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One of the world’s most influential CEO on hybrid work, leadership and regulation

By Arkano

Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella was interviewed this week by World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman, Klaus Schwab, during the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos.

Here are some of Nadella’s main ideas:

Leadership

“What is that leadership quality that I think each of us has to build more muscle in? It’s that caring, because the reality is, all of us are going to have tail events that are going to be different. So when we now think back of whatever is the normal life, I think we have to realize that the ability to be in other people’s shoes, have a sense of caring, I think is probably one of the most important things.”

Regulation

“Given the pervasiveness of digital technology in our society, in our lives, in our work, I think it’s inevitable to have stronger regulatory regimes around all facets of technology. If anything, I think the responsibility of stakeholders like ourselves or businesses like us is to both anticipate and adapt to regulation versus ignore it or expect not to have regulation.”

Trust

“The business model of the company needs to have trust with the broader society, because after all, if you don’t have that, then pretty much anything you do is not going to be trustworthy.”

The purpose of a corporation

“The question is: what’s the social purpose of a corporation or a business? Do we need businesses or not? I mean, it’s a good question to ask and, obviously, I believe that there is a social purpose of a corporation. The social purpose of a corporation is to create profitable solutions to the challenges of people and the planet.” 

Create local benefits

“I think every company like ours also now has to earn the license to operate in every country and community at a time, right? So when people look at a multinational company and say it’s a soulless place, I mean, where do you belong? You actually have to prove that you belong everywhere you operate by creating local surplus, local benefits to the community.”

Refoundation and re-onboarding

“I think we have interestingly enough, coming out of this pandemic, gotten to a point where we need to refound the company… the entirety of the company needs to be re-onboarded. And so, we are going through that. So essentially conceptualizing re-founding the company for a changed world, changed times because I think none of us is coming out of this pandemic assuming we are going to go back to 2019. We have to find a new way going forward. And in that context, employees and their expectations are paramount.”

Flexibility

“One of the interesting data points I have is, on LinkedIn if you go and look at the jobs, which now publicize the flexibility they provide, it’s the fastest-growing attribute of new jobs. So I think it’s now becoming an expectation that the workplace will integrate with people’s need for flexibility so that they can achieve what you just described as the harmony between work and life.”

Meaning in your work

“People are actually not leaving the workforce, they’re changing their jobs because they want either a different profession, a different industry or a different company. And so, one of the things to your point, it is about really finding the meaning in your work where what you want and what the company is doing are resonating.”

What is a company?

“What is a company? Company is what happens to me every day when I walk into the company. Am I able to bring my best, do my best, and get deep satisfaction and meaning? If that is not achievable, it’s very, very hard to sort of talk about a lot of concepts in the abstract. So I think I always bring it down to lived experience. And that lived experience is not going to be perfect. No company is going to be perfect all the time.”

Read the whole interview. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/05/davos-2022-mtl-satya-nadella-metaverse-hybrid-work/

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