Regaining a competitive edge in a cut-throat global market was just one of the lessons shared by Microsoft Australia Enterprise Commercial Director Eric Swift at the most recent of the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) Professional Lecture Series.
Held on campus at the ICMS Northern Beaches, NSW, Sydney campus, the Professional Lecture Series is designed to bring experts in various fields to share their knowledge and experience with ICMS students, faculty and staff.
On 30 May, in a lecture titled “Microsoft’s Cultural Transformation”, Swift spoke of how, by 2010, Microsoft was facing threats from all sides. These threats included a drop in customer loyalty and a brand image perceived to be ‘conservative’ and ‘stale’, especially when compared to competitors whose stock prices were soaring while Microsoft’s stagnated.
With resilience, a change in culture and through strategic manoeuvring, Swift explored how Microsoft – best known for Windows and Office – changed its fortunes around and revitalised the company.
“Eric Swift's guest lecture emphasised a number of core values which form any organisational culture mindset. These are empathy, the understanding of customer needs, and the strong belief in what you do,” ICMS senior lecturer and Postgraduate Program Manager Dr Leonid Petrov said.
“I think that these values are particularly important for successful leadership and management.”
ICMS thanks Swift, an 18-year veteran in the company who had a front seat to the changes and challenges within the organisation, for sharing his perspective on Microsoft’s journey. The lecture revealed key issues Microsoft confronted, and continues to face, many of which can be broadly applied to organisations looking to compete in the current, evolving marketplace.
“We organise this Professional Lecture Series primarily for postgraduate students, who pursue Masters degrees with various specialisations, such as Tourism and Hospitality, International Business, and Management of Organisations,” Dr Petrov said.
“The diversity in expertise and the shared experiences of the invited speakers give our students a chance to meet with real leaders of varied industries and to learn from them what only insiders would know and forecast.”
- Eric Swift has an MBA from Columbia University in New York, NY. As the Enterprise Commercial Director for Microsoft Australia, Eric leads the business strategy, cloud offerings, and customer engagement for Microsoft’s commercial clients across Australia.
For more information on ICMS and for upcoming Professional Lecture Series topics, click here.