Collaborating with Steve Jobs

Collaboration is powerful and can be important to the success of an organization. Steve Jobs recognized this and he frequently discussed the way in which collaboration was critical to the success of his company. According to Jobs, being “an incredibly collaborative company” was “one of the keys to Apple”. The following are several other quotes from Steve Jobs on Collaboration and its relevance to one’s work.

Our method was to develop integrated products, and that meant our process had to be integrated and collaborative”.

Collaboration was not only the way Apple worked, but it was also reflected in their products. The best collaborative products come from those who know how to collaborate and can mold their knowledge into the product. No matter what field of work, whether it be Brand Asset Management, Marketing Document Management, or Video Asset Management, your work ethic and quality of collaboration can be seen through your products.

Zero committees at Apple. We are organized like a startup. It’s the biggest startup on the planet and we all meet for 3 hours a week to talk about everything we’re doing, the whole business”.

The organizational approach at Apple was unique, intended to foster interaction and knowledge sharing. Despite its size, Apple’s lack of committees under Steve Jobs underscored the emphasis on collaboration. This emphasis on collaboration should also flow down to the processes that you employ and technical resources that you use. For example, to optimize effectiveness marketing teams should utilize marketing tools that promote strong collaboration.

There’s tremendous teamwork at the top of the company which filters down to tremendous teamwork throughout the company”.

One of Steve’s important thoughts on collaboration was that it was for the whole company, from one side of the building (or world) to the other. What’s important to note is that collaboration is expected from everyone, and it starts with the leaders. Steve proudly stated that he was actively working “on ideas and [solving] problems to make new products to make new marketing programs, whatever it is”.

“If you want to hire great people and have them stay working for you, you have to win by ideas not hierarchy. Best ideas have to win. Otherwise good people don’t stay”.

Jobs saw that collaboration extended beyond traditional organizational structures. The way to collaboration, according to Jobs, was not to have a hierarchy of people working on a certain project, but for everyone to join talents and skills together, “all work on the same thing, touch bases frequently and bring it all together in a product”.

Teamwork is dependent on trusting the other folks to come through with their part without watching them all the time but trusting that they’re going to come through with their parts”.

Finally, Jobs emphasized the trust one teammate should have in another to get their part done. The best way to build trust with your teammates is to communicate openly with them. A positive, yet accountable, atmosphere can motivate employees to trust one another and allow for the informal, free-flow of ideas.

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