Satya Nadella, Microsoft, Super Learners

The Financial Times just named Satya Nadella its person of the year.

It’s a smart choice.

Here’s why.

Beyond the fact that Nadella led Microsoft on a massive transformation into a cloud technology company, he also instilled an enviable culture.

A culture defined by learning.

Admitting it was “a hard thing” to do, Nadella says:

“We have set aside some of our classic know-it-all behaviour to at least start the journey, culturally, to say, ‘We’d better become learn-it-alls.’”

We think Nadella — and Microsoft — are a compelling role model that’s worth paying attention to.

Learning is the x-factor of the skills economy.

It’s a single variable that has significant impact on personal and business outcomes in the new economy.

In its simplest format, learning is about acquiring new information.

A learning mindset means you’re constantly questioning things and open to new ideas and new ways of looking at the world.

Learning quality information gives you an information advantage. 

This, in turn, provides you with new insights, enables smart decisions, and leads to bold actions that put you in a superior position relative to everyone else.

But learning alone is not enough.

Learning, by itself, confers an information advantage.

Learning skills and learning culture, however, provide a strategic advantage.

That’s because learning skills and culture are the sine qua non of innovation that enables people and companies to change and ‘future proof’ themselves and their business.

(Learning also fosters humility, as when you come to realize you don’t know it all!)

That’s why we’ve made learning the defining DNA of our startup:

🤔We don’t know how to do many of the things we need to get done, so we just go about learning and figuring those out

🤔We don’t know if what we want to do will actually work (and how), so we do it quickly in order to learn and find out

🤔We don’t know how the market is going to respond to new products we want to build, so we build them fast and release, and then learn from feedback

🤔We don’t always know who’s the best person on the team to work on something, which is why we keep our structure flexible and have team members try out many different things, learn, and find out what they do best

🤔We don’t know what we don’t know, but we learned that spontaneous, unplanned, serendipitous conversations are often the most useful—and unexpected—way to learn

The takeaway?

  1. Super learners are critical

  2. Finding them will set your business apart

  3. Making them lead will propel your company to the future

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