Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Microstiff - In Praise of Mini-Microsoft

Nothing could be more gratifying than praise from your fellow reporters and writer friends. I am not necessarily speaking of me - Microstiff.

No, this praise comes from a recognized industry pundit, Rob Enderle of TechNewsWorld and I thought I would tell you about it because...well...it's good stuff!

Rob says it all here and I would like to highlight some of the things that struck me:

There are two guilty pleasures I've developed of late. One is reading "Mini-Microsoft," which is an unauthorized blog by a Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) employee that probably does more to provide a glimpse inside the company and humanize it than anything the firm is officially doing. Taking this beyond Microsoft, I wonder if there is a way to do this more effectively to help a floundering company from the inside."

And more:

So, I really sympathize with the guy who writes "Mini-Microsoft," as well as the guy who used to write (and probably work) for Apple. The "Mini-Microsoft" posts are insightful and likely reflect the feelings inside the company more closely than its own employee surveys do."

Yet more:

According to one rule for effective teambuilding, the ratio of praise to criticism should be 4 to 1. "Mini-Microsoft" suggests it's more like 1 to 2; there is praise, but there seems to be much less of it than criticism. When there is a variation from this rule, it should probably go the other way."

And finally:

If there is criticism, there must be actionable recommendations. I actually think "Mini-Microsoft," in general, does a rather nice job of this. The author does seem to generally consider the implications of what he is criticizing and discusses action items. In most cases, when I see posts like this, they are constant rants. Rants are just annoying, and I've never seen them accomplish much of anything."

A few points from Microstiff:

Readers of Mini, let's all keep up the "actionable recommend- ations" part of our bargain, unwritten, to dialog with Mini!

Regarding "Praise" - Three (3) simple techniques, used sincerely, not manipulatively:

  • "Praise in public, criticize in private" - Think about it. Sit down with someone and talk with them. If you're a manager, show them how they can improve. Too many times we say to ourselves, "his/her work sucks" and then, as managers, we don't try to correct it. It could be as simple, for them, as not knowing how something is done.

  • "You can't know what you don't know" - Manager, ascertain what the employee knows and doesn't know. Don't cast blame because the employee may not know the right answer/policy/procedure; simply work to correct it. Don't "should" on the employee.

  • Use the Sandwich Technique for behavior modification: "Praise (bread), problem behavior (meat), Praise again (bread). It works! Try it at home.

Again, Mini, congratulations on getting some well-deserved praise!

Mini-Microsoft: There's Ray! Plus: Plenty of Room For More Brains at Microsoft.
Mini-Microsoft: Quest for Happiness
Mini-Microsoft: Stop Him Before He Speaks Again!

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