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Microsoft - Conflict of Interest

Posted by Artem Kotenko

Microsoft needed to communicate the risks of Conflicts of Interest to their team. Our latest animation takes the issue serious while taking viewers on a fun ride.

Running time: 1:41


Derek decides to hire the company that he owns with his spouse to work on his Microsoft project.

Do you think Derek is making the best decision for Microsoft, or could his judgment be affected by the fact that we will benefit financially? Derek’s situation is an example of a conflict of interest.

Conflicts of interest exists where your decisions might be influenced by:

1) your relationship with a family member, or

(2) your financial interest in another company.

These situations can cause negative consequences for team dynamics, financial damage, and reputational damage to Microsoft. If Derek goes through with his decision, Microsoft may end up overpaying for inadequate work, or missing the deadline.

Thankfully, Derek thinks twice. It’s best to avoid conflict of interest situations altogether. But sometimes, there might be an important business need that justifies engaging in a conflict of interest situation. If that’s the case, you must disclose the conflict of interest through these easy steps: Submit the conflict of interest disclosure form.

Have a conversation with your manager to discuss the situation and risks. Get written approval through the tool. Review the situation annually with your manager - is it still necessary for you to be engaged? As a manager, you are in the best position to understand the situation and its potential impact.

Make sure approving the conflict is in the best interest of Microsoft, and impose conditions to mitigate the risk. Read the COI policy to learn more