I have not always been a fan of Apple. Ten years ago, I did not have a single Apple product in the home or business.
Today, I am a serious fan of Apple because their products make my life more far more productive and fun. Every team member in our office has an iMac or MacBook Pro. I believe a beautiful, fast iMac creates joy for our employee team members.
My family has several iPods, iPads, and iPhones, and we just brought an iMac into our home office.
How is it possible that a single company can create multiple products that literally create or shape multiple industries?
It became possible with the commitment of Steve Jobs. All evidence suggests that Steve Jobs was committed to having the best possible talent on the team with the best possible processes in combination with the best possible Culture.
Do you have that commitment?
The opportunity is obvious. How does one emulate the best management practices of Apple? Because Apple is hyper-secretive, their practices are difficult to study. Furthermore, because Steve Jobs was a very misunderstood and recognized brilliant man, many believe that the management secrets that created Apple are difficult to reproduce.
I beg to differ.
I have read several books about Apple and the best thus far is “Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired – and Secretive – Company Really Works.” by Adam Lashinsky.
By the way, I read “Inside Apple” on my iPad using the iBook app. If you are not using it, I recommend doing so.
“Inside Apple” is well-written and a must read for those serious about creating excellence in their organization. This book is on my “virtual shelf” right next to “Winning” by Jack Welch.
Apple’s culture may be characterized by five core beliefs that are seemingly solid and non-negotiable. These core beliefs are:
- Clear Direction
- Individual Accountability
- Sense of Urgency
- Constant Feedback
- Clarity of Mission
In working with companies large and small over the last decade, I have come to see serious problem areas around these core beliefs.
- How clear is the direction of your company?
- Is each employee team member accountable?
- Is there a sense of urgency to improve your product / service?
- Is your feedback candid or watered down?
- How clear is your mission?
Great companies are crystal clear about these five core beliefs and they do not negotiate with employees about these values. The needs of a company, shareholders, and the families that depend upon success far outweigh the needs of individual employees who are unable or unwilling to believe.