March 14, 2010 Tony Morgan

What are the ideals that make Apple unique?

I love Gary Hamel’s writings in the Wall Street Journal on management. Last week, he had an interesting article on the ideals that have made Apple the company that they are today. This was his list:

  • Be passionate. “I think, for a company to generate years of exceptional returns unless it first devotes itself to the pursuit of an exceptional ideal.”
  • Lead, don’t follow. Apple “always sets out to radically redefine a category with a distinctive product or business model.”
  • Aim to surprise. “Apple seems committed to exceeding expectations—to evoking a “Wow!” from even its most jaded customers.”
  • Be unreasonable. “Reasonable people don’t produce breakthroughs.”
  • Innovate incessantly and pervasively. Apple “must be relieved that innovation is still a sideshow in so many of their competitors.”
  • Sweat the details. “Great design isn’t just about bold strokes, it’s about getting all of the tiny things right that conspire together to make a product truly exceptional.”
  • Think like an engineer, feel like an artist. “A company can’t produce beautiful products if the bean counters win every argument.”

This is just a snippet of Hamel’s thoughts. Check out the rest of the article for more insights.

I think he pretty accurately describes what makes Apple unique. What would you add to the list? Do you think any of these attributes have a place in the organizations we lead? I do.

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Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group, For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and
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