The New Look of Work

Strong corporate culture is an established “must-have” for working millennials. That means it’s a must for hiring managers and CEOs as well. And recently, Photographer Brian Smale has been helping Microsoft with exactly that.

Brian photographed Microsoft’s technology leadership team – a group whose limited internal exposure led them to be labeled “aloof.” Mario Juarez, Executive Communications Manager, explains, “Brian’s amazing portraits gave much-needed personality to our communications, and heightened the profile of our leadership team, revealing their true spirit, intelligence and diversity.”

Corporate Culture, after all, is much more than free lunch and bike racks. As a recent Huffington Post article points out, modern work is built around human creativity and capability. There’s not as much of a divide between who you are and what you do as there was in a machine-based economy. Millennials, especially, want to be recognized and valued for who they really are.

This merging of work and personal identities is what makes Brian’s portraits so culturally powerful. “The team brings their own props and ideas,” explains Brian. “We only get about 30 minutes with each person, so I just try to make it comfortable and fun.”

Brian’s magic is, he knows how to get each of his subjects to come to life,” says Steve Clayton, Chief Storyteller at Microsoft. “Sometime through patience, sometimes by having them do a handstand. Or blowing bubbles. Or becoming Ziggy Stardust. And yup, morale is up.” Adds Juarez, “This was definitely one of the best investments we made in FY 15.”

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