Microsoft Business Model

by Jan Yuill

David L. Robertson, who suffers from a form of Lou Gehrig’s disease, asked billionaire Bill Gates, while in Ottawa yesterday,* whether he believed the Microsoft business model could be used to find cures for many of the world’s diseases.

Although Gates said the business models are very different, he acknowledged that there are fundamental elements that are common. His list included:

  1. “belief that breakthroughs can be made” (Strategic Vision)
  2. “gathering together the best people” (Membership Potential)
  3. “giving them lots of resources” (Resource Management)
  4. “taking a long-term view of the problem” (Strategic Vision)
  5. “building up the right partnerships” (primarily Customer Service)
  6. knowing “what the constraints are” (Strategic Vision)

The parentheses are my interpretation of Gates’ words as they correspond to the terminology of the Organizations Alive! Model. His comments reinforce our understanding of what organizations need in order to succeed. Bill Gates knows it. We know it.

Knowing what the principles of success are, helps us to focus our efforts in a positive direction. But that’s when the work begins! That’s when our resolve is tested. That’s when ingenuity is needed, and teamwork, and accountability, and …

Mr. Robertson, I sincerely hope that:

  1. We hold onto the belief that cures can be found.
  2. We use the resources provided by Mr. Gates and others responsibly.
  3. We partner with talented, hopeful, and courageous people – including customers, scientists, politicians, technicians, administrators, advocates … .

* Reference: The Ottawa Citizen – February 21, 2007 – Page A4

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