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Leading Apple With Steve Jobs: Management Lessons From a Controversial Genius by Jay Elliot

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Chapter 11

The Apple Workplace

Fostering Creativity

I’m actually as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.

—Steve Jobs1

Steve was always looking for ways to nurture creativity. He had been inspired by the HP Way culture at Hewlett-Packard, and it had become a guiding light for him. His connection to HP went back a long way. As a teenager, Steve had written a letter to the cofounder of Hewlett-Packard, Bill Hewlett, requesting parts to build some sort of counter. Hewlett provided Steve with the parts, gave him advice on building the device, and offered him a summer job.

One day I suggested to Steve that we adopt a program that I was very familiar with from IBM: bringing in outside speakers—professors and business leaders—to help us develop a course that would highlight the way we wanted the leadership at Apple to lead, sort of the Apple Way. As a sidelight of developing this idea came the concept for Apple University, which would be a “university without walls.” We would invite some of the greatest thinkers and leaders to help in supporting the concept of the Apple Way. Though Apple already had a new employee orientation program, we had no leadership training.

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