Steve Jobs’un İnsan, Kurum ve İnovasyon Yönetimi

Steve Jobs’un ardından birçok makale yayınlandı ve yayınlanmaya devam ediyor. Bunlar içinde bizim en çok dikkatimizi çeken Jobs’un konvansiyonel yönetim anlayışına aykırı tarzı ve hem kurumun çalışanlarına hem de kurumun vizyonuna yaklaşımında benimsediği bakış açısından bahsedenler oldu.

Bunlardan ilki Fortune dergisinde yazdığı dönemlerde Steve Jobs ile birçok röportaj yapma fırsatı yakalamış olan Betsy Morris’in Wired dergisine yazdığı makale. Yazıda Jobs’un birçok özelliğinden bahsedilse de biz özellikle yarattığı çalışma ortamıyla ilgili kısmı paylaşmak istiyoruz:

Steve was hard on people. But those people had self-selected Apple. That was part of the company’s algorithm. Hire passionate people, hell-bent on breaking the mold and as obsessive and driven as he was. “When I hire somebody … the real issue for me is, are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, then everything will take care of itself. They’ll want to do what’s best for Apple, not what’s best for them, what’s best for Steve or anybody else.” His main job was to clear the way for them, he believed — and also to push them. “My job is not to be easy on people,” he said. “My job is to make them better.”
… he laid out the prescription for doing business right: Forget Wall Street. Forget your stock price and even your bottom line. Focus on what business is all about: making a better mousetrap. Build cool products and the world will come. Hire passionate, driven people and they will find a way. Take risks. Make mistakes. Aim high. Put yourself on the line — not in the per-share targets you set, but in the ambitious products you promise — over and over again — to your customers. Do your job and do it well, and the bottom line, the stock price, and everything else will take care of itself.

İkinci makaleyse Harvard Business Review’dan. Jobs’un insanı merkez alan yönetim tarzı “Managing by meaning”i “Institutional Management”la karşılaştıran yazının tamamını buradan okuyabilirsiniz.

“Managing by meaning” is recognizing that people are human: they have rational, cultural, and emotional dimensions, and they appreciate the person who creates a meaning for them to embrace. We know customers do not buy Apple’s product simply because of utility or functionality; people are even prone to forgive some of Apple’s technical limitations in exchange for great design — and identity. For Jobs, design was not only beauty, but creating new meanings for users.
…institutional management is rooted into analytics, engineering, and the social sciences. Jobs had no disdain for these, but meaning is connected to other, more slippery territories: culture and the humanities, which unfortunately business schools hardly master.
Institutional management is scared by culture and the humanities. They are not measurable and cannot be codified in processes. They depend on the person. What Jobs taught us is that managers are people before being managers. They have a personal vision of the world, painstakingly developed through years of research and exploration in life. Why should manager forget about culture? No method, tools and process can give you the capability to create meaning, to create visions. Only your personal culture, that no one can imitate, can.

Ford’un pazar araştırmalarına bakış açısını özetleyen “If I asked my customers what they want, they simply would have said a faster horse.” Jobs’un konudaki görüşlerini de yansıtıyor. Pazar araştırması ve yeni bir ürünün hayata geçirilmesi sürecinde kendine örnek aldığı bir başka kişiyse Polaroid’in mucidi bilim adamı Edwin H. Land. İkilinin yeni ürünlerini hayata geçirme süreçlerindeki benzerliklerden bahsedilirken bir bakıma “Disruptive Innovation”ın tanımını yapıyor denebilir:

“Dr. Land was saying: ‘I could see what the Polaroid camera should be. It was just as real to me as if it was sitting in front of me, before I had ever built one.’ And Steve said: ‘Yeah, that’s exactly the way I saw the Macintosh.’ He said, If I asked someone who had only used a personal calculator what a Macintosh should be like, they couldn’t have told me. There was no way to do consumer research on it, so I had to go and create it and then show it to people and say, ‘Now what do you think?’”
The worldview he was describing perfectly echoed Land’s: “Market research is what you do when your product isn’t any good.” And his sense of innovation: “Every significant invention,” Land once said, “must be startling, unexpected, and must come into a world that is not prepared for it. If the world were prepared for it, it would not be much of an invention.” Thirty years later, when a reporter asked Jobs how much market research Apple had done before introducing the iPad, he responded, “None. It isn’t the consumers’ job to know what they want.”

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