Leading Organization Through Crisis. Select a leader you believe successfully led an organization through a crisis or challenge (e.g., public relations crisis, marketing mishap, shift in market demand, reorganization). Identify the leader and the company with which the leader is affiliated. Provide brief context for the crisis or challenge., Finally explain why you think the leadership was particularly effective in this context.
One leader who successfully led an organization through a crisis is Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft. In 2014, when Nadella took over as CEO, Microsoft was struggling to keep pace with the shift to mobile devices and cloud computing. Under his leadership, the company underwent a massive transformation to focus on these areas, and in 2020, Microsoft’s market capitalization surpassed $1 trillion.
One of the most significant challenges that Nadella faced was the public relations crisis surrounding the company’s culture of discrimination against women. This issue came to light in 2014 when a female employee published a memo about the discrimination she had faced while working at Microsoft. Nadella responded quickly, publicly apologized for the company’s behavior, and promised to make changes to the culture.
Nadella’s leadership was particularly effective in this context for several reasons. First, he showed a willingness to listen to feedback and take action to address the issue. He acknowledged the problem and took responsibility for it, signaling to employees that the company was taking the matter seriously. Second, he made changes to the culture to ensure that such incidents would not happen again. He implemented a program to educate employees about unconscious bias and created a task force to investigate claims of discrimination. Third, he demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion, which is evident in the company’s leadership and workforce today.
Overall, Nadella’s leadership during the crisis at Microsoft was effective because he was able to address the problem head-on, take responsibility, and implement meaningful changes to the company’s culture. His commitment to diversity and inclusion has helped the company become a more welcoming and innovative place to work, and this has had a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.