Microsoft’s CEO puts his own stamp on the company culture, encouraging empathy and customer closeness
You may have noticed a lot of buzz around empathy in the past several months. If you keep up with our blog, you’ll notice that we talk about it a lot:
- Sharing is Caring
- Culture Needs Data, Data Needs Culture
- When Brands Talk to Consumers, Not Data (Huffington Post)
- Dismantling the Notion of the Business as the Machine
- Empathy: Critical to the Goal of Consumer Centricity
But we aren’t the only ones talking about empathy. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, is making a big case for empathy as well.
Empathy is a tool that we use to form bonds with people based on a deepened understanding of who they are, their perspectives, and their lived experiences. Empathy is formed through not only listening, but sharing. In other words, it can be developed by dialogue, or conversation. In the case of business, empathy allows companies to understand their consumers and empowers their teams to create campaigns that resonate and build products that will sell.
In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Nadella explained his stance on empathy:
Empathy is what it’s all about, super-important for us in our core business. The intuition is pretty straightforward: What does Microsoft have to do to stay relevant? We have to meet the unmet, unarticulated needs of the customers. That’s the source of innovation. So if there’s anything that we’ve got to make sure each day, each week, each year that we do is to be in touch. The challenge is you can’t just say, “Let me listen to customers.” You’ve got to be much more of an active listener. You can’t switch on this button called the empathy button and say, “Well, now I am going to listen to customers.”
Nadella hits on a really important point here, which is that you can’t just say to yourself, “I’m going to be empathetic” or “I’m going to start being more consumer-centric” and expect that to happen by magic. In order to change an organization’s culture and to make the people within it more empathetic and consumer-focused, you have to give them the tangible, operationalized means to do so.
At Discuss.io, we enable brands to have live video conversations with consumers around the world. We believe that these direct and regular conversations help to build empathy and understanding for consumers. When you facilitate the engagement process, these goals become achievable at an enterprise-wide scale.
Microsoft represents a movement that we’re seeing across many multinational brands. These consumer obsessed companies are realizing that large-scale understanding of consumers doesn’t happen by accident, it has to be prioritized, enabled, habituated into business processes and institutionalized as best practice.
Start a conversation with our team to learn more about how to launch a consumer engagement initiative at your organization.
Zach Simmons is the Founder and president of Discuss.io. Zach has 20 years of experience building software. Prior to founding Discuss.io, he was the Technical Product Manager for Amazon Web Services (S3) where he ran the team that built the infrastructure that now powers a significant percentage of the modern Internet. Zach holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
An entrepreneurial leader, Zach is passionate about building disruptive and agile SaaS based market research startups as an alternative to traditional market research. Seeing a need for change within the Industry, Zach launched Discuss.io, bringing Market Research to the digital age.