The New York Times had a very interesting article “Microsoft’s Creative Destruction” on February 4, 2010 by Dick Brass, Vice President at Microsoft until 2004. The article focuses on while Microsoft is lagging behind today in innovations and creativity. Its pretty surprising to read that internal office politics is presented as one of the major reasons for Microsoft’s lagging performance.
Internal competition is common at great companies. It can be wisely encouraged to force ideas to compete. The problem comes when the competition becomes uncontrolled and destructive. At Microsoft, it has created a dysfunctional corporate culture in which the big established groups are allowed to prey upon emerging teams, belittle their efforts, compete unfairly against them for resources, and over time hector them out of existence. It’s not an accident that almost all the executives in charge of Microsoft’s music, e-books, phone, online, search and tablet efforts over the past decade have left.
As a result, while the company has had a truly amazing past and an enviably prosperous present, unless it regains its creative spark, it’s an open question whether it has much of a future.
You can read the full article here.