Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast

JLG gets it precisely right: To really prosper, Microsoft's new CEO needs to change Microsoft's culture. The question is whether he can, and whether he realises that it needs changing.

Microsoft has succeeded, in the past, by straddling the old and the new: The company is masterful at introducing new features without breaking older software. In Microsoft’s unspoken, subconscious culture, the new can only be defined as an extension of the existing, so when it finally decided they it needed a tablet (another one after the Tablet PC failure), the Redmond company set out to build a better device that would also function as a laptop. The best of both worlds.

Microsoft has been a master of evolution, of building an enormous platform on successive layers of the older ones. In the medium term evolution wins, but in the long term the old is swept away almost entirely by the new.