Unbabel Podcast: Steve Clayton and the power of stories

Unbabel Podcast:史蒂夫•克莱顿与故事的力量

2020-04-09 18:21 unbabel


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Steve Clayton got one of the coolest job titles in the tech industry when he became Chief Storyteller at Microsoft. His passion for storytelling dates back to his childhood in Liverpool, and it has led him through an unlikely series of events that ended up refreshing the image of the tech giant. At Microsoft, Steve channeled his inner pirate to navigate being a storyteller in a company whose story everyone already thought they knew. After putting a PC in every home, it was time for Microsoft to prove it could sit with the cool kids, like Apple or Google. Steve was part of the wave of change, which turned Microsoft into a more sustainable company, with such a diverse portafolio of products that it makes you forget all about Word. In the third episode of the Unbabel Podcast, we asked Steve about how stories became his job, and what it was like to work alongside some of the most influential leaders in tech. Then, we discover why he thinks storytelling is more than a PR ploy, and dig in deep on why he believes that every company should have a storytelling strategy. Let us know your feedback, questions, and suggestions at podcast@unbabel.com. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app to get these episodes as soon as they come out! The following is a lightly edited transcript of the interview. Fernando: Hi Steve, welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much for sharing some time with us. Chief Storyteller, it’s a job title that can raise a lot of eyebrows. However, when I see it followed by at Microsoft, I’m sure that you’re the real deal and that’s your team as a strategic role in the business. My first question is, what is the mission of your team? Steve: Well, first of all, let me start by saying it’s great to be here. I appreciate the invitation to talk to you. You know, I always appreciate the chance to talk about storytelling. So I would say very simply, the mission of the team is to tell stories inside and outside of Microsoft that help people understand Microsoft as a company better. It’s a very large organization, 150,000 people. And you know, was involved in many different businesses and commercial businesses and consumer businesses. And so lots of people have perhaps a story about Microsoft. And our job is to help them understand the full extent of Microsoft, who we all, what we do. You know, what is our place in the world and what is our mission as a company? Fernando: So going back to the start now, 20 years in the past, there’s a couple of stories that you probably told many, many times, but there’s really no way around it. And it’s how you got your first job at Microsoft around 20 years ago and later how you were invited to lead the storytelling team. So can you briefly walk us through those two defining moments in your career.  Steve: Yeah. The first one was a case of mistaken identity. And so I used to work at a customer of Microsoft, and a friend of mine who worked at Microsoft phoned me up one day and and said, Steve, would you be interested in the job at Microsoft? And obviously I said yes. And I went through the interview process and ultimately was offered a job at the company. And the short version of the story is: at the time I was a company I was working for, we would regularly go and meet with Microsoft. I was in the UK, I was working in the North of England and Manchester area and Microsoft had office in the UK, was in Redding, probably about 200 miles South of that and every month the delegation of us from the company I was working for, we would go to visit with Microsoft for technical briefings. And so I go to know lots of people at Microsoft very well, at least in the UK. And as I mentioned, subsequently, one of these folks asked me if I was interested in a job offer. So I was offered the job, I was successful, I accepted the job. And so I had told all of my management and my friends at Zeneca that I was leaving Zeneca the company I was working for. Everybody I knew at Microsoft knew I was joining Microsoft. And so I had one month, where I was finishing up my work at Zeneca, so I was still working at this company, Zeneca, and I had a one of these visits to Microsoft. And so I went to Microsoft with a group of friends, work colleagues, and we had a day of meetings at Microsoft. And then on that first day, after we’d finished all of our meetings at Microsoft, we went to the local pub pub called The Bull in a village called Sonning on the river Thames, not far from Microsoft office. And so I stood in the pub with one of the guys I work with. And the person who’d made the original phone call is a guy named Paul. Paul had made this original phone call asking me if I wanted to work at Microsoft, and he had not been involved in the interview process at all, so I hadn’t seen him since the original phone call, and I didn’t really know Paul that well as it happened. So I was somewhat surprised when he made the original phone call, but glad that he did. And so he walked into the pub and I was stood at the bar with one of my work colleagues and a friend who was also called Steve. And Paul walked in and walked straight up to both of us and stretched out his hand to offer a handshake to the other Steve and say congratulations on the job. And the other Steve turned to him and said, I think you mean this guy, and pointed at me. And in that moment, I think Paul realized that when he originally had made the phone call, he had meant to call Steve Clark and it in fact called Steve Clayton. But because he’s not been involved in the interview, basically they’d offered the wrong Steve the job. And so here I am, 22 years later, still at Microsoft. And so I might argue that maybe they offered the right to leave the job. Fernando: That’s a great story. And I have a follow up question, but it’s actually follow up to boat that moment in the second one. So the second, I guess also starts with a phone call when you were invited to take on this new role. Steve: Yeah. The second starts a little bit before the phone call that probably about 14 years ago, I was working for Microsoft in the UK and my job was to work on our international cloud strategy. So I was helping figure out. Things like where do we put data centers and how do we change our sales organization to make this shift from selling perpetual licenses to selling software that runs in the cloud. But at the same time, I had started writing a blog about the company and it was sort of a semi-official blog about the company, but it was really, it wasn’t my day job. It was a hobby. Yeah, and I was writing this blog just through frustration in the coverage that I’ve seen about the company, which didn’t quite match up with the company that I saw internally. So you have this company that I saw lots of cool things going on. A lot of the coverage about the company was less than complimentary. And so I somewhat naively thought, well, I can just, you know, change the perception by writing a blog. And so I would spend a lot of time on this blog in the evening and weekends, and my management were very supportive of it because they could see that it was a passion of mine and a hobby. And so my blog gained some followership and a little bit of notoriety. And at times, you know, I would be not critical of the company, but I was, you know, at times if you’re going to be a good blogger, then your authenticity counts. And so it wasn’t always a hundred percent complimentary about the things that we were doing. And so occasionally it would get the attention of the corporate PR departments and Microsoft. And one day, a few years into this, on a Tuesday evening, I was sat at home and the phone rang and the gentleman who runs Microsoft communications globally, a guy called Frank Shaw. Frank was on the other end of the line and he said, Steve, I’d like to talk to you about your blog. And I was convinced that I was about to get fired for something that I’d done on my blog that was not good. And so I was somewhat nervously asked, Frank, you know, what can I tell you about the blog? And he said, I really love the work that you do on the blog. And I, you know, I think you should come to Seattle and do that as a full time job, which was quite a surprise. And so, my wife was in the room at the time and I spoke to her and I said, Hey, I think I’ve just been offered my dream job, but I think it requires us to move to Seattle. And we sort of made a fairly snap decision that three months later we packed up our house, my wife and my nine month old daughter at the time moved to Seattle to take on this job of Chief Storyteller. And so here I am almost 10 years after that. And it turned out to be one of the most important phone calls I ever received. And one of the best decisions I ever made.  Fernando: So hearing about this two stories, I’m reminded about another guest that, uh, we’ve had recently in the podcast, Paula Kennedy, and referring to how her career moved upward in but in unexpected directions. She told me that quote unquote: your North star will find you. Actually, meaning that many doors will open in your life and you will follow the ones you love. Until you reach your destination and specifically in your career. Is that also the lesson you take from those two stories and the advice that you give to young people starting out? Steve: I would say it’s similar. I was about four or five years ago, I was sat having all of my best stories happen in a pub or a bar. So I sat in a bar or a pub. We have sort of a pub here on Microsoft campus in Seattle, and I was sat talking to a friend of mine, a British friend who used to work, or I worked with him in the UK back when I worked there and we were talking about, you know, he now works in Seattle. And I do, and we were sort of sharing stories about our journey over the last few years. And I sort of made this very throw away remark to John. And I said, you know, I’ve, I’ve really just got lucky. And he became someone angry at this. And he said, actually, Steve says, I don’t think you’ve been lucky at all. And so, I ended up trying to package all of this up in a TEDx talk I gave about four or five years ago in my hometown of Liverpool and in the audience was my, I think he was 13 at the time, my 13 year old or 12 year old nephew, and I really ended up telling my, my TEDx where it was really all to him and I tried to share these lessons around. One of my lessons was trying to figure out as early as you can in your career, what is it that you are put on the planet to do. And I figured out probably halfway through my professional career thus far that when I was put on the planet to do is tell stories. And for the first 15 years I was working in technology and selling technology and building technology, and I love doing that, but really what it became apparent, I started writing this blog because I love telling stories and I now basically are paid to do my hobby, but don’t tell anybody that. Because I get to tell stories every day and work with a team of people who are building stories. So it’s kind of a long answer, but I do think there is this, I love this sort of symmetry of hard work and opportunity coming together to create, you know, to open doors for you.  Fernando: Yeah, I love a very similar quote, which is something like, when luck knocked on the door, it found me working and basically says what you just described, you have a unique skill that I guess was very important to this success. I read somewhere that you have the rare skill of translating geek to English. Why is that so important?  Steve: Yeah. I’m not sure it’s unique. It’s certainly helped me in my career in that I work in a field that is, you know, it’s full of technology. And I think that the job, the thing that I’m, I like doing is helping people understand the technology more than that, helping people understand the impact of technology, or I think at least early in my career, there were lots of people who are very excited about the technology and they’re very, they were great at talking about technology and talking about features and talking about what our product did. I think I just gravitated more towards their sense of storytelling around how do you make things understandable for people in a world that for many you could, you know, technology can be very confusing, but it can also be simple and empowering. And so I think I would just gravitates to this idea of how can I help people understand technology and the impact that can have. Fernando: When you started, you were one of the first to focus only on storytelling in the corporate world, and now I guess there’s more than 20,000 people with that title on LinkedIn. Do you feel like there’s a real communicational shift happening in the direction of storytelling? Steve: I think there is, yeah. I talk about this a lot actually to companies and at conferences and my rationale, at least my thinking behind it is, you know, we’re now in this world where we’re bombarded with information and what is under attack is our attention. And that’s what I think has led to this rise in storytelling. And like you say, you go on LinkedIn seven years ago, nobody had storyteller as a title or a skill. And now there are, the last research I saw from LinkedIn was over 400,000 people haven’t as a skill. They’ve been on a job title, but it’s only, it’s one of the skills they professed to have. And I think that is a reaction to a world where, you know, we’re bombarded with data and we’re bombarded with things that are very ephemeral, that are very passing. And there’s a recognition of the fact that as a species, we’ve grown up telling stories. You know, there is, for those of us who have kids, we talk about telling bedtime stories and we pass on stories through generations and it’s stories that get passed on. It’s not, you know, nobody passes on data or passes on a fact. Even it’s stories that get told. And you know, even if you just think about how we operate in life, when you finish your day this evening and go home, you’ll tell stories to your friends or your family. Or if you go out at the weekend for for dinner, or you meet up with friends, you very much conversation is about stories. People say things like, you know, let me tell you about this vacation I went on. Let me tell you about a book I read. Let me tell you about a piece of music I listen to. Let me tell you about an experience I had. And all of those things is basically somebody saying, let me tell you a story. Fernando: As you mentioned in your blog, Geek in Disguise, controversy was a part of the strategy, and I can say that you were a pirates and then you were recruited by the Navy. How did that change your storytelling style?  Steve: It really didn’t. And that’s testament to the people I work for, a testament to Frank in particular, in that he, you know, in the first few weeks of working here in Seattle, the first few months I should say, I did sort of encounter the Navy and I, you know, was encouraged  to set up for my pirate flag down if I can continue the analogy. And that just didn’t seem quite right to me because, you know, one of the things that I think it was important to the work I was doing at the time is that it had to be authentic. It still had to be telling stories from inside of the company, but with a voice that was trying to help them be understandable outside of the company. And we all have an innate sense of we can tell when something isn’t quite right, when something isn’t quite authentic. And so I sort of very much resisted some early attempts to dilute some of that authenticity. And we’re supported in that by my leadership, by Frank, who, you know, has encouraged me all along to continue some of that pirate mentality of, you know, taking risks, pushing the boundaries, trying new things. Sometimes failing and then learning from those failures and that, that really is sort of, I would say the culture that has been established at Microsoft in particular over the last six years is how do we become a more risk taking organization and learn from those rather than playing it safe. Fernando: So when you moved into this storyteller role in Seattle, what did you feel that needed to change in the way that Microsoft communicated at the time? And how, which was seen by the public? Steve: I would say initially I didn’t really know. If I’m really honest, I showed up and I go into here on day one and I was like, what am I doing? Like what am I supposed to do here? And the how was a little bit less well known than the what. The what was quite well known, but what I was supposed to be doing was helping people understand that Microsoft is a more innovative company than you, than you think it is. But it took me a little bit of time to figure out the how. And so I spent just the first month or so of just going around the company and talking to interesting people that I had already knew. And then each person I went to met with, I asked them at the end of the, I basically interviewed them and said, what are you working on? Tell me about your field of expertise. And so I was, I had this notion of, well, I’ll go and create profiles of some of these cool people doing cool things in the company. And so each person I met with, I asked them to give you the names of five people that they thought I should go meet with. And so very quickly I built out this network of 40 or 50 people that I’d interviewed, and it gave me a really good sense of, you know, just interesting stuff that was going on in the company. But then I decided that I needed some framework to tell these stories. When I moved to Seattle, we set up a new blog that was called Next at Microsoft, and it was all, it was all focused around where is the next thing coming from and who is building it. And so I came up with a framework that was, I call it my four P’s of people, place, product, and process. That’s evolved somewhat to a different framework these days. But the whole idea was I would combine at least two of these P’s when I was telling a story. And so I’ve always go in to tell a story about a product, I would actually tell it through the lens of the person who was creating the product or the place where the product was created. Cause I’m, I’m a big believer in helping people understand place I think is important. You know, when you go to somebody’s house for dinner or to meet them, you get a real sense of that person. Whether, you know, we, we just intuitively look around the place, either if it’s a person’s home or their office, and you make these assumptions based on the art that’s on the wall or the music that they have or the things that they have in their home or in the workplace. And so I had this real sense of I wanted to show people more of the places of Microsoft. I wanted to show people a bit more of the process of how things were built. And so I spent the first few years really howing that craft of saying how do we tell stories using the combination of these P’s but doing it in a way that was never about, if I wanted to tell a story about a person, I would tell it through the place where they worked or the product that they created. So it was this kind of inversion of the P’s. So the one that you were telling the story about was never top of the stack. And then that just evolved over time into building out, that was originally really just me as a solo operator. And now, you know, here we are today, 10 years later, and there are 35 people on the team who were doing all kinds of different storytelling inside of the company and outside of the company to different audiences. So it’s been, it’s been a real evolution, but those, I would say early months, I didn’t really have much of a sense of how to do it. And you won’t always do them, but not really the how.  Fernando: Since almost everyone is interacted with the Microsoft product at some point in their lives. Do you think that makes that job easier or harder? Steve: I think it makes it a little bit of both. We are fortunate in that many people are familiar with Microsoft just through our products. You know, when you have products that are used, products like windows and office that are used by, you know, a billion or more people around the world, then you certainly have great, you know, name recognition. You know, we’re a company that’s been around for 45 years now, and so we have some history as well, but we also have, you know, lots of businesses that depending on where you’re coming from, if you’re a business, then you probably know many of our commercial products like windows or like Azure or teams that you may not be as familiar with things like, you know, Minecraft or Xbox or some of our more consumer oriented parts of our business. But I think more important than all of that is really just helping people understand why we exist on the planet. And you know, we do have this mission statement as a company to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. And so I think the name recognition is great, but that’s really just the first rung on the ladder. That gives us maybe the opportunity or the license to go and help people understand who Microsoft really is as a company.  Fernando: Well, you mentioned the mission statement, and I’m sure it’s not by accident because Microsoft makes it a point to repeat that a lot, right? But during your time at Microsoft, I believe this statement changed two times. So first near the end of Steve Ballmer’s time as CEO, it went from a computer on every desk and in every home to something a bit more complex. Were you involved in this change and how do you feel about it today? Steve: I was involved a little bit in the change to the current mission statement. You know, we did start out with a missions name of 45 years ago. I have a PC on every desk and in every home. And technically that’s actually more of a vision statements because it has this kind of a more measurable, achievable end game of a PC on every desk in every home you can measure it. And so, and, and sort of the technicalities of vision statements versus mission statements, that was more of a vision statement of somewhere that we wanted to get to. Whereas today’s is truly a mission statement around empowering people to achieve more, and you can say that that’s something that we will, you know, it’s a journey. It’s not a destination we’re going to get. We’ll always be on that journey. And so I did have some involvement in helping to create the new mission statement. And I would say it’s two things I would say about it, one is I’m proud that the company in jewels with that mission statement. So, you know, we’ve had that for probably around about six years now, and we repeated very often and very intentionally because it’s important that people hear it. It’s important that we don’t forget that not everybody has heard it. Just because we’ve said it once doesn’t mean that it’s being heard by everybody. And then there was also, the second thing I would say is there was a lot of intentionality around the words that were chosen in that mission statement. Some of which were quite fun. You know, there was a heated debate at one point around should it be every person on the planet or every person in the universe. Because right around the time we were working on the mission statement, we had just put a hollow lens on the international space station. And so the team that were involved in that were quite convinced that our mission should extend beyond the planets and actually into the universe. But all joking aside, there was a lot of effort by, you know, the senior leaders of the company and a lot of time spent on choosing those words around every person and every organization, so recognizing that we do serve this, you know, we serve the planet and we don’t just have developed nations or commercial businesses. We serve individuals. We serve as much a farmer in Africa, just as much as we serve a startup on the East coast of the United States just as much as we serve an NGO in Australia. And so that really is the breadth of the community that we’re trying to deliver products and platforms and technologies to, and then the other piece being around achieve more is what is it that we’re trying to do for people where we’re trying to put tools in the hands of people to help them do more of what they want, whether it’s in work or in life. And so there was a lot of intentionality around the words that were chosen.  Fernando: You also realize that the mission statement can evolve so you can focus on a planet today and then change it to something else in the future if it goes beyond the planet right? Steve: I think we could. I think one of the things that I’m pleased about though is that it hasn’t really evolved is that one of the ways that you sort of build credibility and build trust is through consistency. And we’ve been incredibly consistent in talking about that mission, incredibly consistent in helping to tell stories that we can say, here are examples of that mission and action.  Fernando: Unbabel’s mission statement and the inspiration for this podcast actually, it’s to build universal understanding. At which point in a company’s journey do you think that it makes sense to revisit and change the mission? Steve: I don’t know. I think it maybe it makes sense when significant changes happen, whether that’s inside of the company or in the external environment. But my general sense, you know, maybe I can answer it this way, I would be quite happy personally if Microsoft mission statement was the same and in 20 years time. And I think that is somewhat the test of a great mission statement is does it have a durability and does it have endurance.  Fernando: You had the chance to work with three central characters in the history of Microsoft, the CEOs, so I guess Bill Gates, you still had some time while Bill Gates was there. Then Steve Ballmer, then Satya Nadella. Three different communication in leadership styles, I would say. What are the biggest strengths you can leverage and challenges you have to overcome with each one of them? Steve: Well, I really didn’t have much of a chance to work with Bill. I got to interview him once, which was really great fun. We were talking about, I think windows seven and windows phone back then, and so I didn’t get much of an opportunity to work with Bill very closely, unfortunately, and only worked with Steve a little bit on some of his communication in particular, I did a few demos for Steve. So one of the things that I still love doing is demonstrates it and showing technology and doing live demonstrations of it. And so I had the chance to do that a few times with Steve, and that was great fun. You know, the guy was just incredibly passionate about everything, but certainly about technology. And that was great fun to work with. But I have, I’ve had chance over the last six years to work more closely with Satya and with his team. He’s an incredibly good storyteller that, you know, he recognizes, I think, the power of story, he certainly recognizes the power. One of the things I’ve talked about is I admire his capacity for repetition, which is something that’s incredibly hard for when you were given as many talks and speeches as somebody like a CEO, any CEO, is then the ability to get comfortable with repeating yourself is a real skill. And so I say that, you know, I think I’ve probably seen Satya give 500 or 600 speeches at this stage. He’s a little over six years into his tenure as CEO. And I would say every single one of those speeches he’s talked about the mission statements, like he’s literally mentioned the mission statement. That’s very, very hard to do as a communicator and as a storyteller because  it’s easy to become tired with saying the same thing. But I think he’s clearly recognizes the power of doing that is making it very clear that we truly believe in this thing. And it also gives lots of people inside of the company licensed to be able to do work that says the work I am doing, the stories I am telling, are going to accrue to that mission statement. And so the last six years of storytelling has been remarkable for us.  Fernando: I recently read the book called The presentation secrets of Steve Jobs, that helps anyone to create more effective presentations by following the Job’s playbook. You could probably write a book about the presentation secrets of Satya Nadella. What would you focus on? You already mentioned the repetition of the mission statement. What other tips would you give to people that want to give great presentations? Steve: Well, first of all, I would say that Steve Jobs was an incredible presenter. So even, you know, when I was early in my career, I would study him and, you know, take a look at, you know, his delivery and his technique and the slides that he use to support things. And you know, he was a phenomenal storyteller. And so one of the tips that we give people just genuinely is to, it was a tip that was given to me early in my career, sort of sit at the feet of the great masters of this craft and learn from them. And so I spent a lot of my time when I was earlier in my career and trying to figure out how to become a better presenter, I spent lots of my time just watching Ted talks over and over and over. And I remember, you know, one of them that I, I’m very familiar with is Ken Robinson gives an incredible, he’s done a few Ted talks, but the first one he did was around, you know, how to reform education. It’s an incredible tool in the way that he takes people on a journey and he tells a story and he involves so can and involves a lot of humor in his storytelling. But if I was to try and package that up and say, what are some of the, the tips that I’ve learned along the way, I think it is, you know, having a real sense of the arc of the story that you’re going to tell when you’re presenting. And it seems incredibly simple that, you know, being able to say there is a setup to a story. So there is creating some tension in a way and saying, what is the problem that we’re trying to solve. You know, how can we overcome this challenge? Showing people the solution and then taking people through and showing them how you know, the impact of that solution. That’s a short way of saying, you know, the best presentations that take people on the classic storytelling journey of, you know, this sort of the hero’s journey. And I would say when you have a hero that is an actual hero and is not a product, that really helps. So I would say things like that I’ve learned is just understanding and recognizing the arc of the story that you’re trying to tell. And I still sit down and you know, I gave a presentation in Portugal a few weeks ago and two weeks before that, I sat down with a piece of paper and a pencil and I wrote out the chapters of the story of how I was going to set up the topic that I was talking about, how I was going to introduce a little bit of tension into that story, how I was then going to introduce some heroes into that story and how I was going to show this positive outcome. And so for me, sitting down literally and still writing out my story on a piece of paper and drawing it as an arc, is an important thing. And there are lots of great tools out there to help support that. I would say the one that I most regularly recommend to people is a great book by Nancy Duarte, who’s a brilliant speech coach, and presenter herself runs a company called Duarte, but Nancy’s book resonate, I think is one of the best tools out for both teaching how to be a great presenter, but actually what it really is, is an incredible book around storytelling. Fernando: A lot of the stories you share at Microsoft ever social responsibility angle. Was that something you wanted to highlight from the start or did it just evolve in that way?  Steve: I think it’s somewhat evolved that way in the, you know, when we created this new mission statement around six years ago, it really put us in a position of being this company that had a purpose. And you know, whether that’s a social purpose or just a purpose. And so once you have that purpose, that is, you know, empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, we then have this canvas to go and tell stories that begin to shift us away from the storytelling that we have been doing that was perhaps a little bit more focused around us and what we were doing in the world. And is now much more focused around what is the impact of our technology, who has said early on, how is a farmer using it to get better crop yield in Africa? How is a start-up using it, you know, in Australia to protect the natural habitat and how as a health care provider in the UK using it to provide better healthcare outcomes. And so those stories, they just sort of appeared when we created this landscape of this mission statement. It sorta changed our vision a little bit around the types of stories that we can go and tell, you know, in the impact that our technology has in the world, that gives us just this almost inexhaustible ability to go and find and tell great stories about the impact of technology. Fernando: A lot of those stories and the impact of technology are related to language. And that is obviously a topic very close to our hearts at Unbabel. I’m thinking, for example, about talking about your mother-in-law being Chinese and being able to communicate with her during a Skype translator demo or a story about the African language that was dying, and then Microsoft worked to encode it into windows office and help to preserve. Why do you think language lends itself to be a topic of such great stories? Steve: Well, I think language, you know, continues to be one of the things that divides us as a people. Not intentionally, but everybody has their own, you know, not everybody, but there are many cultures and languages and they’ve grown up in a way that in some cases has created barriers that, you know, I, I don’t speak Fulfulde. And so that language that we recently encoded into windows and into office is now a language that, you know, we, at some point, you know, can potentially translate from Fulfulde into English. So I’m able to communicate with people I could never previously communicate with. And so I think on a fundamental level is language is something that should be cherished by each community because of its history and its origin. But language has also been this thing that has created barriers between people. And so to the extent that we can use technology to remove those barriers, I think that is just phenomenal. I have family on my wife’s side that are Chinese. I don’t speak Chinese, and many of them don’t speak English. That’s just difficult, there are people in my family that I literally can’t talk to, yet through the power of technology, I can now talk to them.  Fernando: You know, Lori Thicke, one of the founders of Ttranslators without Borders, another guest of this podcast. She’s very passionate about the preservation of rare languages and everything that lives and dies with those languages. On one of your unboxing episodes, you touched this topic and state that every two weeks a language dies. Microsoft’s program AI for good is tackling this and other issues to preserve diversity of human culture around the world. Can you tell me more about AI for good and why is Microsoft putting resources into it? Steve: Well, AI is, you know, it’s one of these technologies arguably going to be one of the most important technologies. And over the last five or six years, it’s really become a technology that has its time has arrived because of a combination of almost infinite computing power, combination of huge amounts of data and some real breakthroughs in AI algorithms. And so AI is this, it is what is underneath translation technology that allows you to to translate from English into Chinese and from Chinese into English. And so it’s become this technology that we’ve recognized has huge potential to preserve and to even develop existing cultures that may previously have cultures or languages that may previously have faded away. You know, the work around AI for good falls into this category of how can we help create an arena for people to take AI and apply it through grants that we provide that are helping people take AI technology to, to solve some of these, these challenges that do help us preserve, you know, whether it’s language or culture anywhere in the world. Fernando: Do you think that every company with a global footprint like Microsoft has, has the responsibility to create social and environmental programs, or is that optional in business?  Steve: I personally don’t think it’s optional. I think, you know, we, we do have a responsibility around what is the role that we play in the world, but also what is the role that we play in all local societies? You know, one of the things that made me most proud last year was a announcement that Microsoft made around a $500 million investment to solve the housing crisis here in Seattle, that we have people who can’t afford to live in Seattle, who work in our community, even in our community here at Microsoft. And so I think that there is certainly for an organization like ours, a responsibility to say, you know, what can we do? Whether it’s in our backyard here in Seattle or on the other side of the world as I mentioned earlier on, you know, some of the work we’re doing in Australia with a group of startups there to help preserve the environment and the, and the biodiversity of the ecosystem there.  Fernando: And Microsoft recently made a big statement that you will be carbon negative by 2030 through a moonshot initiative to remove all the carbon the company has emitted since it was founded. How do you see the communication of these initiatives during the next 10 years? Are you already building the story you’ll tell about this? Steve: You know, there’s great work already underway around how do we seek more sources of renewable energy so that we can achieve those targets that we’ve gone, you know, carbon neutral in 2030 and, and then by 2050 we’re going to, we’ve committed to remove all of the carbon that Microsoft has put into the atmosphere since our founding in 1975 so they’re some big bold goals. And you know, we’ve also recognize that we don’t have all of the answers. And so that’s why we’ve committed $1 billion in an innovation fund to help encourage others to say, where can we find solutions to some of the challenges that we know exist? And even some of the challenges that we don’t know exist. And so that, I think, you know, the combination of the affordable housing work that we did last year, this announcement most recently, the two for me of the proudest moments of the company because it, it’s, you know, that’s the company I want to work for. That is a company that has purpose, that has a clear social responsibility. And when those stories become apparent, we will go and tell those stories. But I don’t think the stories have been written yet, there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us over the next few years. And when the stories are ready to be told, we will tell them.  Fernando: Okay. So playing just a little bit of devil’s advocate, as more and more companies are pivoting to green storytelling, some critics accused them of greenwashing. What would you say to those critics? Steve: You know, there will always be, there will always be critics. I think we can be assured of that, but that’s not going to go away. I think the challenge for all of us who are entering this space and participate in this too, is to really walk the talk. And so it’s very easy to issue a tweet. It’s much harder to follow that up with action. And you know, certainly from my vantage point of where I sit and what I see a Microsoft, you know, we, uh, we are going way beyond words and we’re putting things into action. With programs like AI for good were programs more recently like AI for health and with the recent carbon announcements and in our commitments to go and use technology and innovation to find solutions to arguably the biggest challenge we have on the planet right now.  Fernando: So I’m going to end with a selfish question, which is for my own interest, like you, I studied computer science engineering 20 years ago, and then I fell in love with digital marketing. Somehow arrived here as director of marketing at Unbabel, and this year I decided to take this risk to host a branded podcast about our mission: building universal understanding. And as I’m starting in this medium, what advice can you give me to make this podcast a success?  Steve: I think my advice would be to take risks, take risks that you might not ordinarily take. And one of the ways I sometimes think about that is to, I was given a talk last week and I was asked to a question somewhat similar to this. And the way I’ve answered it in the past is maybe this is just a personal thing, but against this backdrop of how do we try and get people’s attention. And ultimately what you’re trying to do with the podcast is to get people’s attention and to have them hear your story. But lots of other people are trying to get people’s attention, lots of other people are invested in podcasts, and so the question I would ask myself is, what is it that’s going to make my podcast stand out or your podcast stand out? And I think it’s, in some ways it’s by thinking about a sailboat. I’d not really much of a sailor, but the brief amount of sail that I did was, you know, learning this lesson about tacking in the opposite direction. And sometimes it’s going in the opposite direction or going in the direction that people might not expect is what’s going to get people’s attention. Because you watch a sailboat race and you see all these sailboats going in one direction, and then you see this one boat that just that it turns, and you sort of look at this, you know, 20 boats on the horizon and you see this one boat go in the other way and you’re like, why is that boat going the other way? And it’s because the skipper of the boat has somehow recognized that the wind is about to change. And so he’s turned his boat in advance of the wind changing to catch that wind coming the other way. And you know, often sails off into the distance and wins the race. And so that is, maybe it’s too simple of an analogy, and it’s not meant to be quite as literal as that in the, you should do exactly the opposite of somebody else. But I think, you know, if I think about that view of the horizon of the boats, all of those 20 boats sailing together is not really going to capture your attention. But what does is when somebody does something a little bit different and then turns in a different direction. Fernando: Well, I love that example because I never sailed in my life until last year when I did take a beginner course for a week, so that’s perfect. Thank you so much, Steve. It was great talking to you.  Steve: My pleasure. Really great to chat with you. Fernando: Thank you for listening to the Unbabel podcast. If you want to discover more of Steve’s work, head over to news.microsoft.com/stories if you like the Unbabel podcast and don’t want to miss future episodes, subscribe on your favorite podcast app, and if you really, really liked us, help others find our podcast by leaving a review or sharing this episode with your friends. The Unbabel podcast is produced by myself, Raquel Magalhães, Raquel Henriques, and resinate recordings.
史蒂夫•克莱顿担任微软首席故事讲述人,获得科技行业最酷的职位。 早在利物浦的童年时代,他便热爱故事讲述,这种热情让他经历了一系列不可思议的事情,最终刷新了微软这个科技巨头的形象。 人人都认为微软的故事耳熟能详,而史蒂夫则将他内心的海盗精神引导到了讲故事上。 每个家庭都安装了个人电脑之后,微软是时候证明自己可以与苹果或谷歌这些炫酷产业平起平坐。 史蒂夫是变革浪潮的一分子,变革使得微软成为更可持续发展的公司,产品种类繁多,让人忘记了Word的存在。 在Unbabel播客的第三集中,我们采访了史蒂夫,听他讲讲故事是如何成为他的职业,以及与一些最有影响力的科技领袖共事感受如何。 然后了解了为什么在他看来讲故事不仅仅是公关策略,同时我们也深入挖掘了他认为每个公司都应该有故事策略的缘由。 请通过podcast@unbabel.com向我们提供反馈、问题和建议。 你可以在苹果播客、谷歌播客、或者你喜欢的播客应用上订阅,第一时间收听! 以下访谈笔录有轻微改动。 费尔南多:嗨,史蒂夫,欢迎做客播客。 非常感谢您抽时间接受访谈。 首席故事讲述人,这是一个让人侧目的头衔。 然而我注意到微软为您马首是瞻,我确信您是个人物,您的团队在微软业务中有战略意义。 我的第一个问题是,你们团队的使命是什么? 史提夫:嗯,首先很高兴参与访谈,很感谢您的邀请。 你知道吗,我一直都很开心能有机会谈谈讲故事。 所以简而言之,团队的任务就是讲述微软内外的故事,帮助人们更好地理解微软公司。 微软是一个15万人的大机构,业务涵盖面广,有商业也有消费业务。 很多人对微软都有自己的了解。 我们的工作是帮助人们全面了解微软,全部人员和所有业务。 微软在世界上的定位,微软的公司使命是什么? 费尔南多:回到20年前,有几个故事你可能讲了无数次,但真的没有办法绕开它。 就是20年前你在微软获得第一份工作的原因,以及后来受邀领导故事团队的原因。 所以,您能简单地为我们介绍一下职业生涯中的这两个决定性时刻吗? 史蒂夫:是的。 第一个是因为认错人。 我曾经为微软客户效力,有一天一位在微软工作的朋友打电话给我说,史蒂夫,你对去微软工作感兴趣吗? 我当然答应了。 我通过了面试,最终得到了工作。 长话短说:在我还在另外那家公司工作的时候,我们会定期和微软碰头。 我当时在英国,在英格兰北部和曼彻斯特地区工作,而微软在英国雷丁以南大约200英里有办事处。公司代表团每个月都会去微软开技术简报会。 所以至少在英国我和微软的很多人都很熟。 正如我提到的,后来,其中一个人问我是否有兴趣到微软工作。 所以我得到了这份工作,我成功地接受了这份工作。 所以我告诉所有的管理层和我在Zeneca的朋友,我要离开当时效力的Zeneca公司。 微软认识我的每个人都知道我即将加入微软。 所以我有一个月的时间完成Zeneca的工作,我仍然在Zeneca工作,还去了几次微软。 我和一群朋友,工作上的同事去了微软,在微软开了一天会。 第一天,在微软开完所有会议之后,我们去了一家名为“公牛”的酒吧,酒吧位于泰晤士河上的一个叫Sonning的村子里,离微软办公室不远。 我和一个同事一起在酒吧里。 最初是保罗给我打了一通电话。 他在电话里问我是否想在微软工作,而他并未参与面试过程,所以自从打了那通电话过后,我就再也没有见过他,如此我对保罗的了解不多。 所以虽然我有些惊讶,但很高兴给我打了那通电话。 于是保罗走进酒吧,我和我的一个同事,还有另外一个也叫史蒂夫的朋友站在吧台边。 保罗走进来,径直走到我们两个面前,伸出手和另一个史蒂夫握手,并祝贺他获得新工作。 另外那个史蒂夫转向他说,我想你指的是这个人,并指着我。 我想,在那一刻保罗才意识到,他一开始的电话是想打给史蒂夫·克拉克的,而事实上他却打给了史蒂夫·克莱顿。 由于他没有参与面试,基本上他们把工作机会给错了人。 22年后的今天,我仍然就职于微软。 所以我可能会说,也许他们给我提供了离职的机会。 费尔南多:故事很棒。 我有一个后续问题,但这实际上是第二个事件的后续问题。 所以第二个事件,我猜也是从一个电话开始的,当你被邀请担任这个新角色的时候开始的。 史蒂夫:是的。 第二个事件开始于大约14年前的那通电话之前,当时我在英国为微软工作,我的工作是制定国际云战略。 所以我在帮你弄清楚。 比如我们把数据中心放在哪里,我们如何改变我们的销售构架,以实现从销售永久许可证到销售在云软件的转变。 与此同时,我开始写一个关于公司的博客,这是一个关于微软的半官方博客,但这真的并非我的日常工作。 只是个爱好。 是的,我写这篇博客是因为我看到的微软的负面报道,这些报道和我身处微软了解到的微软不太吻合。 所以诞生了这个公司,发生了很多很酷的事情。 许多关于这家公司的报道都不是恭维性的。 所以我有些天真地想,好吧,我可以通过写博客来改变人们的看法。 所以我会在晚上和周末花很多时间在这个博客上,我的管理层非常支持这个博客,因为他们可以看出了我的热情和爱好。 因此,我的博客获得了一些粉丝关注也背负了一些骂名。 有时我不想批评公司,但有时,如果想成为一个好的部落客,那么真实性很重要。 所以我们所做的事情并不会一味歌功颂德。 所以我的博客偶尔会引起公司公关部门和公司的注意。 几年后的一天,一个星期二的晚上,我坐在家里,电话响了,来电的是负责微软全球通讯的弗兰克·肖。 弗兰克在电话的另一端说,史蒂夫,我想和你谈谈你的博客。 我以为自己会因为在博客上惹上了麻烦而被解雇。 所以我有点紧张地问,弗兰克,关于博客我能告诉你些什么吗? 他说,我真的很喜欢你的博客。 而我觉得你应该来西雅图做全职,这真是个惊喜。 所以,当时我妻子也在房间里,我跟她说,嘿,我想我刚刚得到了梦寐以求的工作,但我们需要搬到西雅图去。 我们很快就做出了决定,三个月后,我们收拾好了房子,与妻子和九个月大的女儿一起搬到了西雅图,承担起首席故事讲述人的工作。 所以在那之后的十年里我做到了这些。 这是我接到的最重要的电话之一。 也是我做过的最好的决定之一。 费尔南多:听了这两个故事,我想起了另一位嘉宾,呃,我们最近在播客中遇到的,保拉·肯尼迪,她提到了她的事业是如何向上发展的,但却是意想不到的方向。 她告诉我那句名言:你的北极星会水到渠成地找到你。 实际上,这意味着生命中会有许多门打开,你会跟随钟爱之物,直达目的,确切来说是职业生涯的目的。 这是否也是你从这两个故事中学到的一课,以及你给刚开始创业的年轻人的建议? 史提夫:我觉得差不多。 大约四五年前,我坐在酒馆或酒吧里,那里有我所有最好的故事。 所以我就坐在酒馆或酒馆里。 我们在西雅图的微软校园里有一个酒吧,我坐着和朋友聊天,这朋友曾经,或者我曾经在英国工作的时候和他共事,我们谈论的是,你知道,他现在在西雅图工作。 我知道,我们分享了过去几年的故事。 我对约翰说了一句很随意的话。 我说,你知道我真的很幸运。 他因此变得很生气。 他说,实际上,史蒂夫说,我觉得你一点都不幸运。 所以,我最终尝试着把这些故事都放进四五年前我在家乡利物浦的一次TEDx演讲中,听众中有我侄子,我想他当时十二三岁,我最终告诉了我的,我的TEDx对他来说是什么地方,我尝试着把这些教训分享给周围的人。 我学到的一个教训就是在职业生涯中尽可能早地弄清楚,你在这个星球上要做的是什么。 到目前为止,我大概在我职业生涯的一半时间里发现,当我来到这个星球,我要做的就是讲故事。 在最初的15年里,我从事技术工作,销售技术,建造技术,我喜欢这样做,但很明显,我开始写这个博客是因为我喜欢讲故事,小声说一句,我现在基本上做自己喜欢的事是有报酬的。因为我每天都能讲故事,和一群正在创作故事的人一起工作。 所以这是一个很长的答案,但我确实认为,我喜欢这种对称,努力工作和机会结合在一起创造机会,打开机遇之门。 费尔南多:是的,我喜欢一句非常相似的话,就像是,当运气来临的时候,我在干活儿,就像你刚才所说的,拥有独特的技能,我想这对成功是至关重要的。 我在某处读到你有罕见技能,能把极客翻译成英语。 为什么这么重要? 史蒂夫:是的。 我不确定是不是独一无二。 但它肯定对我的职业生涯有帮助,因为我在一个充满科技的领域工作。 我认为我的工作,我喜欢做的事情,是帮助人们更多地理解技术,帮助人们理解技术的影响,或者我认为至少在我职业生涯的早期,有很多人对技术非常兴奋,他们非常擅长谈论技术,谈论特性,谈论我们的产品产生的影响。 我想我只是更倾向于他们所谓的讲故事的感觉,对很多人来说技术可能非常令人困惑,但它也可能是简单的和有力量的世界里,你如何让人们理解事情。 所以我想我会把注意力集中在如何帮助人们理解技术以及它所能产生的影响上。 费尔南多:开始你是第一批只专注于讲故事的公司之一,现在我猜在LinkedIn上有超过20000人拥有这样的头衔。 你是否觉得在讲故事的方向上发生了真正的交流转向? 史蒂夫:我想是的。 事实上,我在公司和会议上经常谈到这一点,我的理论基础,至少我的想法是,你知道,我们现在处在一个信息轰炸的世界,而我们的注意力受到了轰炸。 我认为这是讲故事的兴起的原因。 就像你说的,七年前在LinkedIn上,没有人把讲故事作为头衔或技能。 现在有,我在LinkedIn上看到的最后一项研究是,有超过40万的人没有把这作为一种技能。 他们一直有一个工作头衔,只是他们自称这是拥有的一项技能。 我认为这是对一个世界的一种反应,你知道,我们被数据轰炸,我们被那些非常短暂,非常短暂的东西轰炸。 人们认识到,作为物种,我们是在讲故事的过程中长大的。 你知道,对于我们这些有孩子的人来说,我们谈论讲睡前故事,我们把故事传给几代人,这些故事就代代相传。并不是没有人传递数据或传递事实。 即使是那些被说出来的故事。 而且你知道,即使你只是想着我们在生活中是如何运作的,当你今天晚上结束你的一天回家的时候,你会给你的朋友或者你的家人讲故事。 或者如果你周末出去吃饭,或者你和朋友见面,你会经常谈论一些故事。 人们会说,让我跟你说说我的假期吧。 让我告诉你我读过的一本书。 让我告诉你一段我听的音乐。 让我告诉你我的一次经历。 所有这些事情基本上都是有人在说,想要讲个故事。 费尔南多:正如你在博客《乔装的极客》中提到的,争议是策略的一部分,我可以说你是被海军的招安的海盗。 那你是怎么改变讲故事的风格的? 史提夫:真的没有。 我为之工作的人,尤其是弗兰克可以作证,他在西雅图工作的最初几个星期,如果我可以继续类比的话,我应该说,最初几个月,我确实遇到了海军,我被鼓励降下海盗旗, 这对我来说似乎不太正确,因为,你知道,我认为这对我当时所做的工作很重要的一件事就是,它必须是真实的。 它仍然必须从公司内部讲述故事,但要用声音来帮助公司以外的人理解这些故事。 我们都有一种与生俱来的感觉,可以分辨出什么是不正确的,什么是不真实的。 所以我很抵制一些早期试图淡化这种真实性的尝试。 我们在这方面得到了我的领导,得到了弗兰克的支持,他一直鼓励我保持海盗的心态,你知道,冒险,突破界限,尝试新事物。 有时也会失败,然后从失败中吸取教训,我想说的是,微软在过去六年里建立起来的文化是,我们如何成为一个更敢于冒险的组织,如何从失败中吸取教训,而不是安全行事。 费尔南多:所以当你在西雅图担任故事讲述人的角色时,你觉得微软当时的沟通方式需要做什么改变? 又当如何改变,哪一个改变是公众注意到的? 史蒂夫:我得说,一开始我真的不知道。 如果我真的诚实,我第一天就来到这里,我想,我在做什么? 比如我在这里该做什么? 而“怎么做”比“做什么”更少为人所知。 这是众所周知的,但我要做的是帮助人们了解微软是一个比大家想象中更有创新精神的公司。 但我花了点时间才弄明白怎么做。 所以我花了大约一个月的时间在公司里四处走走,和那些我已经认识的有趣的人交谈。 然后我去见的每一个人,谈话最后我都会问他们,我基本上采访了他们,然后问,你在做什么? 告诉我你的专业领域。 所以我产生了一个想法,好吧,我会去创建一些在公司里做着很酷的事情的很酷的人的个人资料。 所以每一个我见过的人,我都让他们给五个他们认为我应该去见的人的名字。 很快,我就建立了一个四五十人的网络,这些人我都面谈过,这让我对公司里发生的一些有趣的事情有了很好的了解。 但后来我决定,我需要一些框架来讲述这些故事。 当我搬到西雅图的时候,我们建立了一个新的博客,在微软叫做Next,所有的一切都是围绕着下一个东西来自哪里,谁在构建它。 所以我想出了一个框架,我称之为四个P要素,即人物,地点,产品和过程。 这些天来,这些要素在某种程度上演变成了一个不同的框架。 但整个想法是,当我讲一个故事的时候,我会把4个P中的至少两个要素结合起来。 所以我总是去讲述一个产品的故事,我实际上会通过创造这个产品的人或者创造这个产品的地方的镜头来讲述它。 因为我非常相信应当帮助人们了解我认为地点的重要性。 你知道,当你去别人家吃饭或去见他们时,你会真正了解那个人。 不管我们只是凭直觉环顾四周,不管是家还是办公室,你根据墙上的艺术,他们的音乐,或者他们家里或工作场所的东西做出这些假设。 所以我真是想更多地向人们展示微软。 我想向人们更多展示东西构建的过程。 所以在最初的几年里,我一直在学习如何用这些P的组合来讲述故事,但是,如果我想讲述人的故事,我会通过工作地点或者是人们创造的产品来进行讲述。 所以这就是4P要素的倒置。 所以你说的那个从来都不是最棒的。 然后,随着时间的推移,它逐渐发展,最初只有我独当一面。 现在,十年后的今天,我们发展如此,团队里有35个人,他们在公司内外为不同的观众讲述各种不同的故事。 所以这是一个真正的进化,但我要说的是,在最初的几个月里,我真的不知道该怎么做。 你不会总是这样做,但不是真正的方法。 Fernando:因为几乎每个人都在生活中的某个阶段与微软产品有交集。 你觉得这会让工作更容易还是更难? 史提夫:我觉得有点两者兼而有之。 我们很幸运,因为很多人只是通过我们的产品熟悉微软。 当你的产品被使用,像windows和office这样的产品被世界上十亿甚至更多的人使用,那么你肯定会有很高的知名度。 你知道,我们是一家已经有45年历史的公司,所以我们也算有些历史,但我们也有很多业务取决于根基,如果你是一家企业,那么你可能知道我们的很多商业产品,比如windows或者Azure,或者也有一些你可能不太熟悉的团队,比如Minecraft或者Xbox,或者我们业务中有一些更面向消费者的部分。 但我认为比所有这些更重要的是要帮助人们理解我们在星球存在的使命。 你知道,作为一家公司,我们确实有这样一个使命宣言:赋予地球上每一个人和每一个组织更多的力量去成功。 所以我认为有知名度很好,但这实际上只是第一步。 这也许给了我们一个机会或者允许我们去帮助人们了解微软作为一家公司到底是什么样。 费尔南多:嗯,你提到了使命宣言,我相信这不是偶然的,因为微软经常重复这一点,对吗? 但是你在微软期间,我相信这个说法改变了两次。 所以,在史蒂夫•鲍尔默的CEO任期即将结束时,微软的使命宣言首先从每家每户的电脑变成了更复杂的东西。 你是否参与了这场变革,你如今对此有何感想? 史蒂夫:我参与了对当前使命宣言的一些修改。 你知道,我们的使命宣言确实始于45年前。 每家每户都有微软。 从技术上讲,这实际上更像是一种愿景,因为它有一种更可测量的,更可实现的目标,即在每个家庭的每一张桌子上都有一台PC,你可以衡量它。 所以,关于愿景陈述和使命陈述的一些技术细节,这更像是我们想要达到的某个目标的愿景陈述。 而今天的使命宣言是围绕着赋予人们力量去成就更多,你可以说这是我们将要做的事情,你知道,这是一个旅程。 而不是目的地。 我们永远人在旅途。 因此,我确实参与了一些帮助创建新的使命声明的工作。 我要说的是两件事,一是我为公司拥有这样的使命宣言而感到骄傲。 所以,你知道,我们已经有大约六年的时间了,我们经常重复,而且非常有意地重复,能够传达出去是很重要的。 重要的是,我们不要忘记,不是人人都传达到位了。 仅仅因为我们说过一次,并不意味着每个人都听到了。 还有,我要说的第二件事是,在这个使命声明中使用的词有很多意向性。 有些还挺好玩的。 我们曾经有过激烈争论,究竟是使用地球上的每个人还是宇宙中的每个人这样的字眼。 因为就在我们制定任务说明的时候,我们刚刚在国际空间站上安装了一个空心透镜。 因此,参与该项目的团队非常确信,我们的任务应该延伸到行星之外,实际上是宇宙之中。 但撇开玩笑不谈,公司的高层领导们付出了很多努力,花了很多时间在每个人和每个组织身上去甄选出这些词语,因此我们认识到我们确实为这个服务,我们为这个星球服务,我们不仅仅是为发达国家或商业企业服务。 我们服务于个人。 我们服务于非洲农民,服务于美国东海岸的初创企业,服务于澳大利亚非政府组织。 我们确实试图向社区提供产品,平台和技术,另外一个问题是我们试图为人们效劳,我们试图授之以渔,帮助他们做更多他们想做的事情,不管是在工作还是生活中。 所以选择的词有很多意向性。 费尔南多:你也意识到任务声明是可以演变的,所以你可以今天关注星球,然后在未来如果它超越了这个行星,就更改任务,对吗? 史蒂夫:我想我们可以。 我觉得其中一件让我感到高兴的事情是,它并没有实质的变更,而建立可信度和信任的方法之一便是保持一致性。 我们在谈论使命时一直保持着难以置信的一致性,在帮助讲述我们可以说的故事时也保持着难以置信的一致性,这里有一些关于使命和行动的例子。 费尔南多:UNBABEL的使命声明和这个播客的灵感实际上是建立普遍的理解。 在一个公司的旅程中,你认为在哪一点上重温和改变使命是有意义的? 史提夫:我不知道。 我认为当发生重大变化时,不管是公司内部还是外部环境,这也许是有意义的。 但我的一般感觉,你知道,也许我可以这样回答,如果微软的使命声明20年后仍然原封不动,我个人会很高兴。 我认为这在某种程度上是场考验,考验一个伟大的使命宣言是否有耐久性,是否有耐力。 费尔南多:你曾有机会与微软历史上的三位核心人物--首席执行官--共事,所以我想当比尔·盖茨在任的时候,你共事过一段时间。 然后是史蒂夫·鲍尔默,再后来是萨蒂亚·纳德拉。 我想说的是三种不同领导风格中的沟通方式不同。 你能利用的最大优势是什么?你必须克服的挑战是什么? 史提夫:嗯,我真的没有太多机会和比尔一起工作。 我采访过他一次,真的很有趣。 我们当时谈论的是windows seven和windows phone,所以不幸的是,我没有机会和比尔密切合作,只和史蒂夫·鲍尔默进行了交流合作,我为史蒂夫·鲍尔默做了一些草样。 所以我仍然乐此不疲的事情就是演示,展示技术,做现场演示。 所以我有机会和史蒂夫一起做过现场,那很有趣。 你知道,他对一切都充满激情,当然对科技也是如此。 这是一个很有趣的工作。 但在过去的六年里,我有机会与萨蒂亚和他的团队更紧密地合作。 他是一个非常好的故事讲述人,他认识到了故事的力量,他肯定认识到了这种力量。 我谈过我很佩服他的重复能力,这是一件非常困难的事情,因为当你和一个CEO,任何一个CEO一样多的谈话和演讲时,能够适应重复自己的能力是一种真正的技能。 所以我说,你知道,我想我可能已经看到萨蒂亚在这个阶段发表了五六百次演讲。 他担任首席执行官已经六年出头了。 我要说的是,他的每一次演讲都谈到了使命宣言,他真的每每谈及于此。作为一个沟通者和一个讲故事的人,这是非常非常难做到的,因为说同样的话很容易让人厌倦。 但我认为他清楚地认识到了这样做的力量,他非常清楚地表明我们真的相信这件事。 使命宣言也允许公司内部很多人,让他们能够做一些工作,我所做的工作,我所讲的故事,都将与我的使命宣言相一致。 因此,过去六年讲故事这件事对我们来说是不同寻常的。 费尔南多:我最近读了一本名为《史蒂夫·乔布斯的演示秘诀》的书,这本书帮助每个人通过遵循工作的战术手册来制作更有效的演示文稿。 你也许可以写一本关于萨蒂亚·纳德拉的演讲秘诀的书。 你会关注什么? 你已经提到了任务声明的重复。 你还会给那些想要做精彩演讲的人什么建议? 史蒂夫:首先,我要说史蒂夫·乔布斯是一位令人难以置信的演讲者。 所以,当我在职业生涯早期的时候,我会研究他,看一看他的演讲,他的技术和他用来支撑东西的幻灯片。 你知道,他是个了不起的故事讲述者。 所以我们真正给人们的一个建议是,在我职业生涯的早期,我就得到了一个建议,就跟着行业大师亦步亦趋,从他们那里学习。 所以,我在职业生涯早期花了很多时间去想如何成为一个更好的演讲者,我花了很多时间去看一遍又一遍的Ted演讲。 我记得,其中一个我非常熟悉的是肯·罗宾逊,他做了几次Ted演讲,他做的第一个演讲是关于如何改革教育的。 Ted演讲是一个不可思议的途径,他带人们踏上征程,他讲故事,他在讲故事的过程中融入了很多幽默。 但是如果我试图把这些总结起来,然后说,我学到的一些技巧是什么,我想就是,你知道的,在你展示的时候,你要讲的故事的弧线有一个真实的感觉。 这简单的令人难以置信,能够说有一个故事的体系。 因此,在某种程度上,我们制造了一些紧张,并说,我们要解决的问题是什么。 你知道,我们怎样才能克服这个挑战? 向人们展示解决方案,然后带着人们体验,向他们展示你是如何知道解决方案的影响的。 这是一个简短的说法,你知道,最好的展示,带人们走上经典的故事之旅,你知道,这种英雄之旅。 我会说,当你的主角是一个真正的主角,而不是产品,这真的很有用。 所以我想说的是,我所学到的只是理解和识别你想要讲述的故事的弧线。 你知道,几周前,我在葡萄牙做了一个演讲,两周前,我便拿着纸笔坐下来,写下了故事的章节,构思我将如何设置谈论的主题,如何在故事中引入一点张力,如何在故事中引入一些英雄人物,如何展示这个积极的结果。 所以对我来说,坐下来把故事写在一张纸上,并把它画成一个弧线,这是一件很重要的事情。 现在有很多很棒的工具来支持这一点。 我要说,我最经常向人们推荐的是南希·杜阿尔特的一本很棒的书,她是一位出色的演讲教练,她自己也经营着一家叫做杜阿尔特的公司,而南希所著《共鸣》,我认为是教导如何成为一名出色的演讲者的最好工具之一,但实际上,它是一本无与伦比的讲故事的书籍。 费尔南多:你在微软社会责任角度分享了很多故事。 这是你从一开始就想强调的,还是仅仅是这样发展的? 史蒂夫:我认为在六年前,当我们制定了这个新的使命宣言的时候,我们就这样发展,它确实让我们处于一个有目标的公司的地位。 你知道,不管是社会目标还是什么目标。 所以一旦有了目标,也就是,赋予地球上每个人和组织更多的力量去更有成就,我们就有了这个画布,去讲述故事,开始改变我们一直在做的故事讲述,也许更专注于我们自己和我们在这个世界上所做的事情。 现在我们更多关注于技术影响,谁曾说过,在非洲,农民是如何利用微软技术来获得更好的作物产量? 澳大利亚,一个初创企业是如何利用信息技术来保护自然栖息地?而在英国,一个医疗机构又是如何利用信息技术来提供更好的医疗保健结果的。 所以就在我们创造这个使命宣言的时候,这些故事出现了。 它可以说改变了我们的视野,改变了讲述故事的类型,你知道,在我们的技术对世界的影响中,这给了我们一种几乎无穷无尽的能力去寻找和讲述关于技术影响的伟大故事。 费尔南多:很多这样的故事和科技的影响都与语言有关。 这显然是我们在UNBABEL非常关心的一个问题。 例如,你的岳母是中国人,你可以用Skype翻译或讲述非洲语言正在消亡的故事时与她交流,然后微软将其编码到windows office中并帮助保存。 你觉得为什么语言会成为如此伟大的故事的主题? 史蒂夫:嗯,我认为语言仍然是种族隔阂的原因之一。 并非刻意而为,但每个人都有自己的,不是每个人,但有许多文化和语言,他们的发展的方式在某些情况下产生了障碍,我不会讲Fulfulde语。 所以我们最近编码到windows和office中的语言现在是这样一种语言,我们在某个时候有可能从Fulfulde语翻译成英语。 这样我就能和以前无法交流的人交流了。 因此,我认为从根本上讲,语言是每个社区都应该珍视的东西,因为它的历史和起源。 但是语言也是造成人与人之间隔阂的东西。 因此,在我们能够使用技术来消除这些障碍的程度上,我认为这是非常了不起的。 我妻子那边有家人是中国人。 我不会说中文,他们中的许多人也不会说英语。 这真的很难,我家里有些人我根本无法和他们交谈,但通过科技的力量,我现在可以和他们交谈了。 费尔南多:你知道,Lori Thicke,Ttranslators Whiterous Borders的创始人之一,也是这个播客的另一位嘉宾。 她对保存稀有语言以及与这些语言一起生生死死的一切都充满热情。 在您的一个开箱插曲中,您触及了这个话题,并指出每两周就会有一种语言死亡。 微软的“AI for good”计划正在解决这个问题和其他问题,以保护世界各地人类文化的多样性。 你能告诉我更多关于人工智能的信息吗?微软为什么要投入资源? 史蒂夫:嗯,人工智能是,你知道,它是这些技术之一,可以说将是最重要的技术之一。 在过去的五六年里,它真的成为一项技术,它的时代已经到来,因为它结合了几乎无限的计算能力,结合了大量的数据以及人工智能算法的一些真正的突破。 所以AI就是这个,它是翻译技术下面的东西,它允许你从英语翻译成汉语,从汉语翻译成英语。 因此,我们已经认识到,这项技术具有巨大的潜力,可以保存甚至发展现存的文化,这些文化或语言以前可能已经消逝。 你知道,围绕人工智能的工作就属于这样一个范畴:我们如何能够帮助创造一个舞台,让人们利用人工智能,并通过我们提供的资助来应用它,帮助人们利用人工智能技术,解决其中的一些挑战,这些挑战确实帮助我们保存,你知道,不管是语言还是文化,在世界任何地方。 费尔南多:你认为每一个像微软这样在全球有足迹的公司,都有责任创造社会和环境项目,还是在商业上这是可选的? 史蒂夫:我个人认为这不是可有可无的。 我认为,你知道,我们,我们确实对我们在世界上扮演的角色负有责任,而且我们在所有地方社会中扮演的角色是什么? 你知道,去年最令我自豪的事情之一是微软宣布投资5亿美元来解决西雅图的住房危机,我们有些人住不起西雅图,他们在我们的社区工作,甚至在微软的社区工作。 因此,我认为,像我们这样的组织,当然有责任说,你知道,我们能做些什么? 不管是在我们西雅图的后院,还是在世界的另一边,正如我前面提到的,你知道,我们在澳大利亚和一群创业公司一起做的一些工作,帮助保护那里的环境和生态系统的生物多样性。 费尔南多:而且微软最近发表了一个大声明,通过moonshot倡议,到2030年你将是碳负值,以清除公司自创立以来排放的所有碳。 你如何看待这些倡议在未来10年的传播? 你是不是已经准备好这个故事了? 史蒂夫: 你知道,关于我们如何寻求更多的可再生能源来源,我们已经在做大量的工作,以便我们能够实现我们已经实现的目标,你知道,2030年碳中和,然后到2050年,我们承诺消除微软自1975年成立以来排放到大气中的所有碳,所以这些都是一些大胆的大目标。 你知道,我们也认识到我们并没有所有的答案。 这就是为什么我们在创新基金中投入了10亿美元来鼓励其他人说,我们在哪里能找到解决我们所知道的一些挑战的方法呢? 甚至还有一些我们不知道的挑战。 因此,我认为,你知道,我们去年所做的经济适用房工作的结合,最近的这一宣布,这两个对我来说是公司最骄傲的时刻,因为它,它,你知道,那就是我想为之工作的公司。 这是一个有目标,有明确社会责任的公司。 当这些故事变得显而易见的时候,我们会去讲述那些故事。 但我认为故事还没有写好,在接下来的几年里,我们还有很多艰苦的工作要做。 当故事准备好要讲的时候,我们就会讲出来。 费尔南多:好的。 因此,当越来越多的公司转向讲环保故事,一些批评人士指责它们在粉饰太平。 你会如何回应那些批评人士? 史蒂夫:你知道,总会有人批评。 我想我们可以放心,但这不会消失。 我认为,对于我们所有进入这个领域并参与其中的人来说,挑战是真正做到言行一致。 所以发布推特很容易。 很难采取后续行动。 你知道,当然,从我所坐的位置和我所看到的微软的有利角度来看,我们,呃,我们正在远远超越口头,我们正在把事情付诸行动。 类似AI for good这样的项目更像是最近的AI for health这样的项目,还有最近的碳排放声明,以及我们承诺利用技术和创新来寻找解决方案,来应对我们目前面临的这个星球上最大的挑战。 费尔南多:所以我出自私心问最后一个问题,这是为了我自己的兴趣,和你一样,我在20年前学习了计算机科学工程,然后我爱上了数字营销。 不知何故,我来到这里担任Unbabel的市场总监,今年我决定冒着这个风险主持一个品牌播客,讲述我们的使命:建立普遍理解。 当我开始做这个媒体的时候,你能给我什么建议来让这个播客成功吗? 史蒂夫:我想我的建议是去冒险,去冒你通常不会冒的险。 我有时想到的一个方法是,上周我有一次演讲,我被问到一个和这个问题有点类似的问题。 我过去回答的方式是,也许这只是个人的事情,但在这样一个背景下,我们该如何努力吸引人们的注意。 最终,你想通过播客来吸引人们的注意力,让他们听到你的故事。 但是很多人都在试图吸引人们的注意,很多人都投资播客,所以我要问自己的问题是,到底是什么让我的播客脱颖而出,还是让你的播客脱颖而出? 我认为,在某种程度上,是对帆船的思考。 我并不是一个真正的水手,但我所做的短暂的航线,你知道,学习了这一课,关于在相反的方向。 有时候,它会朝着相反的方向发展,或者朝着人们可能意想不到的方向发展,这才会引起人们的注意。 因为你看帆船比赛,你会看到所有的帆船都朝一个方向行驶,然后你会看到一条船,它转向了,你会看到,20条船在地平线上,而这条船朝另一条方向行驶,你会想,为什么那条船会朝另一条方向行驶呢? 这是因为船长不知何故意识到风向即将改变。 所以他在风向改变之前把他的船转向,以捕捉到从另一个方向来的风。 你知道,他们经常驶向远方并一帆风顺。 也就是说,也许这个类比太简单了,它并不是说的那么字面意思,你应该和别人背道而驰。 但我认为,你知道,如果我想想那些船的地平线,所有20艘船一起航行并不能真正吸引你的注意力。 但是,吸引注意的是有人做了与众不同的事,然后转向不同的方向。 费尔南多:嗯,我喜欢这个例子,因为我一生中从来没有航行过,直到去年我上了一个星期的初级课程,所以这是完美的。 太感谢你了,史蒂夫。 和你谈话很愉快。 史蒂夫:非常荣幸。 很高兴和您访谈。 费尔南多:感谢您收听Unbabel播客。 如果您想了解更多史蒂夫的作品,请访问news.microsoft.com/stories如果您喜欢Unbabel播客并且不想错过以后的节目,请订阅您最喜欢的播客应用程序;如果您真的非常喜欢我们,请通过留言评论或与您的朋友分享此节目来帮助其他人找到我们的播客。 本次播客由我,Raquel Magalhães,Raquel Henriques和resinate录音制作。