Skip to main content

Gary Hamel Deconstructs Apple

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, author and strategist Gary Hamel deconstructs the mythology of Apple and Steve Jobs.  Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.  Time and again, observers of Apple's success sum it up in two words: "ecosystem" and "values."

Hamel askes his reader to compare Apple's values (left column) with those in a typical organization, maybe their own (right column.)

Be passionate....Be rational.
Lead, don’t follow....Be cautious.
Aim to surprise....Aim to satisfy.
Be unreasonable....Be practical.
Innovate incessantly....Innovate here and there.
Sweat the details.....Get it mostly right.
Think like an engineer, feel like an artist...Think like an engineer, feel like an accountant.

Does health care reward passion, innovation, artistry? 

How many health care organizations can say they're in the left column?  How would one recognize that organization?  What would working there feel like?  Would their customers notice or care?

In a recent editorial, a prominent trade publication opined that the LAST thing health care needs is more innovation, calling instead for a renewed focus on operational wizardry and rational, incremental improvement.  The real failure in such thinking, as Apple proves, is believing that it's an either/or proposition.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Becoming Consumer Friendly In Five Easy Steps...Or Not

An article at hhnmag.com offers hospitals 5 steps to becoming more consumer friendly.

If you still think there's a secret sauce to your hospital becoming more "consumer friendly," these 5 steps are as good a place to start as any.  Unfortunately, it's a little like that old Steve Martin comedy bit where he says he'll teach you how to be rich. The first step is to go find a million dollars.

Step 1 from the article is realizing that "...a Medicare beneficiary with chronic conditions is different from a young mom who brings her kids in for an annual check-up." This is market segmentation for beginners, and, yes, one size decidedly does not fit all. I'm sure your marketing team's been saying this for a while.

Steps 2-5: have a strategy, metrics, a champion and resources. OK. Hard to argue with any of those.

But those things, alone or together, won't overcome culture. They're important components to be sure, but insufficient without a …

Another Day, Another App, Another Satisfied Customer

How might health care providers use technology to turn customers' mobile phones into information displays and ordering devices? A few years ago, the NY Times outlined how retailers are doing it...
"(Designer Norma) Kamali is at the forefront of a technological transformation coming to many of the nation’s retailers. They are determined to strengthen the link between their physical stores and the Web, and to use technology to make shopping easier for consumers and more lucrative for themselves.
...

Cisco Systems, the supplier of networking equipment and services for the Internet, is also a leader in the field. The company’s Mobile Concierge system is capable of connecting customers’ smartphones to retailers’ wireless networks — so a shopper could type “Cheez Whiz” into a cellphone, then pinpoint its location in the store." Ms. Kamali's boutique installed a technology called ScanLife, "allowing people to scan bar codes on merchandise and obtain details about the…

My Take On Anthem-Cigna, Big Dumb Companies and the Executives Who Run Them

After last Friday's Appeals Court decision, Anthem's hostile takeover of, er, merger with Cigna has but a faint pulse. Good. Unplug the respirator. Cigna's figured it out but Anthem is like that late-late horror show where the corpse refuses to die. Meanwhile, 150 McKinsey consultants are on standby for post-merger "integration" support. I guess "no deal, no paycheck..." is powerfully motivating to keep the patient alive a while longer.

In court, Anthem argued that assembling a $54 billion behemoth is a necessary precondition to sparking all manner of wondrous innovations and delivering $2.4 billion in efficiencies. The basic argument appears to be "We need to double in size to grow a brain. And just imagine all those savings translating directly into lower premiums for employers and consumers." 

Stop. Read that paragraph again. Ignore the dubious "lower premiums" argument and focus on the deal's savings.

$2.4 billion saved from a p…