July 5, 2012

FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE PUBLIC SECTOR BOONDOGGLES...:

Inside the Bureaucracy That Crippled Microsoft (Rebecca Greenfield, 7/03/12, Atlantic)

The once dominant tech company is just now playing catch-up to the hip forward-thinking Apple and now we know what took it so long: bureaucracy. In company emails obtained by Vanity Fair's Kurt Eichenwald, he details the top-down culture called "stack ranking" that not only stifled overall innovation, but killed both an early 1998 tablet, e-reader deal and a pre-Facebook social network. Under this "stack ranking" system, which this Vanity Fair preview of Eichenwald's article describes as "a program that forces every unit to declare a certain percentage of employees as top performers, good performers, average, and poor," employees were more concerned with impressing bosses than creating things. So we get situations where people like former Microsoft engineer Brian Cody have no incentive to innovate. "It was always much less about how I could become a better engineer and much more about my need to improve my visibility among other managers," Cody told Eichenwald.

Posted by at July 5, 2012 4:34 AM
  

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