At many companies around the world, management creates an agenda and the corporate machine brings the path set in front of them to life. But what happens if you turn that idea on its head and let the employees define the path for the future of the company? What happens when you allow thousands of employees take a break from the daily routine to explore projects that they are passionate about and when backed by the company with not only giving them time to do this but also the resources to bring projects to life, you have what Microsoft calls OneWeek.
When Satya Nadella became CEO, he did away with the annual all-employee meeting and replaced it with OneWeek, a company-wide event that is taking place this week at the company’s campuses all around the globe. I was invited to Microsoft’s headquarters to poke around the festivities to see what goes on inside the hackathon tents and to better understand how these events lead to new products for the company.