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Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone Kindle Edition
“At the core, Hit Refresh, is about us humans and the unique quality we call empathy, which will become ever more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt the status quo like never before.” – Satya Nadella from Hit Refresh
“Satya has charted a course for making the most of the opportunities created by technology while also facing up to the hard questions.” – Bill Gates from the Foreword of Hit Refresh
The New York Times bestseller Hit Refresh is about individual change, about the transformation happening inside of Microsoft and the technology that will soon impact all of our lives—the arrival of the most exciting and disruptive wave of technology humankind has experienced: artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and quantum computing. It’s about how people, organizations, and societies can and must transform and “hit refresh” in their persistent quest for new energy, new ideas, and continued relevance and renewal.
Microsoft’s CEO tells the inside story of the company’s continuing transformation, tracing his own personal journey from a childhood in India to leading some of the most significant technological changes in the digital era. Satya Nadella explores a fascinating childhood before immigrating to the U.S. and how he learned to lead along the way. He then shares his meditations as a sitting CEO—one who is mostly unknown following the brainy Bill Gates and energetic Steve Ballmer. He tells the inside story of how a company rediscovered its soul—transforming everything from culture to their fiercely competitive landscape and industry partnerships. As much a humanist as engineer and executive, Nadella concludes with his vision for the coming wave of technology and by exploring the potential impact to society and delivering call to action for world leaders.
“Ideas excite me,” Nadella explains. “Empathy grounds and centers me.” Hit Refresh is a set of reflections, meditations, and recommendations presented as algorithms from a principled, deliberative leader searching for improvement—for himself, for a storied company, and for society.
From the Inside Flap
El actual CEO de Microsoft analiza cómo las personas, las organizaciones y las sociedades pueden y deben transformarse en su búsqueda constante de nuevas energías, nuevas ideas, relevancia y renovación.
Pulsa actualizar habla de la transformación que se está produciendo dentro de Microsoft y del avance tecnológico más intenso y perturbador que la humanidad haya experimentado nunca, desde la inteligencia artificial a la realidad mixta. Analiza cómo las personas, las organizaciones y las sociedades pueden y deben actualizarse en su búsqueda constante de nuevas energías, nuevas ideas, relevancia continua y reinvención . En esencia, el libro trata sobre los seres humanos y sobre cómo una de nuestras cualidades básicas, la empatía, será cada vez más valiosa en un mundo que se verá afectado como nunca antes por el avance tecnológico.
Pero Satya Nadella no solo habla de tecnología, también se remonta a su vida en la India, antes de emigrar a Estados Unidos, y el aprendizaje que supuso todo ese proceso de su vida. Comparte sus reflexiones cuando ocupó el cargo de CEO, siendo casi un desconocido, que sucedía al carismático Bill Gates y al dinámico Steve Ballmer. Explica la transformación de la compañía, desde su cultura y sus alianzas empresariales hasta el entorno tremendamente competitivo de la industria. Nadella concluye estableciendo una máxima: principios éticos al diseñar la tecnología y crecimiento económico para todos. «Las ideas me emocionan», explica Nadella. «La empatía me mantiene con los pies en la tierra».Pulsa actualizar es una magnífica reflexión sobre el futuro desde el punto de vista de un líder que busca mejorar las cosas, para sí mismo, para una compañía emblemática y para la sociedad. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
In this thoughtful debut, the Indian-born Nadella tells the story of his personal life and his work as a change-making leader, and he explains the coming importance of machine intelligence. The author emerges as a modest, likable individual from an accomplished family...A valuable blueprint for techies and others in a culture-change state of mind.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Unpretentious and stirring, this well-written book provides surprising and welcome insights into a corporate giant.-- "Publishers Weekly" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B01HOT5SQA
- Publisher : Harper Business; Updated edition (September 26, 2017)
- Publication date : September 26, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 2266 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 287 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #113,156 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2017
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I truly hope that Satya and Microsoft do succeed because empathy is the only hope for the world.
Satya talks about going from a “know it all” fixed mindset to a “learn it all” growth mindset. That reminds me of a quote from the Dalai Lama who said: “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you might learn something new.”
I hope what follows will entice you to learn more as opposed to my merely coming off as a “know it all.”
And as a psychiatrist, neuroscientist and author of: "Just Listen" Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone, I will tell you why empathy is so critical to the future of humanity.
Empathy increases oxytocin, the hormone associated with bonding AND psychological safety. Antipathy increases cortisol, the hormone associated with stress and psychological danger. They have a reciprocal relation to each other. The higher your oxytocin, the lower your cortisol and vice versa.
The higher your cortisol, the more difficult it is to listen with an open mind and the more likely you will look at the world corrupted by your subjective filters that will cause you to seek confirmation to support your biases.
The higher your oxytocin, the more you feel safe, lower your guard and can listen with an open mind. And more than that, if your oxytocin has increased because someone has cared about you, the more inclined are you to “pay it forward” and care about others.
Satya's approach also reminds me of the concept of approaching life with a Beginner's Mind. It also reminds me of the late British psychoanalyst Wilfred's idea that the purest form of listening is to listen without memory or desire. By that he meant when you listen with memory, you have an old (personal) agenda that you're trying to plug someone into. When you listen with desire, you have a present or future (personal) agenda that you're trying to plug people into. In neither case, are you listening to the other person's agenda.
Satya espouses and lives not just listening to his people, his customers and the world, but listening into them, getting where they (and we) are coming from and then caring about everyone when he gets there.
Bravo, kudos and Godspeed Satya!
EPILOGUE: After reading “Hit Refresh” I remembered something I had long ago forgotten – and wanted to forget - which has to do with one of the worst days in my training as a psychiatrist and with when, why and how I discovered the need to develop empathy. I was in my psychiatry residency training at UCLA and I was serving as a consultant and liaison to the oncology unit at the UCLA Medical Center. I was paged by one of the oncology residents who told me I needed to come up to the intensive care unit and okay their orders for soft restraints (wrist and leg restraints) and write orders for an anti-psychotic medication for a patient, I will call Mr. Smith, with AIDS (just after if first became discovered) who was highly agitated and pulling at his IV’s and the respirator tube that was inserted through his throat and prevented him from speaking.
When I entered his room, Mr. Smith was already in those restraints and had been given an injection of Haldol (an anti-psychotic medication) AND he looked at me with wide eyes that looked like saucers. All the time he was grunting at me and seemed to be wanting to tell me something, but couldn’t speak because of the tube going down his throat.
I kept saying to him, “What is it? What are you trying to tell me?” All he could do was grunt and moan. I put a pen in is restrained right hand and told him to write down what he was trying to tell me and all he could do was scribble illegibly. So in spite of my believing that he was trying to tell me something, but I then thought that maybe he was just psychotic which is what the oncologists had told me about him.
I then calmly looked into his eyes wide open and said, “We had to restrain you arms and legs and give you a medication to calm you down, because you have been pulling at your IV’s and the respirator tube. Pretty soon you will calm down and when that happens we will remove the restraints.” All the time he just kept staring at me, holding my eyes with his eyes and groaning with a message that I was not understanding. I then left to attend to my other patients.
A day later, one of the Oncology Residents paged me and said: “Mr. Smith is off the respirator and out of restraints and he asked us to page YOU to come and see him.”
When I entered Mr. Smith’s room, he was sitting up in his bed without his respirator tube and without the restraints. As soon as he saw me, he again grabbed onto my eyes with his eyes and told me firmly, “Take a seat!” and then he literally sat me in a chair using his eyes.
He kept his riveting stare into my eyes and said in no uncertertain terms, “What I was trying to tell you yesterday was that a piece of the respirator tube had broken off and was stuck cutting into my throat. And you do know that I will kill myself before I have to go through that again! Do YOU understand me?”
I was horrified and quiet and continue to look into the vice grip of his eyes I replied, “I am so sorry that happened to you and that I wasn’t able to understand what you were trying to tell me. And yes, I do understand that you will kill yourself before you have to go through something like that again.”
And at that moment, I discovered the critical importance of empathy instead of presuming something that isn’t so and reminded me of another quote by Will Rogers:
“It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so.”
It has been fashionable in recent decades for an organization, a corporation, to prepare a “mission statement” declaring its purpose. The process of preparing and publishing the statement is supposed to give the organization’s leaders and employees as well as its customers and other publics a sense of direction, a purpose, so that their efforts are better coordinated, better understood, better focused, more efficient, more deeply appreciated.
Nadella’s Hit refresh (2017) is a personal mission statement about his role as leader of Microsoft given expression in his third year as CEO succeeding Steve Ballmer in 2014. It reads almost as his diary might read, begun in 2014, a journey in which business conditions for Microsoft from 2008 forward, Microsoft’s competitors’ recent successes, Microsoft’s recent mistakes, and Nadella’s personal sense of the technological world’s directions and Microsoft’s 2008 culture helped him muse to himself from day to day. He writes knowing he is making a
Nadella, Satya, Shaw, Greg, and Nichols, Jill Tracie Hit refresh: The quest to rediscover Microsoft’s soul and imagine a better future for everyone 2017, HarperCollins Publishers, New York NY, xi + 273 pages
publishable document and carefully cites contributions from his Microsoft teammates throughout his story and in his acknowledgements. Nadella points to the opportunities current circumstances offer for Microsoft and Microsoft’s customers and cultures worldwide … unlike Kello (2017), writing about the need for an international script for dealing with cyberwar, who points to the critics and skeptics, criticizing the skeptics roundly, and so building their resistance to Kello’s ideas. Nadella treats all the right topics. Nadella’s diary allows the reader to know Nadella in a very personal way.
Nadella writes about finding himself as the successor to Steve Ballmer, the second to serve as CEO at Microsoft. Nadella writes about his youth in India, his emigration to the United States, his career at Microsoft to this point in time, the challenges Microsoft was facing in 2014 … all this looking back. He spends most of his time looking ahead … the places Microsoft has fallen behind, the need for a change in culture at Microsoft, the need for Microsoft to gain empathy (understanding the emotions and points of view of others), the new endeavors at Microsoft, his expectation that multinational organizations must deliver local productivity boosters and benefits wherever the organization is at work. Nadella speaks of information technology’s need to protect the privacy of customers entrusting their data to technology, establish rules about government roles and technology-provider roles with respect to technology’s customers, protect against hackers and cyberwar, establish a code of ethics for users and providers of cyber technology. Nadella sees artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and cloud-based services as key aspects of information technology’s future.
Nadella’s Hit refresh is his look ahead. He is fully aware that in five years, in a decade, his performance and Microsoft’s progress will be assessed using this “mark on the wall” as the reference point. He intends to shape Microsoft’s direction, the direction of information technology, the nature of governments’ roles in relation to its citizens, international relations, … and the like based on his mission statement. It is a worthwhile read for Microsofties, for information technologists, for government policymakers, and for leaders of all kinds.
22 November 2017
Copyright © 2017 by Paul F. Ross All rights reserved.
Kello, Lucas The virtual weapon and international order 2017, Yale University Press, New Haven CT
Nadella, Satya, Shaw, Greg, and Nichols, Jill Tracie Hit refresh: The quest to rediscover Microsoft’s soul and imagine a better future for everyone 2017, HarperCollins Publishers, New York NY
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Now let’s move to the probable reasons as to why you should read it.
1. To know Satya Nadella’s journey from India to Microsoft
Satya Nadella’s journey is encouraging as well as powerful. His story shows us that how hard work and talent can lead you to the places you only dream about. Satya belongs to a middle-class Indian family. He talks about his life and friends in India and how his parents shaped his future to be a better human being. He was and is a big cricket enthusiast and he explained how the game of Cricket actually helped him to learn the qualities like leadership and empathy. The part where Satya told about his initial move to the US was very moving. His wife was having trouble in getting the visa and he was ready to give up his green card in case she did not get it. But luckily she got it. I was surprised to know that their first child is disabled. I can understand the difficulties that they would have faced. There were so many things to learn from Satya’s examples. He encourages you to take challenges and to listen to your heart sometime. He tells the importance of family and how it helps make your future.
2. If interested in knowing more about Microsoft and how actually Microsoft did “hit refresh”
It was fun to know the internal working of Microsoft. When Satya became the CEO, and even the years before that, Microsoft was going downwards. He took many decisions which not only changed the face of Microsoft but allowed them to transform the Microsoft completely. The decisions were not at all easy, but it was important to take those. Satya Realised that except Office, none of their products were selling as they had speculated because of the competition going on in the market from the rivals like Amazon and Apple.
Satya did many changes in the company’s culture and took a complete 180 degrees turn (Hit Refresh) to not only encourage the employee’s satisfaction but also encouraged them to have more empathy. He encouraged them to learn more, to ask questions and to participate fully.
3. If you want to know what actually goes behind successful companies and their struggles
This is not a hidden fact that so much politics go inside big companies like Microsoft. It was amazing to know the work culture of Microsoft, its various work programmes, its team divisions and inside details. If you are someone who likes to join Microsoft someday or is simply fascinated by it, you would find it particularly interesting. It doesn’t matter how big is an organization. There is always a room for more improvement and growth. Microsoft was too lenient a few years ago and employees were unsatisfied. Satya tried to change this and thus helped Microsoft to come out of the difficult phase.
4. If you are a tech person or love technology
Oh yes! If you simply love technology you should read this whether you are in a technical field or not. Satya has talked about many technologies which I was amazed to hear for the first time. There was seriously so much to learn about the new products that Microsoft is making or the current projects they are working on. I had heard many of the names before, but I had never gone into the details of things like quantum computing and artificial intelligence. But Satya’s words will take you on that amazing journey. As per him, currently there are three big technology trends: artificial intelligence, mixed reality and quantum computing and they have to work towards making a hold on those.
5. If you want to learn the basic importance of leadership, empathy, equation of trust etc.
This was my favourite part of the book. It was more like a moral teaching. Satya told that in today’s world we should try to make friends even with our enemies. He describes how partnerships with companies like Samsung, Adobe and Apple have provided benefits to Microsoft and have given future alliances to strengthen themselves with a clear focus. With making the enemies friends (fre-enemies) often we can get profits in some fields, if not at all. He talked about the importance of leadership and how that leadership quality helped him to overcome the failure that Microsoft was going towards.
There is a lot to learn from this book. Not only you can learn many things about Satya himself, but also about the Microsoft’s journey and the changes, it incorporated in order to survive. This book can get a little technical in between. But if you are a technology enthusiast you should definitely read this. You should read this to understand how technology is going to change and is going to affect YOU and what role you can play into this.
Then along came the smartphone revolution and Microsoft realised the old ways couldn’t continue – they needed new blood and they had it, in the form a Microsoft’s own Satya Nadella.
In this book, Satya talks about his humble beginnings in India, growing up with a love of cricket, his journey to America, the very personal story of his family and how it affected his world view.
The book is a book of 2 halves.
The first half deals with what was and how to overcome it – the finding of Microsoft’s soul once again. Satya knew he had to change the culture of Microsoft, one of a “know-it-all” company to one of a “learn-it-all”. There are many anecdotes in this book but one which stood out the most was that Microsoft had employees who wanted to do things and try new things but were told not to because their focus was on Windows and the Server business. Satya’s pledge to “reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more” started within Microsoft – the book talks about this transformation of culture.
The second half of the book looks more at the next big things – Artificial Intelligence, Mixed Reality and Quantum Computer, all which Microsoft are investing heavily in. It also looks at Privacy in a Digital age, what the means for users, governments and tech companies and Ethical framework for AI, all important topics to discuss in this ever-increasing Digital world.
There are great lessons for leadership within this book, my personal favourite is what Satya describes as “not his best line of poetry” but it rings true for leaders in business.
All in all, the book offers insight into 1 of the biggest changes in corporate culture in modern history, how it was done and insight from a leader in 1 of the largest technology companies in the world on what may lie ahead in our near future. For fans of technology or people looking to learn more leadership skills, this book is worth picking up.
Nadella is clearly an exceptional visionary with much we can learn about the importance of empathy, a sense of purpose, and a focus on his employees and customers. Good luck and keep doing it