Satya Nadella tells how Microsoft has ‘rediscovered its soul’ in new book

Lindsay James
Lindsay James
By Lindsay James on 07 September 2017
Satya Nadella tells how Microsoft has ‘rediscovered its soul’ in new book

In a post on LinkedIn, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has outlined his impetus for writing his new book ‘Hit Refresh’. 

“The most compelling argument was to write for my colleagues – Microsoft’s employees – and for our millions of customers and partners,” he says. “…I have come to understand that my primary job is to curate our culture so that one hundred thousand inspired minds – Microsoft’s employees – can better shape our future. Books are so often written by leaders looking back on their tenures, not while they’re in the fog of war. What if we could share the journey together, the meditations of a sitting CEO in the midst of a massive transformation?”

Nadella says that ‘Hit Refresh’ isn’t a victory lap or a how-to manual. “That would be premature. It’s a set of reflections, ideas and principles on transformation,” he explains. “It explores the renaissance of a storied company and the implications of the coming wave of technology – artificial intelligence, mixed reality and quantum computing – which will soon disrupt the status quo impacting our lives, communities and economies. It’s also a set of questions for anybody searching for improvement – for themselves as leaders, for their institutions and for society.”

Nadella goes on to explain how the title of the book was born. “When you “hit refresh” in your web browser by clicking the little arrow, or hitting “function+F5,” it updates. It doesn’t wipe everything away and start new, as Bill Gates writes in his Foreword for the book – it actually keeps some things and replaces others. Hitting refresh is required for any person and organisation looking to make a sustained impact over a long period of time from athletes, leaders and artists to cities, corporations and societies. Some people and organisations have one major hit refresh moment and others hit refresh often. We believed hit refresh was the perfect metaphor for all three storylines of the book – my personal journey so far, the company’s ongoing transformation, and the coming wave of technological and economic change.”

Nadella says that, after reading the book, he hopes readers will discover the power of taking everyday action driven by empathy. “My hope is that ‘Hit Refresh’ inspires people to discover more empathy in their own lives...It’s a quality that shapes our mission of empowerment at Microsoft and our quest to meet unmet and unarticulated needs of customers. And it’s the quality that helps us as a society move forward in creating new opportunity for all.”

The book goes on sale on September 26. Nadella will donate all proceeds to Microsoft Philanthropies.

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