I was reading this article on Microsoft hiring a Wal-Mart CEO so they can try to get into retail like Apple at The Branding Strategy Insider Blog.

It got me to asking a few questions: How do you begin to change a culture like Microsoft?  Can one person hijacked from another company change the whole culture of the company?

Microsoft and Apple have been battling for years now.  If 15 years ago you would have said Apple would be ahead of Microsoft everyone would have laughed at you.  Now today Apple is looked at as the leader.  Why you might ask?  They have made huge progress by changing peoples paradigms.  They took some huge risks and they are paying off.  Their three biggest market changers have been:

  1. The Ipod
  2. The Iphone
  3. The Apple Stores

All three of these things are ideas that challenged the status quo in a big way.  They weren’t just big improvements they were seismic shifts on how people viewed these things.  The Ipod revolutionized how people listened to music.  The Iphone made a regular cell phone one of the most powerful gadgets ever.  And the Apple Store concept created an almost cult like following with the great ways of educating and showing people the Apple products with people who loved Apple.

Microsoft is doing what it has been doing lately.  Instead of trying to come up with some new concepts and creating some “Blue Ocean.”  They are trying to take something someone else has done and copy it. 

What should Wal Mart do?

Instead of hiring a CEO who used to be at Wal-Mart.  Hire the youngest CEO ever who has experience in a lot of technology and can relate to the target market.

One person is not going to change the culture at Microsoft.  They need to change their paradigm and way of thinking.  They need to shake some things up and try something no one else has done.  For instance look at what Amazon has done with the Kindle.  Look for something like that to totally change the way people view something.  And don’t think hiring one person is going to magically change the culture and put it on the right path.