5by5 | The Critical Path #73: The Best Single Invention of Life

A review of the Apple Store international roll-out process; a preview of an analysis of Apple’s innovation culture as described by Tim Cook; a reflection on the sustainability of growth: personal, institutional and societal.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #73: The Best Single Invention of Life.

  • Mark

    This is a great post. I am in the talent management business as a consultant and Horace’s passing remarks regarding use of talent to achieve remarkable track records of innovation success in Pixar and Apple are very evocative.

    One thought that crossed my mind why we in fields such as organizational development/behaviour struggle with issues such as performance, innovation, organizational success, etc. is that we don’t really have any theories about these things. My observation is we have developed numerous taxonomies (sort of like the alchemist’s four elements) which really are limiting in two important ways. First, they assume they cover the territory (everything connected can be pigeon holed in the grid). So how can you innovate if you believe you have got it all covered? Second, these forms of trying to theorize blind us to seeing how we can do better because these taxonomies are never set up to be falsifiable in the sense if acknowledging their operational limits.

    As example, almost all tools for analyzing “culture” are taxonomies and non of the ones I can recall using would ever be able to explain Pixar or Apple in any meaningful regarding their ability to repeatedly innovate.

    Thank you so much for this opportunity to hear your thoughts.

  • poke

    I think when Cook says there’s no formula, he means they focus more on values. A formula or process usually means something that can be mechanically applied. At the very least, a formula would be something anyone can apply regardless of the kind of person they are. Values cannot be “copied” in the same way that a formula can. Values are typically about cultivating particular attitudes and tendencies and are sustained through refusal to compromise. You could codify a set of values but it’s hopeless unless people truly embody them. More importantly, you can know when an organisation’s values have been lost, even if there’s not a replicable formula.

  • Brilliant podcast. Great insights about the transformative nature of life. There is a saying: The masters live in the world of transformation. The masses live in the illusions of gain and loss. If you’re looking for work that will provide you with a consistent models and language on the universal laws and principles governing the universe, check out work by Dr. John Demartini, a fellow polymath who has read over 29,000 books and studied 280+ “ologies” during his 40 years as a teacher.

  • Vicente

    I think poke is right. Apple was born from Steve Jobs’s values, which in turn attracted people with the same values, who worked on products with the same values, which were used by people who discovered the same values within them, who then transmit the same values to the world around them, and may even end working for Apple themselves. And the cycle repeats again, and again.
    The key is “refusal to compromise”. There are many examples of it in Steve Jobs and Apple’s history.

  • Bruce_Mc

    I like it when you stretch out and speculate about personal and societal implications in the podcasts. Glad to see that in this episode.