Microsoft announced its latest corporate restructuring effort to create “One Strategy, One Microsoft.” Going forward, there will be one core strategy supported by functional groups. Instead of having disparate engineering and marketing teams to drive their specific initiatives, the new structure would effect tighter integration of work across products and services.
It makes total sense. A more coherent and centralized model tends to reduce autonomy but enhances overall efficiency and creates a tighter, compatible portfolio of products and services. If you were wondering whether this strategy would work for your business, consider the following benefits:
Holistic products/services. The lightning pace of technology advancement germinates abundant new ideas. It is becoming more important that products and services are compatible and provide an easy way for customers to add-on complementary solutions. This makes it easier to up sell and cross-sell to the same customers.
Fair play. The same criteria would be used to allocate resources for product development and launches. The best idea with the greatest potential earns the resource commitment to move forward.
Consistency. This applies to the principles for product design, look and feel, customer service, marketing messages, repair and warranty. From the customer’s perspective, it is uniformity and presents little confusion. Internally, employees love the streamlined approach.
Less conflicts. Having a single core strategy minimizes the risk of different groups developing priorities based on what they view is important. This avoids debates around resource allocation and what gets done first.
Consolidation of expertise. A central pool of resources provides the advantage of having the expertise shared amongst product teams. The knowledge and experience gained from the exposure to varied product groups enrich perspectives and germinate creative ideas.
Despite the loss of autonomy, there is much to gain especially from running a nimble business. With a little forethought, autonomy won’t be lost. May be it is a matter of perspective.
© Connie Siu 2013. All rights reserved.