Apple needs a Chief Entrepreneur
In a time of disruptive change, Apple needs a Chief Entrepreneur in residence leading its way moving forward. Tim Cook is a great operational person and would make a great chief operating officer. But in order to remain innovative, Apple would have to look for an outsider to lead. A Chief Entrepreneur would re-ignite inspiration, passion, and innovation. Such a leader will know how to move the cash troves from Ireland back to the USA. They would know how and where to invest it, and in which new sectors.
Innovation is key for Apple in order to lead again. Tim Cook did well by managing the transitionary period post Steve Jobs. He maintained the operational growth in crucial period moving it away from a cult persona to an Apple culture. With the expected “boring iPhone7” due to be released, it’s high time for Apple to diversify its portfolio. It’s good that they are revamping the much-needed MacBook series. But this is still not impressive. Nor is the possible acquiring of Twitter such a feat to be considered after all.
Who’s to Lead
I am not arguing that Apple needs someone like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, or Richard Branson in order to be reinvigorated. But a combo of the traits of these leaders would need to be personified in Apple’s next Chief Entrepreneur. Such a leader won’t be found in the traditional pipeline of the tech industry. We all know how the phenomenon of Marissa Mayer turned out for yahoo. Or how disastrous Steve Balmer was for Microsoft. I argue that candidates from executive headhunters, or ‘secret’ stars of the stockholder’s board are even less equipped to handle the new realities of tech innovation.
Those traits need to be developed, mentored, learned and experienced. Capabilities in relationship development, risk taking, risk aversion, value driven disruption, curiosity, and diversification. You may argue that this would be thinning the lines, and diluting focus. Au contraire Apple’s leadership require a multi-faceted approach to design thinking, flanked with and invigorated entrepreneurial spirt.
Where to find the Leader
You may ask where can apple find such a leader. Definitely not from Silicon Valley, nor at Stanford MIT, or India’s tech hub. Not to say the those are not a cradle of innovation. Have thought about successful entrepreneurs out of Africa, the Middle East, or Latin America where innovation thrives despite unfavorable chaotic environment.