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Some Impressionistic takes from the book
“Hit Refresh”
“The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul & Imagine a Better
future for Everyone”
By Satya Nadella
by Ramki
ramaddster@gmail.com
Prelude
In his debut book Hit Refresh, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
blends autobiography, biography of the company and techno
futurism, but Ethos, Empathy, Empowerment and
Democratization are its keywords.
Nadella sounds passionate about two topics — Leadership and
Transformation, and he makes a strong case for a new social
contract that must guide the values of the evolving, nay
exploding, digital era.
Nadella is protagonist and observer of three transformations that
the book is about. The first is his personal journey, starting as a
privileged kid who played cricket and loved coding, but loses out
in the IIT entrance test. Turnarounds can be dramatic — cricket
had taught him. He goes on to lead Microsoft but in his modest
telling, the route is too mundane, including bouts of green card
angst and H-1B visa queues at the U.S. Consulate.
The book is Satya Nadella’s perspective on the
old Microsoft, the in-between changes (and the
big deals like Nokia acquisition) to the new face
of Microsoft (winning the cloud battle).
1. Empathy
2. Purpose
3. Leadership
4. Employee Experience
5. Customer Experience
Five Themes
 Empathy grounds and centers .
 Passion is to put empathy at the center of
everything we pursue…
 Always search to understand people’s thoughts,
feelings and ideas
Empathy
 Through all this transformation, empathy is the
touchstone of leadership for Nadella — not a
PowerPoint, but a living, loving experience that he
has imbibed, also through caring for a child with
special needs.
 Nadella arrives at the conclusion that “the Choice
of leading through consensus versus flat is a false
one.”
Empathy
 Why do I Exist ? Why does our Institution exist ?..
These questions haunt me and they motivated me, to
write Hit Refresh.
 We must discover what would be lost in the world if
Microsoft just disappeared.. What is the company
about ? Why do we exist ?
Purpose
 Leadership is about.. Is about bringing out the best in
everyone.
 Build shared context, trust and credibility with your team.
 Listening was the most important thing I accomplished every
day…
 Leadership is an “art form, not a science” for him, and so is
innovation.
Leadership
 Bring clarity to those you work with. Simplify things.
 Generate energy around your teams and the company.
Build teams that are stronger today and tomorrow.
 Find a way to deliver success. Balance short term and long
term. Innovate. Be global minded.
 C in CEO stands for Culture. and culture building
becomes the core of his leadership style.
 We will grow as a company if everyone, individually
grows in their roles and in lives.
 The key to culture change was individual
empowerment.
Employee Experience
Culture Map
“The CEO is the Curator of an Organizational
culture. Everything is possible for a company
when its culture is about listening, learning, and
harnessing individual passions and talents to the
company mission”.
A Cultural Renaissance— : From Know –it-all to
Learn-it-all
 Need for obsession about our customers.
 Obsession about over helping people.
 We needed to move people from needing Windows
to choosing Windows to loving Windows.
Customer Experience
 Overview- The book covers beautiful and to the
point description of moral things like-
 How a leader must be?
 What is the need of empathy in such profession?
 How it is important to be genuine, to be a man who you
are?
 Excerpt
 WORLDVIEW is an interesting term.
 It is an Art form not a Science. rooted on cognitive
philosophy.
 Simply, it is how a person comprehensively sees the world
across political, social and economic borders.
Consistency is better than perfection.
Take away from the book
 Transformation must always come from within
(personally and organizationally).
 Consultants, advisers, counselors, mentors, personal
trainers and therapists can influence direction and bring
clarity to decisioning, but true and lasting transformation
can only begin from within your organization and your own
mind.
 Empathy is a key to responsible leadership.
 The ability to understand, be aware of, be sensitive to,
and experience the thoughts and feelings of others is vital
to empowering others through team-building, process and
product. "Ideas excite me. Empathy grounds and centers
me.", Satya says.
Take away from the book
 Inches of misalignment at the senior management level,
translates to gaps of miles at the individual contributor level.
 A profound thought, analogous to a golf swing. The slightest
deviation in the swing can spell disaster down the fairway. So
important for senior management to be mutually supportive and
directionally aligned.
 Success can cause people to unlearn habits that made them
successful in the first place.
 Additionally, the characteristics that brought success early on,
may not sustain your mission and can even contribute to your
downfall. Initially, I didn't like the title of the book, but as Hit
Refresh describes Microsoft's history and challenges, it
becomes clear the title is perfect and applicable at the
individual level also. Hitting refresh doesn't mean you forget
what brought you to where you are, its updating your state with
new information, insight and approaches.
Take away from the book
 Its a mistake to write off any relationship as a lost cause.
Tomorrow always begins with a chance to create new
opportunities.
 Guilty. "Coopetition" and intra-organizational efforts are often
required to make a larger impact. Microsoft's history is full of
storied rivalries, but also industry defining partnerships. Think
about this, without a google toolbar on early versions of Internet
Explorer, Google might not be what it is today. Like many themes
in the book, the concept applies to self as well. Relationships lead
to opportunity, don't spoil them.
 Life is path-dependent
 Path dependence is the idea that decisions we are faced with
depend on past knowledge trajectory and decisions made, and are
thus limited by the current competence base. In other words,
history matters for current decision-making situations and has a
strong influence on strategic planning. Embrace your heritage, but
be bold enough to hit refresh.
Take away from the book
Happy Reading, Learning & Application
Mail your comments to
ramaddster@gmail.com

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Hit refresh Book Take Aways

  • 1. Some Impressionistic takes from the book “Hit Refresh” “The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul & Imagine a Better future for Everyone” By Satya Nadella by Ramki ramaddster@gmail.com
  • 2. Prelude In his debut book Hit Refresh, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella blends autobiography, biography of the company and techno futurism, but Ethos, Empathy, Empowerment and Democratization are its keywords. Nadella sounds passionate about two topics — Leadership and Transformation, and he makes a strong case for a new social contract that must guide the values of the evolving, nay exploding, digital era. Nadella is protagonist and observer of three transformations that the book is about. The first is his personal journey, starting as a privileged kid who played cricket and loved coding, but loses out in the IIT entrance test. Turnarounds can be dramatic — cricket had taught him. He goes on to lead Microsoft but in his modest telling, the route is too mundane, including bouts of green card angst and H-1B visa queues at the U.S. Consulate.
  • 3. The book is Satya Nadella’s perspective on the old Microsoft, the in-between changes (and the big deals like Nokia acquisition) to the new face of Microsoft (winning the cloud battle).
  • 4. 1. Empathy 2. Purpose 3. Leadership 4. Employee Experience 5. Customer Experience Five Themes
  • 5.  Empathy grounds and centers .  Passion is to put empathy at the center of everything we pursue…  Always search to understand people’s thoughts, feelings and ideas Empathy
  • 6.  Through all this transformation, empathy is the touchstone of leadership for Nadella — not a PowerPoint, but a living, loving experience that he has imbibed, also through caring for a child with special needs.  Nadella arrives at the conclusion that “the Choice of leading through consensus versus flat is a false one.” Empathy
  • 7.  Why do I Exist ? Why does our Institution exist ?.. These questions haunt me and they motivated me, to write Hit Refresh.  We must discover what would be lost in the world if Microsoft just disappeared.. What is the company about ? Why do we exist ? Purpose
  • 8.  Leadership is about.. Is about bringing out the best in everyone.  Build shared context, trust and credibility with your team.  Listening was the most important thing I accomplished every day…  Leadership is an “art form, not a science” for him, and so is innovation. Leadership  Bring clarity to those you work with. Simplify things.  Generate energy around your teams and the company. Build teams that are stronger today and tomorrow.  Find a way to deliver success. Balance short term and long term. Innovate. Be global minded.
  • 9.  C in CEO stands for Culture. and culture building becomes the core of his leadership style.  We will grow as a company if everyone, individually grows in their roles and in lives.  The key to culture change was individual empowerment. Employee Experience
  • 11. “The CEO is the Curator of an Organizational culture. Everything is possible for a company when its culture is about listening, learning, and harnessing individual passions and talents to the company mission”. A Cultural Renaissance— : From Know –it-all to Learn-it-all
  • 12.  Need for obsession about our customers.  Obsession about over helping people.  We needed to move people from needing Windows to choosing Windows to loving Windows. Customer Experience
  • 13.  Overview- The book covers beautiful and to the point description of moral things like-  How a leader must be?  What is the need of empathy in such profession?  How it is important to be genuine, to be a man who you are?  Excerpt  WORLDVIEW is an interesting term.  It is an Art form not a Science. rooted on cognitive philosophy.  Simply, it is how a person comprehensively sees the world across political, social and economic borders. Consistency is better than perfection. Take away from the book
  • 14.  Transformation must always come from within (personally and organizationally).  Consultants, advisers, counselors, mentors, personal trainers and therapists can influence direction and bring clarity to decisioning, but true and lasting transformation can only begin from within your organization and your own mind.  Empathy is a key to responsible leadership.  The ability to understand, be aware of, be sensitive to, and experience the thoughts and feelings of others is vital to empowering others through team-building, process and product. "Ideas excite me. Empathy grounds and centers me.", Satya says. Take away from the book
  • 15.  Inches of misalignment at the senior management level, translates to gaps of miles at the individual contributor level.  A profound thought, analogous to a golf swing. The slightest deviation in the swing can spell disaster down the fairway. So important for senior management to be mutually supportive and directionally aligned.  Success can cause people to unlearn habits that made them successful in the first place.  Additionally, the characteristics that brought success early on, may not sustain your mission and can even contribute to your downfall. Initially, I didn't like the title of the book, but as Hit Refresh describes Microsoft's history and challenges, it becomes clear the title is perfect and applicable at the individual level also. Hitting refresh doesn't mean you forget what brought you to where you are, its updating your state with new information, insight and approaches. Take away from the book
  • 16.  Its a mistake to write off any relationship as a lost cause. Tomorrow always begins with a chance to create new opportunities.  Guilty. "Coopetition" and intra-organizational efforts are often required to make a larger impact. Microsoft's history is full of storied rivalries, but also industry defining partnerships. Think about this, without a google toolbar on early versions of Internet Explorer, Google might not be what it is today. Like many themes in the book, the concept applies to self as well. Relationships lead to opportunity, don't spoil them.  Life is path-dependent  Path dependence is the idea that decisions we are faced with depend on past knowledge trajectory and decisions made, and are thus limited by the current competence base. In other words, history matters for current decision-making situations and has a strong influence on strategic planning. Embrace your heritage, but be bold enough to hit refresh. Take away from the book
  • 17. Happy Reading, Learning & Application Mail your comments to ramaddster@gmail.com