The way Apple runs its business is widely seen as the lodestar for good business management, and the people in charge of the company’s internal leadership college know more about it than most.
8 keys to Apple’s business leadership
Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Apple University Dean and Vice President Joel Podolny and faculty member Morten Hansen provide some glimpses into how Apple business management works.
Here are the keys to Apple’s business leadership.
1. Expertise matters
Apple doesn’t operate in conventional business siloes. Instead, it organizes itself in complementary teams. The hardware team may work with the software, marketing and machine learning teams to develop one set of product features.
Apple’s groups include: Design, hardware engineering, hardware technologies, software, services, machine learning & AI, marketing, marketing communications, operations, sales, retail, people, finance, legal, corporate communications, corporate development and environment, policy & social.
The idea is that the expert leaders in each of these teams work together in one functional group, rather than working in a multidivisional way. No single function is responsible for a product or a service on its own, which means “cross-functional collaboration is crucial.”
2. Change acceptance, not resistance
Change happens and businesses must evolve. While Apple has retained a relatively centralized functional approach to business management, it has also been willing to expand the number of groups that comprise the business — the machine learning & AI group, for example, is relatively new. The idea is that, by continuing to evolve as an organization, the company