Collaboration is an essential element for most companies, but in reality, it's the quality of your organizational collaboration that separates great companies from those that are still trying to be great.
CEOs understand this, and I don't think any CEO understood it any better than Steve Jobs.
"You have to be run by ideas"
Whenever Jobs got talking about Apple's success, he usually ended up talking about collaboration as he does in this video. As he says early on in it,
One of the keys to Apple is that Apple is an incredibly collaborative company. ... There's tremendous teamwork at the top of the company which filers down to tremendous teamwork throughout the company."
Inc. magazine had an article on collaboration titled 5 Reasons Why Collaboration Is Essential in Today's Business Environment that detailed the five (5) reasons WHY collaboration is important for the growth of your business, but it's simply as slightly different take on what Jobs had to say about Apple.
Forbes had another article -- The 12 Habits of Highly Collaborative Organizations -- and some of the 12 habits listed included things like "Listen to the voice of the employee," Adapt and evolve," "measure what matters," and "Learn to get out of the way." These are all great areas to dig into of course, but they don't resonate nearly as much as what Jobs says here.
One thing that he said that jumped out at me:
if you want to hire great people and have them stay working for you, you have to let them make a lot of decisions, and you have to be run by ideas -- no hierarchy. The best ideas have to win, otherwise good people don't say."
Advice from a brilliant leader and manager
That's about as good a case for why collaboration is important that just about anyone can make, and it shows the managerial genius of Steve Jobs that he understood it so well that it became a key part of Apple's culture.
My take: Although Steve Jobs was a very difficult guy to work for, he was a brilliant manager and visionary leader who had deeply held notions about how to get the best out of people. That's something that is easy to forget the longer he's gone, and it's why these video snippets of him talking about his leadership philosophy are so instructive.
Like the late, great Peter Drucker (the father of modern management), I find that Jobs' leadership and management advice ages well and only seems to get better as the years go on. He's worth listening to no matter what the topic might be.
Got a great video on leadership or talent management? Don't hesitate to let me know about it by emailing me at john@checkster,com. if you do, you may find me sharing it here on Talent Insider.