I love hearing about Ray Ozzie shaking things up at Microsoft. Let's face it, outside experience brings fresh perspective. Previous success means that the shaker isn't too intimidated to challenge the status quo. Well, any kind of significant success can make you brave. I aspire to be a real tree shaker someday : )
This is why I have always liked having business leaders head up HR at Microsoft. Given that they have a strong HR leadership team reporting to them, the business leaders are in a great position to challenge and change. To encourage us to think like our customers. To answer a "this is how we have always done it" with "Then stop doing it that way! Try something else!". I also think it brings a certain level of client empathy. Lisa Brummel, our SVP is currently conducting a listening tour across Microsoft (worldwide) to hear what is on the minds of our employees. This is also a great reminder of a valuable business lesson: often, listening is more important than talking (same as I feel about this here blog, not just a talking device but a listening one too).
Today, in San Diego, I met Lisa for the first time. I know that sounds weird but I have always felt that it's not as important to be known than the be know for the right things. You know what I'm saying?