Can Apple still Innovate after Jobs?

File under:
Design Leadership

Written by Brian Ling (Design Sojourn)
Oct 10, 2012


That’s the billion dollar question.

But without Jobs, can Apple still innovate? George Colony of Forrester Research suggested in April that Apple will, like Sony after the death of its leader, Akio Morita, in 1999, decline: “When Steve Jobs departed, he took three things with him: 1) singular charismatic leadership that bound the company together and elicited extraordinary performance from its people; 2) the ability to take big risks; and 3) an unparalleled ability to envision and design products.”

He suggested that Apple had between two and four years before revenue growth and product innovation would stall.

Cook, though, denied that Jobs had had such a key importance, especially in the product field. “The [product] curator role moves around as it always had [when Jobs was there],” Cook told the ATD conference. “No one person does it all.”

With its fragmented product development process and interdepartmental secrecy, someone still needs to put it all together. Someone has to have the overall view aligned with a long term vision. In the past that was Steve. Now with him gone, I’m not so sure who does that and I don’t buy how the role “moves” around.

What I would be also interested to see is the interpersonal dynamics within the top executives, especially if the curator role changes. That’s the key, as such fragmentation will eventually lead to silos.

Via: Guardian UK.

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