What Could Apple’s Passion Do for Your Team?

What sort of values would an organization have to venerate if it wanted to duplicate Apple’s successes?

          Gary Hamel, What Matters Now

For months now I’ve been circling Apple like a moth around a flame, and have now taken the plunge:

As Vision Room Curator, I will be working off of a MacBook Pro.

As if the Auxano learning curve weren’t enough, I am also transitioning from decades of PC use to the world of Apple. I’ll have to get back to you on how it’s going, but for now, a quick drop-in to noted business thinker and strategist Gary Hamel’s thoughts on Apple from his book What Matters Now.

Specifically, his answers to the question above.

Be Passionate – great success is the product of a great passion; it arises from the tireless and inventive pursuit of a noble ideal. To deliver years of exceptional performance, an organization must first dedicate itself to the pursuit of an exceptional ideal.

Lead, Don’t Follow – what gets the teams at Apple up every morning? The chance to break new ground and radically redefine the status quo.

Aim to Surprise – as a company, Apple seems committed to exceeding expectations. Jonathan Ives, Apple’s head of design, stated “When something exceeds your ability to understand how it works, it becomes sort of magical.” That’s the bar Apple sets for itself.

Be Unreasonable – greatness doesn’t come from compromise, from resigning oneself to the trade-offs others blithely accept. It comes from transcending trade-offs, by turning either/or into both/and. Apple gets this, and frequently challenges itself to do the impossible.

Innovate Incessantly and Pervasively – at Apple, innovation isn’t a strategy or a department; instead, it’s the basic material that goes into everything the company does. Apparently there are a lot of people at Apple who realize that innovation – in products, services, and business models – is the only strategy for creating long-term value.

Sweat the Details – Apple aims to produce products that work intuitively, seamlessly, and reliably – and this can only happen when hundreds of people take the trouble to sweat the details.

Think Like an Engineer, Feel Like an Artist – a company can’t produce beauty if bean counters win every argument. There are lots of people at Apple who work out of both sides of their brain – and understand that their customers do too.

What’s the bottom line? Apple’s unique success is a product of its unique values, which are uniquely innovation-friendly and customer-centric.

What if Apple’s passions were the norm rather than the exception…

…at your church?

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