If there ever was a company that epitomized the value of people over technology, that would be Linked In. Its core asset is its 400MM+ membership base. For Microsoft to “accelerate the growth of LinkedIn”, it will need to do a good job of onboarding its leadership as well as its technology. That’s going to require getting a head start, managing the message and building the new team.
Applying the thinking on team onboarding, I suggest this:
- Get a head start. Microsoft and LinkedIn’s leadership should let everyone in both organizations know what their new roles are going to be. No one can focus on the greater good until they know what the merger means for them personally.
- Manage the message. Microsoft and LinkedIn’s leadership is going to be far better off choosing and guiding what others see and hear, and when they see and hear it, rather than letting happenstance or others make those choices for them.
- Build the new team. Nadella and Wiener will fail if they try to create the organization’s imperative themselves, without the support and buy-in of their new, combined team. They need to set direction, build the team, sustain momentum and deliver results, evolving as they go together.