Over a decade ago, when I moved from the United States to join Microsoft Canada, I approached the position with enthusiasm and inspiration, but also with a sense of sadness that came from leaving communities my family and I deeply valued. Unsurprisingly though, we were immediately welcomed to Toronto by people embodying our shared goal of fostering a deep sense of community.
Motivated to empower and connect with communities across the country, Microsoft Canada embarked on projects like working with local hospitals to help young patients stay connected with their peers through education and fun. I learned so much from my time in Canada about the impact we can make when businesses and communities work together, and I continue to see positivity working all over the globe in ways that inspire me.
Throughout my travels, I’ve seen how empowered workers can become ambassadors to their communities, by making social programs stronger and bringing the message of corporate responsibility to their friends, colleagues, and neighbors. I feel lucky to have witnessed the impact these inspiring people make to not just create a happier workplace but to achieve more in the places they live.
There’s an old saying to think globally but to act locally.
Take, for example, a Microsoft Technology Center (MTC). These centers exist all over the world to help empower organizations to achieve and learn more. The mission of the MTC is to function as a place where business leaders and tech experts can experience immersive, hands-on learning, initiating a ripple effect of inspiration that spread from that center throughout its local community.
When customers visit an MTC, they come away thinking about technology in new ways. I’m personally inspired when I see someone walk away from their MTC experience inspired by the art of the possible, thinking, “Look at these new innovations. What can I do with this?” By featuring a spirit of collaboration and showcasing emerging technologies, we’re sending business leaders into their local environment feeling excited and lit up with ideas, ready to share with others.
Capturing that same spirit of excitement and passing it on through your business is as simple as showing up. Be present in your community. Look to engage in philanthropic endeavors with your organization. At Microsoft, we’re always looking to empower youth through STEM programs and finding ways to encourage inclusion. Back in June, Microsoft partnered with Special Olympics, bringing people together with a day centered on youth, friendly competition, and celebrating what makes us different. Words are one thing, but demonstrating your values by showing up is a huge boost to trust. In cases such as these, actions always speak louder than words.
The key to fostering continual engagement is to connect yourself to people and organizations that share your community values. When we challenge ourselves to achieve more as part of our daily mission, it can drive the change we need to make the world a better place.