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10-Feb-12

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Collaborative Leadership in Startup Culture Apple as case study


Apple Inc. reported highest quarterly revenue and earnings ever with an all-time record sale of iPhone, iPad and Mac. Company posted record quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per diluted share (Source: Apple Press Info, Jan 24, 2012). This was just after Steve Jobs death on October 5th, 2011. The company has reacted to his death in the most positive way by setting an all-time record. Reflecting on Apples past, just a decade ago before Steve Jobs took over as CEO the company held a different vision and was not collaborative enough to win the market. Steve Jobs was a strong leader who believed in Collaborative leadership. His idea was to embed innovation and entrepreneurship in culture of Apple to provide cutting-edge technology and invest on bleeding-edge technologies. He incorporated the idea of startup culture in every players mind and believed in having just one cohesive strategy to reach his vision. Technically he believed in pulling the plug (Jim Collins, 1997) if required. In other words, he would shut down all those businesses that were not aligned with his vision whether they generated revenue or not. Culture plays an important role in Collaborations. It is entrenched in the very heart of the business and the processes built are reflective of that. Collaborative leadership is all about enabling and facilitating teams to participate in a constructive way thereby creating scope for creative conflict to encourage creation of new ideas, exploration of new dimensions, mitigation of possible risks analyzed and creation of a safe channel for successful implementation of ideas generated.
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DN: 006/CEO/2012 V1.0

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Copyright 2012 iPOTT

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Getting you there Innovators have a unique way of looking at their inventions, some of them look at it as business or work and for a few others it is passion and commitment. It could be an individual looking at opportunities to incubate his idea in company or an employee with a flair for new design trends. Apple as an innovation startup believes in collaborating with such teams of researchers and innovators who can envision a product that will be an outcome of team effort. Apple has a holistic view of its operations. The strategy is to have a cohesive approach towards all aspects of products starting from conceptualization to sales. This implies that at any given time the product and all related information is accessible which minimizes and even eliminates scope for errors due to operational misalignment or hitches. Apple believes that innovation is the key to its survival. It is quick at adapting to growing trends in market and quick in releasing cutting edge technologies to acquire market share for further releases. It is quick at integrating technologies to offer a unified integrated service for its users. Apples iCloud is its own version of cloud storage service. All the Apple products now have Apples iCloud embedded into them which allows better syncing, backup and collaboration with other Apple gadgets. A few buyers have found iCloud highly personal as only those users with more than one Apple device is benefitted by this feature and a few others have found its collaboration to be highly limited. Amazon, Google and Microsoft are competitors in this space. But what really matters is that Apple has released its innovation into market to create a first mover advantage, buyers are now familiar with brand name, customers are aware of its limitations and market will definitely look forward to new releases to find out if they have better features in future. That is very reflective of their startup culture.

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DN: 006/CEO/2012 V1.0

Copyright 2012 iPOTT