The website readwrite.com published an article yesterday about how Tesla & Apple will like beat out traditional car companies. In the article, the author indicates that the difference comes down to intentional design and connectedness.
It’s an interesting article, and it’s worth a read. But as I read it yesterday, I couldn’t help but think: how does that impact leadership? Does the idea of being integrated and connected have anything to do with your organization?
In a word: yes.
Here’s what I mean: Apple, for example, places a high value on an integrated experience. Their hardware team works with their software team in order to create an incredible experience. In the creative culture of Apple, they know that a user wants their camera app, phone functions, and even uploading abilities to be seamless.
Think back to the 90s and early 2000s. Computers were built by one company, the operating system was built by Microsoft, and different companies made the programs with little to no consistency.
The Mac changed all of that, particularly in recent years. People now expect their devices to present a seamless experience across hardware and software. The Mac App Store, for example, sets standards that app designers must meet in order to maintain a consistency in the world of Apple. Why? Because it helps the user have a better experience.
This concept carries over to leadership. Your team, no matter the departmental differences, must seamlessly integrate with each other. How does HR connect with IT? Does your marketing team seamless work with finance?
There is a phrase for how companies like Apple do this: intentional design. One definition of design is “to assign in thought or intention.” In other words, intentional design requires one to decide how things should look, feel, and function.
As a leader, your job is to see how things should best work together. Put another way, your job is to design your organization in a thoughtful way. This organizational design should be interconnected and not disjointed. We are in the world of the iPhone experience, not the 1998 HP PC experience.
Apple has set the standard for an integrated experience, and people have come to expect it from them. Each department works together with a bigger goal in mind. Departmental silos-that is, departments acting like other departments in the same company don’t exist-cannot be present. Designing with a big purpose in mind will drive people to work together to present their best work.