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Steve Jobs and Management by Meaning

https://hbr.org/2011/10/steve-jobs-and-management-by-m

hbr.org

Steve Jobs and Management by Meaning
Steve Jobs has always been considered an anomaly in management; his leadership style was something to admire or to criticize, but definitely not to replicate. He did not fit into the frameworks of business textbooks: there was orthodox management, and then there was Steve Jobs.

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Steve Jobs did not fit the norm

Steve Jobs has always been considered an anomaly in management: his leadership style was something to admire or to criticize, but definitely not to replicate. 

He was navigating a territory that is often obscure to management: the creation of meaning, both for customers and employees.

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Apple’s approach to innovation

It puts people at the center. But it is definitely not user-driven: it does not listen to users, but makes proposals to them. Customers do not buy Apple's products because of utility or functionality.

Apple products are more meaningful to users. The products have great design - and identity. 

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Managing by meaning

Is recognizing that people are human: they have rational, cultural, and emotional dimensions, and they appreciate the person who creates a meaning for them to embrace. For Jobs, design was not only beauty, but creating new meanings for users.

He also offered meaning to his employees - they worked hard on visionary projects, striving to meet targets and to satisfy their leader's maniacal attention to detail, because he infused them with a sense of mission: Apple had to leave a mark in the world of computing, improve people's lives, be bold and, of course, "think different."

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Institutional management

is scared by culture and the humanities. They are not measurable and cannot be codified in processes. They depend on the person.

Jobs showed that business and culture are not in contradiction, but rather they sustain each other. Personal culture can give you the capability to create meaning, to create visions. 

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