The philosophies that made tech icon Steve Jobs a success could be just as valuable to cardiovascular marketers as they’ve been to the team at Apple.
Especially moving was the chance to see the large colorful memorial that was erected for Jobs. Scores of flowers, iPod boxes, discarded phones, cards, and signs left presumably by employees and other fans paid tribute to a man who was clearly revered by many.
As my fellow visitors and I took part in an “executive briefing session,” I couldn’t help but think how much we can learn from Jobs, even though on the surface cardiovascular marketing may seem worlds apart from building computers and phones.
First, I was struck by the vision Jobs had for the company to be “exceptionally great” at making a few core products. It seems he pushed the company to really focus on its customers and to do a few things really well.
In fact, Jobs was quoted as saying, “I’m as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.”
How refreshing and how rare. If you’re like most of my clients, you feel constant pressure to do more. And probably to do more with less – less money, less staff and certainly in less time.
How liberating would it be to decide that this is the year you are actually going to do less? But in doing less, you may actually be accomplishing more because you will be able to focus on being “exceptionally great” in the areas you choose to tackle. I think this is a provocative thought as the fourth quarter planning cycle is upon us.
A second point that struck me during my visit was learning that Apple is a company with no divisions. From an operations structure standpoint, it is all one Apple. This philosophy is designed to lead to cross pollination among products. For example, a lot of the features in Apple’s Lion operating system were actually developed for the iPad or iPhone.
Boy do I know a lot of healthcare organizations that could learn from this idea. How many times have you seen projects derailed because of disagreement among divisions or too much red tape when it comes to operational structure and approvals?
The idea of sharing insights and problem solving across divisions should be routine. The most successful projects I’ve been a part of have embraced this theory of collaboration. Sadly, though, as I’m sure many of you can relate, the opposite is often true. Let’s vow to be champions of eliminating divisions within our own organizations.
It’s the least we can do to honor the memory of one of the great minds of our time. RIP Mr. Jobs.