How Steve Jobs utilize the practice of Envisioning the Future?


#1

How did Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple Computer) utilize the practice of Envisioning the Future?

  • What did he do well?

  • What could he have improved about himself and why?

How do visions manifest in different areas of company (e.g., actions, processes)?


#2

Steve Jobs, the then CEO and chairman of Apple, changed the technology industry. He is famous as one of the pioneers of microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. He was an excellent entrepreneur, industrial designer, a business magnate but more importantly a master salesperson. He was one of the youngest people to make it in the Forbes list of America’s richest people. And one of the handful ones to have done with without inherited wealth (Young, 2011). Jobs revolutionized industries such as animated movies, digital publishing, music, personal computers, phones and tablet computing in his lifetime (Issacson, 2011)

In an era, when people had to buy entire albums to listen to their favorite song, Jobs introduced the world to iPod and iTunes where one could buy a song for less than a dollar. Jobs announced iPod as a device that put “1000 songs in your pocket” (Lowendmac, 2011).

What did he do well?

Steve Jobs considered himself as an artist. He was an amazing salesperson and a master marketer. John Sculley described Jobs as,” the visionary, founder and the leader of the cult” (Clare O’Connor, Forbes, 2017). He had a futuristic mind and inspired his staff to follow his vision. Even at the launch of the Macintosh, he believed that the sales projection would be a billion in the first ninety days and twenty thousand units each month after that (Boyle, 2015). He continuously pushed his staffs to bring innovation in the product. Even though he was not completely involved in the engineering and technical side of the original Apple Computers, he later made use of his CEO position to get involved directly with the product design (Dickey, 2013).He didn’t just want any random products but the best ones; that would bring revolution in the tech industry.

What could he have improved about himself and why?

Steve Jobs was a master innovator. However, he was often regarded as one of the meanest person. He would intimidate his employees and shout at them. Jobs had quite a short temper. He would fire people if he thought that they were not working in alignment of his vision (Stern, 2013). He could have worked on his anger management issues. His failure in the mac division led him to be fired from the very company he founded. He just repeated what he wanted to say and not listen to others’ opinions. Due to the losses, Apple had to incur from the failure of Mac, Apple’s BOD instructed Sculley to limit his ability to launch expensive forays into untested products. But rather than listening to Sculley, Jobs attempted to oust Sculley which in turn got Jobs fired from his duties at Apple (Hormby, 2006) . He inspired his staff members but simply fired them when they didn’t understand the work rather than guiding them (Sanders, 2012).

References

Boyle, D. (Director). (2015). Steve Jobs [Motion Picture].

Clare O’Connor, Forbes. (2017, 10 07). https://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2017/10/02/four-business-lessons-from-former-apple-ceo-john-sculley-steve-jobs-mentor/#78354eeb4808 . Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2017/10/02/four-business-lessons-from-former-apple-ceo-john-sculley-steve-jobs-mentor/#78354eeb4808: https://www.forbes.com/

Dickey, M. R. (2013, 01 23). http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-told-me-why-he-loved-being-a-ceo-2013-1 . Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-told-me-why-he-loved-being-a-ceo-2013-1: http://www.businessinsider.com/

Hormby, T. (2006, 02 22). http://lowendmac.com/2006/growing-apple-with-the-macintosh-the-sculley-years/ . Retrieved from http://lowendmac.com/2006/growing-apple-with-the-macintosh-the-sculley-years/: http://lowendmac.com/

Issacson, W. (2011). Steve Jobs. New York: Simon and Schuster Inc.

Lowendmac. (2011, 08 15). Lowendmac . Retrieved from http://lowendmac.com/2013/ipod-history-origin-2000-2004/: http://lowendmac.com

Sanders, B. (2012). 8 Unforgivable Leadership Mistakes Steve Jobs Made . Retrieved from Sanders Consulting Group: http://www.sandersconsulting.com/8-unforgivable-leadership-mistakes-steve-jobs-made/

Stern, J. M. (Director). (2013). Jobs [Motion Picture].

Young, J. S. (2011). Steve Jobs: The Journey Is the Reward. Amazon Digital Services.


#3

Almost everyone knows Steve Jobs or in one way or the other have come across Apple products in their lives. Steve Jobs was a visionary who was fuelled by his passion of creating computers and contributing to the society. In his own words, “"We started out to get a computer in the hands of everyday people, and we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. – Steve Jobs"

According to Kouzes and Posner, “In some ways, leaders live their lives backward. They see pictures in their mind’s eye of what the results will look like even before they have started their project, much as an architect draws a blueprint or an engineer builds a model. Their clear image of the future pulls them forward. (Kouzes & Posner, 2003)” Steve Jobs did the same. Look at where we are today. He envisioned and challenged the status quo. We using mobiles, computers and music system would not be what it is today if it weren’t for the vision that Steve Jobs was able to manifest. He stayed with the company even when the board of directors did not agree to his way. The directors only saw profit margins and were unable to take part in his vision.

Simon Sinek in his talk ‘How great leaders inspire action’ explains why Apple was able to succeed where others were not. According to him, it was fundamentally because Steve Jobs was able to share why they were doing it instead of what they were doing. Why instils values that the leader possess and people buy why you do it and not what you do. He further goes on to explain the difference of how apple advertises its products

“We make great computers, they are beautifully designed, easy to use and user friendly. Wanna buy one?”

This is how an normal companese sell their products where as Apple markets they products as

“Everything we do we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by building great computers, they are beautifully designed, easy to use and user friendly. Wanna buy one?” (Sinek, 2010)

This is how Steve Jobs did it differently. He was not only innovative and visionary but showed the way and did not falter in his commitment and cause. There isn’t much that could have been done differently as we can see today how great his contribution was in the innovation of what we know today as smartphones and computers. His inspiration for innovation, his vision, his commitment for showing the way by challenging the status quo, enriching and enabling people and encouraging the heart of the people in the business can only be studied and appreciated.

Companies these days have developed their vision and mission statement. Usually these statements are advertised in the company website and offices. Vision manifestation is see through the employees. They carry the company’s vision. For example my organization envision a peaceful, equitable and just society where there is solidarity among people and respect for human dignity. We as employees over the years have taken this vision as our own and even in our personal lives manifest these visions. We advocate for peaceful, equitable and just society among our friends influencing them as well.

Reference

Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2003). The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. In B. P. Jim Kouzes, Leadership Challenge Workbook (First ed., p. 11). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint.

Sinek, S. (2010, May 4). How great leaders inspire action. Ted Talks . TED Talks. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4


#4

Let’s start off with an example that you wake up in the morning, do your workout and prepare for office. Consider that you’re an avid music lover and listen to upbeat music while you exercise or while on the way to office. With a push of a button, you have thousands of songs to access which matches with your mood thanks to the disruptive innovation of Steve Jobs with the iPod (Sadler, 2013). It changed the entire dynamics of the industry removing the need of carrying bulky floppy disk or multiple sets of CDs. It gave way for other companies to come up with ideas of similar concepts.

Jobs is someone whose product changed the way we live, work and even play. He’s a successful innovator who was able to imagine and bring products to life when someone couldn’t even think about it. His other revolutionary product was in the form of mobile device in iPhone. It was phenomenon at that time when companies like Nokia and Blackberry had the lion’s share of the mobile market. He not only came with another mobile device in iPhone but changed the way smart phones operates (Liebowitz, 2015). With the device Jobs bought his vision to reality with a smart phone which really is smart, has screen touch feature and many more which other companies couldn’t even think of at that time.

Steve Jobs did a lot of good things during his life time. But few of them stand out from others and inspiring others is one of it. He didn’t just set himself as an example to other entrepreneurs who list him as a source of inspiration. But Apple’s operation and ecosystem has helped thousands of business to run from service centers to manufacturing firms for its device. It doesn’t just limit to physical stalls but the applications, games, movies, music and alike listed in apple store, iTunes generate revenue for individual person or company developing the product. In addition to that, developers who develop applications and such for different parties for apple, get a way for living from the same. The other special trait of his is that he was visionary. Jobs’ focus on design is something that made Apple what it is today and has set a different standard to beat for other companies. Even though he wanted to micro manage everything, he managed to steer Apple towards a direction of excellence. He was visionary also because that he was able to develop products that he thought that people needed and the sales proved it all.

No one can be perfect from all aspect and Steve Jobs was no different. He had areas to improve upon as well. One of which can be checking what the partner company is doing with the employees and making sure they’re all treated well. Foxconn is one of the company in Taiwan that manufactures products for Apple, the employees there are paid very low wages and the increasing number of suicide from the factory workers was always growing concern. But Steve Jobs didn’t decide to do anything about it. The company as whole could have benefited had Steve Jobs decided to do something about it to revolutionize the quality of lives of the factory workers like he did for several products that he envisioned.

References

Liebowitz, J. (2015). Steve Jobs: IT Creative Genius. IT Professional , 17 (3), 68-69.

Sadler, S. (2013). Steve Jobs: Architect. Places Journal , (2013).


#5

Envisioning the future is the process of imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities. It does not seek to predict the future of advising but describe a possible future worth pursuing (Lowenstein). As said by Kanter, “a clear destination is necessary to drive the journey of change, many change efforts falter because of confusion over exactly everyone si expected to arrive.” Envisioning the future helps to avoid that confusion. In order to envision the future, we need to ask ourselves a series of questions that include what problem are we trying to solve, what is the current situation, what are our ultimate objectives, what changes are required to meet that objecives and what process should we employ (Thomas, 2010).

Steve Jobs was an American entrepreneur, business magnate, inventor and industrial designer. He co-founded Apple Inc. in 1976, was outseted in 1985 and again returned to its rescue in 1997 when it was at the verge of bankruptcy. He established Apple as the most valuable company before he died. His vision of ‘a computer for the rest of us’ sparked the revolution in personal computers. Under his guidance, the company pioneered a series of revolutionary techmilogies that includes iPod, iPhone and iPad. His inventions were disruptive and he won a entire planet with stunnug designs, techmically complex yet simple to touch.

The success of the Apple products lies in the ability of Jobs to envision the future. He was able to keep lead in innovation because he kept his focus in vision than on reality. He continuosly thought about the possible improvements he could make to maintain the value in yhe market and made hiss employee work for the same. He told his employees to put their focus on major products to sustain in the market which turned out to be one of the best decisions he made. He put products before profits, believed in simplicity, took end-to-end responsibility for user experience, bended reality, pushed for perfection, knew both the big picture and details, believed face-to-face interactions and combined the humanities with science that made him different from the rest.He made his employees believe in the same that resulted in the tremandous success of the company and its products. He had a clear purpose and his demanding nature made everyone work hard for achieving the vision.

However there are certain areas he could improve on . The first one is his ego that was the reason for his outset from the company in 1986. He was a very difficult person to deal with. He was impatient, petulant and tough with the people working with him. He could have worked a bit on his relationship building skills and be a little empathetic.

Vision is the destination the company wants to reach and the processes and actions are the means used to rech ti that destination. If the actions and processes are not in sync with the vision, the attainment of the vision is almost impossible. For example if the vision of an IT Company is to establish itself as the best IT company of the country, it needs to plan aaccordingly. The company using latest and upgraded technology, providing trainings to the employees regularly, investing time and money in research and development activities, analysing the market for the scope are some of the activities it will perform and each one of them supports in the attainment of the vision. This supports the argument that the actions and proceeses of the company reflects the vision it exists for.

References

Kanter, R. M. (n.d.). Harvard Businesss Review .

Lowenstein, M. (n.d.). Envisioning the Future.

Thomas, K. (2010, November 7). Innovation Excellence . Retrieved from http://innovationexcellence.com/blog/2010/11/07/leading-change-envisioning-the-future-and-results/


#6

Steve Jobs, the then CEO and chairman of Apple, changed the technology industry. He is famous as one of the pioneers of microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. He was an excellent entrepreneur, industrial designer, a business magnate but more importantly a master salesperson. He was one of the youngest people to make it in the Forbes list of America’s richest people. And one of the handful ones to have done with without inherited wealth (Young, 2011). Jobs revolutionized industries such as animated movies, digital publishing, music, personal computers, phones and tablet computing in his lifetime (Issacson, 2011).

In an era, when people had to buy entire albums to listen to their favorite song, Jobs introduced the world to iPod and iTunes where one could buy a song for less than a dollar. Jobs announced iPod as a device that put "1000 songs in your pocket” (Zhao, 2016).

Steve Jobs did well on

Steve Jobs considered himself as an artist. He was an amazing salesperson and a master marketer. He continuously pushed his staffs to bring innovation in the product. Even though he was not completely involved in the engineering and technical side of the original Apple Computers, he later made use of his CEO position to get involved directly with the product design (Dickey, 2013). He didn’t just want any random products but the best ones; that would bring revolution in the tech industry.

Steve Jobs could have improved about himself on

Steve Jobs was a master innovator. However, he was often regarded as one of the meanest person. He would intimidate his employees and shout at them. Jobs had quite a short temper. He would fire people if he thought that they were not working in alignment of his vision (Streeter, 2015). He could have worked on his anger management issues. His failure in the mac division led him to be fired from the very company he founded. He just repeated what he wanted to say and not listen to others’ opinions. Due to the losses, Apple had to incur from the failure of Mac, Apple’s BOD instructed Sculley to limit his ability to launch expensive forays into untested products. But rather than listening to Sculley, Jobs attempted to oust Sculley which in turn got Jobs fired from his duties at Apple. He inspired his staff members but simply fired them when they didn’t understand the work rather than guiding them.

Visions manifest

Apple started with their vision that they believe on the face of the earth to make great products that not changing. Rather, they are constantly focusing on innovation. And, for the process they believe in deep collaboration and cross pollination of their groups, this has help them in making innovative products in a way that others cannot. They have in listed the statement years ago and they are still on same vision, same effort, and collaboration to result every innovation on their product.

References

Isaacson, W. (2011). Einstein: His life and universe. Simon & Schuster Audio, New York, USA.

Streeter, T. (2015). Steve Jobs, romantic individualism, and the desire for good capitalism. International Journal of Communication, 9, 19.

Young, J. S. (1988). Steve Jobs: The journey is the reward . Scott, Foresman.

Zhao, J. (2016). Offering Infographic Short Courses to Meet Students’ Interest. In New Media Consortium Summer Conference 2016.