When you have a chance, drop by Adam Barr's Proudly Serving site ( http://www.proudlyserving.com/) and visit. I stumbled across the site the year before last and I was quite delighted (the old version I discovered is at http://www.proudlyserving.com/old.html ). I especially enjoyed the story about the "Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters" button.
Adam's book was certainly a motivating factor for me to put some time aside to throw some words together into the occasional post.
A recent Proudly Serving post I especially enjoyed reading: Microsoft Goodness.
One of my beliefs that is teetering a bit is the belief in Microsoft's fundamental goodness as a company. I'm not concerned so much about the intentions of everyday employees; rather I wonder if Microsoft executives, in their heart of hearts, are really concerned about doing the right thing.
I'd say more concerned about looking like they are doing the right thing.
Five years ago Ballmer took point in leading Microsoft. Soon we became Jack Welch'd and our simple hard-working software development and selling became infused with company values and E/S/N's and career development videos with acronyms bandied about courtesy Harvard School of Business. All kind of like The Flood from Halo.
For all of this great effort to enforce values and goals, I feel empty sometimes - like all I've become is an assimilated asset trotted before shareholders within soap box emblazoned with "Your Passion Inspires Me to Create Software to Help You Reach it!" and an ingredient list of my company values (that's right ladies, Passion!).
The more we poke and prod and bucket what it takes to be a successful Microsoftie the more we miss than recognize. I would dance with glee and never post another missive here if we could just go back to the old review document (with nary a mention of commitments nor values - not because I'm value free but because they are so empty and vague).
The old-school Microsoft Competencies is a great set of resources. They've been kneed a bit in the midst of all the other people-research projects we've endured. Let's get back to basics and focus there. Streamline it to focus on the competencies that matter most to your job and product and let the rest fall into place.
We are inherently good people. But instilled values are stale and limiting. It's not working out (like a lot of things that have happened in the last five years) and we should rewind the clock here a bit.