Kara Swisher

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Steve Ballmer’s “One Microsoft,” Meet Steve Sinofsky’s “One Strategy” (Video)

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“Learn from the concepts, capabilities, processes, and behaviors that aligned around one strategy with the hard-won, first-person wisdom found in ‘One Strategy.’”

That’s the marketing come-on for One Strategy: Organization, Planning, and Decision Making, which is a book written by former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky, with Harvard Business School professor Marco Iansiti.

Along with a lot of academic research, the book was drawn from Sinofsky’s well-known internal Microsoft blog, where he regularly outlined how he ran the 4,000-person, multiyear project that redid Microsoft’s Windows 7.

A description of the book says it “reveals what it takes to align a complex organization around one strategy, manage its execution, and reach for ‘strategic integrity.’”

In other words, a functional organization, which is pretty much what Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has just done in his new reorg of the tech giant, which was finally announced this morning. Shifting from his previous, largely autonomous business unit approach to this more integrated and interdependent organization, it borrows a lot from how Sinofsky organized his Windows team.

“We are rallying behind a single strategy as one company — not a collection of divisional strategies,” said Ballmer today in a memo.

And while it’s not entirely the same, it is interesting to note, given the tension between the two Steves at the company.

In any case, Sinofsky is indeed a smart cookie, who has been spending a lot of time in Silicon Valley talking to startups and is also teaching at Harvard University since he left Microsoft last November. You can see him here in the video of our interview with him at the 11th D: All Things Digital conference earlier this year:


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus