“When Steve Jobs hired Joel Podolny in 2008 to create Apple University, the marching orders were to help the company do something it had never spent much time doing: Study itself,” Peter Burrows reports for Bloomberg.
“Jobs had run the company much like a gigantic startup, enabling him to imprint his management philosophy on everything from product design to advertising,” Burrows reports. “But with his cancer worsening, Jobs wanted Podolny, the well-known, youthful dean of the Yale School of Management, to create a program to distill his approach so Apple’s executives would be able to reinforce it after he was gone.”
“Working closely with Jobs — who gave him an office between Jobs’s and current CEO Tim Cook’s, according to the Los Angeles Times — Podolny quickly built up a curriculum of courses, including one called ‘What Makes Apple Apple.’ Some courses were taught by top Apple executives such as Cook and former retail chief Ron Johnson, according to Adam Lashinsky, author of ‘Inside Apple.’ Other courses were built around case studies written by a faculty that includes Richard Tedlow, a Harvard University business historian.,” Burrows reports. “Fulfilling Jobs’s vision for Apple University won’t be easy. ‘Joel is a very creative guy, but it’s hard to create instant Steve Jobs,’ said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, another Yale professor who worked with Podolny last decade. ‘The essence of genius is that it’s a misfit quality. Misfits don’t fit well into institutionalized assembly lines.'”
Read more in the full article here.
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