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Apple University Is a Succinct Vision for Maximized Success

What company couldn't benefit from a deep consideration of its mission? It's a concept Apple can school us all in.


Sunday's New York Times article on Apple University added a few new details to what's already been reported: Apple offers classes for employees that are related to their positions and school them on the thinking of Apple.

For example, in its headline, The Times grabbed onto a detail about how one Apple instructor uses Picasso prints of bulls to express the possibilities of minimalism in art and design.

Adam Lashinsky, in his 2012 book Inside Apple, shared that for its university, Apple was rounding up business mistakes and teaching its executives from the missteps of companies such as Johnson & Johnson and the A&P grocery chain. Lessons also included Apple's own stumbles and what it had learned as it created its retail strategies and hired factories in China.

Bloomberg reported this February that Joel Podolny, a former dean of the Yale School of Management who Steve Jobs recruited in 2008 to create Apple University, was putting aside his additional responsibilities in the human resources department to focus full time on Apple U.

"Apple University is an increasingly important resource within the company as we continue to grow," Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet told Bloomberg in a statement at the time, adding that Podolny would be "developing and scaling the university he helped establish."

If the Sunday piece is light on new information, it still offers a worthwhile reminder of the meticulousness and energy that go into achieving an Apple degree of success.

What company—or individual—couldn't benefit from putting very serious energy into forming and each day living out a clear mission statement?

My favorite takeaway from the piece was that one Apple class focuses on communicating clearly, not just in marketing but also with peers.

A clearly stated idea has a better chance of being embraced; plus, it's more respectful of people's time.

And who, on a mission, has a moment to waste?