Using Intramural Rivalry
~ My high school had (and still has) a house system, modeled on the traditional arrangement in English schools. All students are assigned to one of four houses, each with its own symbols, traditions, and social events. They provide a way of promoting esprit de corps across different grade levels, but their most obvious purpose is to provide various forms of intramural competition in sports, debating or other contests.
J.K. Rowling imagined a house system at the fictional Hogwarts.
Similar loyalty-building divisions and intense competition can also be found between the various branches of the US military, especially among the elite units of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
Companies sometimes form competing "skunk works" teams to each independently tackle tough problems.
These institutions all seek through a kind of tribal loyalty to promote rivalry and vigorous competition that, in theory increases the excellence of all.
So why isn't it working at Microsoft?