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Leading the Self-Transforming Organization

Although Steve Jobs was famous for showing up on stage, casually dressed in a black turtleneck and jeans, to announce a radical new technology, his act wasn’t entirely original. Edwin Land, most famous for inventing the instant camera a generation before Jobs, also showed up at annual events casually dressed (for the era), next to a midcentury Saarinen table, to announce revolutionary technology.1 Jobs told interviewers that Land was “one of the great inventors of our time” and “a national treasure” and sought to imitate him, even down to the Saarinen-style table.2 But despite Land’s many inventions and his company’s success in attracting some of the world’s best scientists—Massachusetts Institute ...

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