Turning ‘Them’ into ‘Us’ – The Challenge Many CEOs Face (Not Just Steve Ballmer)

July 11th, 2013 / No Comments »

By Adam Bryant

In announcing its reorganization today, Microsoft provided a stark reminder of a leadership challenge that all CEOs face, particularly at large corporations: How do you get everyone to think in terms of “Us” – we’re all on the same team – rather than thinking of colleagues in other divisions as “Them?”

To be clear, it is hard to do. After all, the default behavior for human beings is to think in terms of tribes. If you work in a small department in a big company, you’re naturally going to identify most closely with your immediate colleagues. You’ll have lunch or coffee together, and maybe even socialize with them outside the office. Other colleagues you see in the hallway and on the elevator can seem like total strangers, even though you work for the same company. Divisions fighting for resources and attention can exacerbate the problem…….