I was taken with the “Inc.com” article by Justin Veriso on Steve Jobs and Apple. Justin summed up Apple’ s entire strategy in five points. The five points serve as an excellent example for both businesses and for everyone who holds a position.
Jobs is an interesting study. Some will say he was not a very nice person. Truth be known, he was not. That should not detract from us appreciating what we can learn from him. After all, we can learn what to and what not to do when observing him. In this case, the learning is impactful.
It is a given that you, and/or your company will change as time passes. You must keep questioning yourself and (1) be intentional – and make whatever changes you make intentional, and not accidental. Change should be constant for continual improvement.
(2) Identify your strengths. I love this one. Is your business, or are you the individual that people go to for a specific product, service, or resource? If not, why not? Do you excel (not the software program) well beyond your competition? If not, why not?
Jobs knew that Apple needed to continually question who it was, and what it did. Apple had to simply identify their values and focus. If you are a small downtown business, a large corporation, or an employee, can you describe your value, and focus in one sentence? If you are a manger, leader, or employee, can you identify your value and focus? Can you do it in one sentence of fewer than 15 words? I know I can! One must stress the importance of this concept.
(3) Learn from your competitors. Sounds familiar – I think I’ve mentioned this before. Apple identified where Google was stronger than they were. Jobs wanted Apple to catch up to Android where Apple was behind and leapfrog them.
(4) Justin’s take away was to focus on your strengths, but ignore your weaknesses at your own peril. Figure out what your one big thing/service/product is and, make sure you, and everyone is working to support it.
(5) The fifth focus item was to look to the future. Will the future be covered in one, three, or maybe five years hence? The question is very valid when you think of what are you will doing in one, three, or five years. Do you have an expansion of a product, of a product line, or maybe a relocation? It can be really anything. I have often heard that if you’re staying the same, then you are falling behind.
I have shared previously that I was training to become a volunteer for SHIIP. I have passed my training, but that is only the beginning of my volunteer time and learning. I look to the future, where I begin serving clients who want to know more about Medicare. I know that my learning curve is steep. Time and support from local volunteers and staff in Des Moines will help me in looking to the future.