A smiling woman sitting at a desk holding reading glasses and looking at a notebook

“I decided to trust my crazy idea.”

Rashelle Tanner has a well-worn journal with the words “Trust your crazy ideas” embossed on the cover. When a crazy idea came to her to make corporate training videos as good as any binge-worthy TV she’d seen, she opened her journal and got to work.

When I came to Microsoft, I was asked to reimagine our compliance learning programs, including our annual Standards of Business Conduct course, which is required training for all employees and our board of directors.

The course needed to teach employees how to approach ethical challenges with integrity. But first, I knew that the training had to be interesting and had to stick with employees.

I considered the TV shows that people typically binge watch—shows with suspense between each episode; shows with relatable characters, timely storylines, and complex decisions.

That’s when a crazy idea hit me. Could we make the course into a binge-worthy saga that would focus on getting employees hooked on the show and invested in the characters?

I was nervous about making such a drastic change, but after season one launched, it went viral. I received a lot of very positive feedback from employees. Several coworkers from all over the company helped make it a success.

We just released season four, and I keep getting asked what will happen next—but no spoilers!—Rashelle Tanner, from Seattle, Washington

A mother and daughter hold hands by the river and smile

“Standing up for what’s right often isn’t comfortable.”

As an attorney, Makalika Naholowa’a says her law degree gives her a rare privilege, and she feels responsible to use it for good.
a man smiling with the ocean behind him

“I came across a piece of testimony and thought, ‘Well, that’s not what I expected!'”

As a teenager in small village, Sergio Matos never imagined how another person’s story would shape his own.
A woman writing on a white board with a blue marker

“I love helping people who are not served by the education system.”

Maria Mendiburo is a former teacher who’s excited about how technology can spark curiosity in the minds of students. Now, she volunteers to team teach computer science at a small town high school.
A man lays on a hammock with his children, a boy and a girl, who hang their legs over his lap

“I’m part of something that’s so much bigger than me.”

Chief environmental officer Lucas Joppa's childhood playground was a forest. No TV. No computers. Now, he's betting our planet’s future on technology.
A woman smiling while standing in a school library with a shelf of books behind her

“I firmly believe you can’t be what you can’t see.”

Dublin teacher Amanda Jolliffe knows firsthand the life-changing impact of role models. And that’s why she’s dedicated her career to showing students what’s possible for them, too.
Royce Martin and Heather Dowdy having a conversation while standing in the snow outside their family home in Chicago.

“My life has given me a special lens for people marginalized by the intersection of race, gender, class, and disability.”

Growing up on the Southside of Chicago, Heather Dowdy found her relationship with her hardworking dad led her to develop products that everyone can use.