Keynote / General Session Team Building Leadership Entertainment School / Faculty Program Not Sure / Custom


Innovating with Intention: Learning to Empower Your Millennial Workforce with Microsoft

At a recent 2-day leadership event for Microsoft, we had the opportunity to get an inside glimpse at what the tech giant is doing to continue building momentum in a transitional time. The company recently laid off over 18,000 workers in an effort to shift their focus to developing new technologies. This has left many long-time employees feeling uncertain but has given new inspiration to a younger generation. Leveraging these fresh faces has become an organizational focus.

Microsoft’s MACH (Microsoft Academy of College Hires) program is a unique onboarding experience designed for new college graduates. This particular MACH program was a 4-day Bootcamp event that brought together college hires from the IT division of Microsoft. Even though all of these hires were part of IT, each had a specific area of expertise and focus. Our aim was to align these individuals to a single heartbeat that centered on embracing their individual contributions and empowering them to lead.

We’re moving into a new age of corporate dynamics. Leadership teams are no longer the lone driving force behind innovation, and the younger generation is no longer looking to follow. They’re looking to lead. They’re looking for value. They’re looking to be a part of something bigger then themselves, but this drive, this desire, this passion needs to be focused. This is why we have to engage the millennials in our organizations to innovate with intention.

But how do we do this?

  1. Engage: Before anyone is inspired to create, they need to be engaged in the company. What is the overall vision for the organization? How does this person fit into the larger picture? Microsoft does a wonderful job of this by investing in conferences and team building workshops to quickly introduce new hires to the organizational culture.
  1. Listen: This is where we learn what truly makes someone tick. Now that your hire knows what your organizational goals are and where you see them on your team, let them tell you where they see themselves. Ask about their personal goals. Understand their intentions. Truly take time to listen and understand their needs, as this is a two-way street. If their needs aren’t met, yours won’t be either.
  1. Honor: This is where most organizations drop the ball. You’ve engaged the employee and listened to their goals, but now is the time to honor their contributions. This is ongoing. When they share a new idea or take a risk by creating something new, reward and honor it. Each person’s contribution is unique and valuable, and it is critical that they are recognized for their input.
  1. Unleash: Trusting and empowering younger employees is critical. This is something Microsoft is really embracing in the MACH program. They want people to be closer to their projects, and they want to empower them to impact change. Microsoft understands that organizational layers are counterproductive to moving quickly, and they are placing more trust in the younger employees.

By taking these four critical steps, you can channel your millennial workforce’s lofty ideas into focused efforts with tactical, strategic plans to make them reality—putting your team on the cutting edge.

Innovating with Intention: Learning to Empower Your Millennial Workforce with Microsoft


At a recent 2-day leadership event for Microsoft, we had the opportunity to get an inside glimpse at what the tech giant is doing to continue building momentum in a transitional time. The company recently laid off over 18,000 workers in an effort to shift their focus to developing new technologies. This has left many […]

4 Ways Drumming Can Kickstart New Initiatives with First Security Bank


Have you ever picked up a drum and started beating a rhythm with your hands? The excitement you feel with every vibration is something you can’t control. It is innate to the human experience. Drumming excites us at our deepest core, and it allows us to step directly into the present moment. Drumming is powerful—but […]

3 Lessons in Reducing Turnover Your Company Can Learn from Forever 21


Retail—some of you may think of the lifelong senior level employees you’ve encountered in the sector, while others may conjure memories of their first job. Whatever your initial reaction, when we think of retail, we think of innovation. We’ve been drumming teams to connection for over a decade now here at Drum Cafe West, and […]

Lessons in Leadership: Lesson #4 | Confidence


Likely the most important trait of a successful leader is their self-confidence. Day in and day out, leaders are tested to stand by their opinions, make tough decisions and challenge their teams. The only way to do this while being flexible, providing support, and being transparent is with confidence. “Self-confidence is the fundamental basis rom […]

Lessons in Leadership: Lesson #3 | Transparency


Continuing our ongoing series, Lessons in Leadership, today we talk about one of the most overlooked and key components of successful leadership—transparency. Before you begin to panic and think this means sharing all of your company’s numbers with every member of your team down to the unpaid college intern, take a deep breath; that simply […]

Lessons in Leadership: Lesson #2 | Support


“Leadership is a combination of art, science and human nature.” – Eric Sheninger Think about the strongest leaders you’ve encountered in your life, both personal and professional. Were they confident? Intelligent? Passionate? Strict? Empathetic? Supportive? I’m willing to bet that these were some of they key words that came to mind when you conjured the […]

Lessons in Leadership: Lesson #1 | Flexibility


5 Ways You Can Embrace Flexibility and Become a Serving Leader In a recent blog post titled, “Old School Leadership is Out,” author of Be DIFFERENT or Be Dead, Roy Osing, shares his views and advice on the evolving leadership and management issues of today’s workplace. According to Osing, today’s managers should focus more on […]

A Response to Deepak Chopra’s “A Better Way to Deal with Control Issues”


How Group Drumming Can Help You Release Your Control Issues In the recent article titled, “A Better Way to Deal with Control Issues,” published on October 19 on LinkedIn, Deepak Chopra discussed the personal control issues we all face on a daily basis. In any situation where we find ourselves needing to trust others, whether […]

How to Hire the Right “Personality” for Your Team


We often discuss the topic of team building as it pertains to those already involved in and committed to an organization. However, the hiring process is always the first step to building any team, and it is important to take a step back and think about new hires as members of your team. How do […]

Why Do Organizations Choose Drum Cafe West?


Why Do Organizations Choose Drum Cafe West?

It seems simple — you call a team building organization to help you strengthen your team. Yet day in and day out, we hear so many unique reasons that people call us here at Drum Cafe West to come in and help their teams thrive. In just the past month alone, we’ve had our clients […]