First, the culture of Microsoft. As the vision Gates mentioned: a computer on every desk in every home, running on Microsoft software, spirited many young to work hard.
Second, rigorous and firm recruiting policy and process. As Ballmer said, “ We want people who are smart, who work hard, and who get things done.”
Third, Challenging work assignments and tasks. Microsoft believed that individuals were best developed through challenging and engaging work assignments.
Forth, the policy of motivation and retention. Microsoft developed a good performance evaluation procedure inside of company and gave high salary and long-term stock option incentive.
2)As of 1999, does Microsoft have a problem? Is the rising senior management turnover inevitable? Is it manageable? What recommendations would you make to Steve Ballmer & Bill Gates?
Basically, Microsoft experienced a transit from a small company to a giant in the software industry. So many practices that implemented well in past can not be effective in the new situation.
Of course, the rising senior management turnover can be controlled and managed if Microsoft can develop the management capacity well when it demands more leaders with growth. It means, when the company have 20,000 people, it still can transit its core norms and values clearly to its employees and keep them motivated and work hard. It is difficult, but some ways can be tried.
First, Picking up managers and leaders from inside of company. They really understand what the employees want.
Second, changing the organizational structure to avoid bureaucracy and ensure an open, quick communication environment.
Third, providing the multiple benefit plan to employees to create a comfortable work environment. Forth, continue to encourage the innovation and challenging tasks.