Thursday, December 8, 2011

Apple University, Yokoten and Leadership

By Pascal Dennis

Yokoten is a lovely Japanese word which means shared, experiential learning.

The late Steve Jobs set up Apple University to ensure yokoten after he was gone.

Apple University is dedicated to developing & sharing the "Apple Way", the set of practices and values, Mr. Jobs left behind.

"Thanks, Steve" by Jonathon Mak Long,
19 year old student at Hong Kong's Polytechnic University School of Design.

Jobs was a great admirer of the "HP Way" developed by Dave Hewlett and Bill Packard.

In the last decade of his life, Jobs lamented the loss of Dave & Bill's brilliant, humane culture.

I have a number of HP friends and colleagues and am struck by how strongly Dave & Bill still influence HP Culture.

Sadly, given the organization's recent travails, that influence often entails, "Dave & Bill would never allow that to happen!"

In any event, wise leaders build "leadership pipelines" -- to ensure their organization adapt, survive & prospers for generation.

In difficult times, when it often seems we’re led by swine and psychos, let's honour leaders like Jobs, Hewlett, Packard et al.

Leadership is a game with endless innings. We've struck out badly the past decade, but we'll get to the plate again.

History suggests we'll learn and get better.

Indeed, I feel a growing sense of decency and service among the leaders I work with.

Hopefully, the reign of the toxic "expert" -- the disconnected brain who "manages by the numbers from a distance" -- is beginning to pass.

The recent indictments of high profile executives of such firms will surely help.

Imagine one of these bozos doing a cost-benefit-analysis on yokoten.

"It doesn't make sense for me to teach anybody anything."

Been thinking a great deal about leadership lately. In fact, I have a new book coming: Reflections of a Business Nomad.

More on that later.

Stay young, stay foolish.



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