conversation Event in Seattle earlier this year. The event was hosted by Aronson Security Group (ASG).
In this video interview from Cygnus Media, he provides insights into how he hires, trains and leads his organization to be true advisors to the business.
“Business will go where it will go”, said Howard. “We must facilitate the business.”
To do this he vets new employees to see if they can learn and adapt to changing business conditions. He promotes his strategic vision then asks them to adopt it as their own: to be aligned with and help drive the business.
He then co-locates them with business leaders around the world so they can create strategic alignment by understanding the strategy, purpose and goals of that leader. If they are successful, they become an extension of the team.
He also has persistent meetings with his staff. The sole purpose of these meetings is to educate his people on Microsoft’s business. From there they discuss how to approach their peers in the operating divisions with an approach that they will understand; with words they use to describe their situation.
I was at a dinner the other night with a man in uniform. His nickname for his wife was ‘6’. Military men know that the enemy is in front of you at 12 o’clock. So to have someone be your ‘6’ is to know they have your back.
As Microsoft continues its global market expansion, Howard and his team of advisors have a goal to be each Microsoft business leader’s ‘6’.