The outpouring of commentary post-Jobs’ resignation has been daunting. You could feel the business world shudder, pause and reflect. Like a shot going off in an echo-chamber. One of the best of the best pieces to my taste is Umair Haque’s last HBR post “Steve’s Seven Insights for 21st Century Capitalists” because, well, he not only crisply summarizes Jobs’ impact like so many choice morsels, through his own words, but he inspired one interesting debate — 33 comments worth reading — that gets at the paradox that is Jobs’ leadership.
“Steve took on the challenge of proving that the art of enterprise didn’t have to culminate in a stagnant pond of unenlightenment — and won. In doing so, he might just have built something approximating the modern world’s most dangerously enlightened company.” vs. (one of the commenter’s — who worked for Apple! — responses:)
“I think we make a mistake by extrapolating from Steve’s genius to draw general conclusions about how to conduct business. A genius like Steve Jobs is exceedingly rare and may come along only once in a generation. At the same time, most company cultures are incapable of (and are in fact systematically opposed to) supporting exceptionalism.”
We all find voices that we resonate with…that stimulate us…that we turn to when we want to think a bit harder. I tend towards irreverent lightning rods like Haque, who is the Director of the Havas Media Lab and author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business. Read the whole piece, and add your comments should you be provoked, here.
Julie Anixter is Chief Innovation Officer at Maga Design and a Founder of Innovation Excellence.