When you Google “Apple Mission and Vision Statements”, four of the first six responses are talking about the fact that no one can find the “official” vision statement of Apple. There are questions in the MacForum and the Apple support community asking for the vision. There are comments from other communities that there IS a vision, but they cannot articulate where it is. It is also clear that Steve Jobs was considered to be a visionary, and that Apple is revolutionary in the way it helps us use technology.
Does Apple have a vision, or not? First of all, there is no published vision statement that is easy to find. Secondly, people know that Steve Jobs had a vision for Apple, and they know what it is.
How is Apple’s vision known? It is communicated by its leaders.
This quote, noted on CNET, captures how Jobs communicated that vision at the unveiling of the iPad 2 in March 2011:
“It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, humanities that yields us the result that makes our heart sing. And nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices.”
Tim Cook, the new CEO of Apple, is also able to communicate the vision of Apple. On January 22, 2009, CNN Money posted an article on the Cook Doctrine. Here is an exerpt from that article:
“Asked the inevitable first question about how the company would function without Jobs, Cook let loose the following, courtesy of Seekingalpha.com, a monologue I’m labeling the Cook Doctrine, that he appeared to deliver extemporaneously:
We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot. And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change. And I think regardless of who is in what job those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.”
The article goes on to talk about how well Cook communicates the vision of Apple, stating that he is “eloquent, forceful and passionate about Apple”.
YOU are the communicator of vision to the group you are leading. Can you articulate your organization’s vision in your own words? Is it inspiring? If not, maybe it’s time to practice.