As Satya Nadella prepared to take the stage last Wednesday morning at Microsoft Inspire, the tens of thousands of Microsoft partners and employees packed tightly inside the T-Mobile arena sat in anticipation of a Corenote speech from the man credited not only with the turnaround around of Microsoft’s fortunes, but with completely rebuilding company culture.
If last year’s speech focused on the importance of people-centric experiences and of measuring ourselves ‘not by technology for technology’s sake, but how we are empowering people’, this year’s keynote felt like a natural extension of that theme – addressing the importance of democratization of digital transformation, and of both corporate and individual trust.
Amidst the staggering numbers on display illustrating the rapid evolution of the digital workplace, HoloLens 2 conjuring up a hologram capable of real-time language translation, and an amusingly impressive augmented reality MineCraft demo that made Legoland look like an afternoon in the DMV; at the core of Satya’s speech, a simple line resonated more than any other:
You cannot claim trust, you have to earn it. Each day.
As effective as it was simple, that statement summed up the very reason that queues had formed outside the T-Mobile Arena more than two hours before the doors opened and the reason that Microsoft reaffirmed its position as the most valuable company on earth just two days later. Its importance and application was also perfectly illustrated by the first three numbers displayed behind Satya as he began his Corenote.
Trust is what forges the bond between Satya and his 100,000 employees, trust is what permeates the relationship between Microsoft and its partners’ 17 million employees, and trust is the way Microsoft will achieve Satya’s stated goal of having an impact on every one of the 7 billion people on this planet.
While these are undoubtedly grand figures with an impact on the very grandest scale, the statement resonated with me on a far more individual level.
Earlier in the week, when Gavriella Schuster stood alongside the Kollective logo during her Corenote speech, discussing the most impactful Teams integrations, and later, when Hao Tang, Senior Product Partner Manager at Microsoft presented Kollective as a Teams ‘Solution that Customers Love’ during her own session, the common factor that lead to these acknowledgements is trust. Trust between Kollective, our customers, our partners and Microsoft.
My first week at Kollective coincided with the bi-annual Customer Council; an event at which a select number of our customers present to other existing, new and prospective customers about the difference Kollective has made on their organization.
Watching our customers take the stage to share stories and videos about the immediate and long-term impact Kollective has had on company culture was my first exposure to the ultimate example of trust realized.
Trust is not just a core component of the Kollective solution – giving our customers the confidence to host global, mission-critical live video events in the knowledge they can touch every employee regardless of location – moreover, trust is the foundation upon which every interaction at the heart of Kollective is built.
Now, more than ever, in an age of half-truths, fake news and misinformation, trust is the universal truth to every successful relationship and equally as important as the act itself, is the act of respecting its fragility and acknowledging the fact that it must, indeed, be earned each and every day.
While the most uttered, fastest-growing and exciting T-word at this year’s Microsoft Inspire was Teams, the most fundamental that has made all of that possible, is undoubtedly Trust.