Journalist Adam Lashinksy wrote an excellent article in Fortune Magazine about the inner workings of Apple. It’s a fascinating read. Especially if you’re working in a (large) company yourself and know how difficult it is for a large organization to be constantly innovating at a high level.
It’s about organization, process, communication and vision. All of which seem to fall in its right place at Apple with Steve Jobs as a pivotal factor. As we know secrecy is one of Apple’s strong points, but it turns out that the company is also secretive internally
There’s a small group at Apple that most certainly has met Steve Jobs.It’s called the top 100, and every year or so Jobs gathers these select few for an intense three-day strategy session at a proverbially secure, undisclosed location. Everything about this Top 100 meeting is shrouded in secrecy, starting with its very existence. Those tapped to attend are encouraged not to put the meeting in their calendars. Discussing participation is a no-no, even internally.
Another strong mantra within Apple is specialisation
Specialization is the norm at Apple, and as a result, Apple employees aren’t exposed to functions outside their area of expertise.
Then about responsibility
The acountibility mindset extends down to the ranks. At Apple there is never any confusion to who is responsible for what. Internal Apple speak even has a name for it, the DRI, or directly responsible individual.
Being part of a large organization myself, I was delighted to see that only the CFO has P&L responsibility, for Apple P&Ls are distractions for managers. Other gems include the mantra of constant course correction and when talking about innovation: prototypes before spreadsheets (amen!).
The article is fascinating to read, here’s the bootlegged PDF.