Steve Jobs` Role in Change Implementation at Apple

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SteveJobs’ Role in Change Implementation at Apple

SteveJobs’ Role in Change Implementation at Apple

Theworld today necessitates that organizations should implement changeto keep up with the fast-changing and complex business environment.It is through embracing change management that organizations can beable to enhance their competitive edge in the market. Changemanagement is critical in organizations since they undergo themuch-needed transformation to be relevant in the market. Incisiveleadership is always needed to help organizations go through thischange. The influence of leaders as far as organization change isneeded is insurmountable. They play a fundamental role in propellingthe business to the next level of success. Despite the fact that somecompany cultures fail to tolerate change, it is the role of leadersto ensure that they overcome such issues and implement change.Successful leaders are not deterred by the views of others. They arealways willing to provide relevant information in regards to changeand how it influences all aspects of the business. They also promotesynergy and diversity in the teams they lead, by being overwhelminglysupportive to necessitate transformation. Steve Jobs is one suchleader who puzzled many after unleashing a total and longstandingtransformation at Apple at the time it was on the verge ofcollapsing.

Issuesthat prompted the need for change at Apple


Applewas among the top performers in the industry before Steve Jobs, oneof its co-founder left in the year 1985. Jobs was a visionary leaderwho never compromised with the lazy workers at the company. However,when he left, Apple found it hard to sell high-quality products thatcould keep the company operating at extremely high profits. MicrosoftCompany performed better and made it fervently difficult for Apple tomaintain its market share for a period of 12 years that Jobs wasabsent. A few months from being declared bankrupt, Apple wascommanding a meager 4% of PC market share which was way belowMicrosoft, its major competitor. Furthermore, the losses that thecompany was incurring before the return of Jobs were more than $1billion. Microsoft dominated the market at the time, rendering Applewithout a substantial market for its products.

Failureto Innovate

Understandingevery employee`s capabilities in the organization is a necessaryconsideration when implementing change as asserted by Rieley (2016).During the first reign of Steve Jobs at the company, innovation wasthe fundamental focus of the business, but thing changed when heleft. The team at Apple failed to change with time and focus ontechnological growth that the market demanded. The then leader ofApple John Sculley never paid attention to innovation as is mainfocus was to market the already made products and make profits. Forinstance, the company invested heavily in the production of PowerBook 5300 PC which was highly anticipated in the market. However,most of these devices were not made up to the required standards assome of them were never operational. Other gadgets had unprecededissues with lithium-ion batteries that occasionally exploded intoflames. Other products such as the Macintosh TV which were made withthe aim of replacing PCs were operating slowly, not to mention thehigh prices that were placed on them. Such miscalculations led thecompany to incur huge losses, while the competitors were steadfast ininnovating new and more reliable gadgets.


Thedeployment of a John Sculley as the CEO to run the ever-burgeoningcompany was seen as a new dawn since he was known to haverevolutionized PepsiCo during his leadership. His success at thecompany can be attributed to the massive profits that were developedduring Steve Jobs reign. However, despite his notable leadership inthe very first years, things took a new turn as his management stylebecame detrimental to the success of Apple. He was not focused onensuring consistency of the Apple`s performance. Implementation ofchange was not part of his coveted skills and strengths. Sculleynever related well with the Apple employees, since he was an overlybureaucratic leader (Kaliannan &amp Ponnusamy, 2014). Moreover, henever wanted an open and free environment due to his outlandisharrogance and ignorance.

Therole played by Steve Jobs in the change management process


WhenSteve Jobs was recalled in 1997, he discovered that innovation in thecompany was not prioritized. As an agent of change, he becameconcerned by the rate in which the company products were sold andvowed to spearhead innovation. Many technologically driven productswere produced during Job`s reign to enable the company to go back toits former financial position as stated by Steinwart &amp Ziegler(2014). All the products that came after Jobs rejoined Apple stoodout against the company`s competition. Steve Job unveiled iMac in1998, a sleek computer which attracted the attention of customers dueto its affordability. Later, he came up with the iPod music playerwhich was equally important for the company`s transformation. Anestimated 200 million iPods were sold within ten years. Theinnovation marked a rebirth of a company that had reached a point ofcollapse, all due to the seamless efforts of Steve Jobs.


Aleader must always ensure that the operations of the company areongoing to ensure that transformation is achieved. Steve Jobs was anincisive and proactive leader. He realized that for Apple Inc. Toachieve its goals, then it must be in a position to attract morecustomers to boost its sales. Jobs was a man who believed in histenets, and he knew that he had the responsibility of reviving AppleInc. therefore, he came up with a campaign dubbed &quot ThinkDifferent,&quot which boosted the morale of employees and made themchange their attitude. Due to his unwavering marketing acumen, Jobsengaged the big five record companies and convinced them to giveApple a chance to market music in the iTunes Music Store (Gershon,2013). This move was critical in allowing the company to securemarket for iPods. Jobs also instigated the change process by openingApple Stores which attracted more customers through rebranding byJobs.

Restructuringthe Team

Understandingevery employee`s capabilities in the organization is a necessaryconsideration when implementing change as asserted by Rieley (2016).Steve Jobs was a person who was convinced that for change to takeplace, massive changes must be done within the team. It came to hisunderstanding that the current team must have been responsible forthe situation of the company. Therefore, as a diplomatic leader, headvocated for the resignation of various employees and replaced themwith others that he was convinced would serve the company with duediligence and determination. According to Bareil (2013),organizational leaders tend to face resistance to change fromemployees when trying to implement new policies. However, theenvironment was relatively conducive for Steve Jobs. Larry Ellison,Bill Campbell, Avie Tevanian and John Rubinstein are some of theleaders that were brought in to serve in different capacities. Heinculcated a positive attitude in them and demanded that they beloyal and committed to the company. He also came up with stringentrules that barred employees from talking to the press to maintain thesecrets of the company. Nevertheless, Jobs demanded that theemployees should work together, for the company to achieve its goals.

Evaluationof the implemented change at Apple to create a competitive advantage

Thechange in marketing strategy by Steve Jobs marked the beginning of anew dawn at Apple. It is a change that has had major positiveimplications at the company since it has become possible to reach outto more customers. A change in marketing strategy in any organizationmakes it possible for companies to desist from doing business theusual way. It is a sustainable method in the sense that organizationscan access better markets without much hustle. Jindal &amp Jain(2012), explained that Apple was able to compete effectively withother players in the market for their failure to invest in propermarketing strategies. Since the implementation of this change at thecompany, the brand image has been progressive to ensure that Appleremains the market leader in electronics.

SteveJobs encouraged innovation and invention at the company which made itchange the whole perspective of the way things are done. Apple waslagging behind for failure of investing in strategic innovation whichwas a prerequisite for success in the dynamic industry. After theimplementation of innovation model at the company, things have neverbeen the same. It is a business model that has brought about highsales and increased revenues for Apple. Innovation was the milestonethat Apple Company needed to secure a substantial market share incurrently commands as explained by Wonglimpiyarat (2012). Othercompanies are still strategizing how they can compete with Apple toproduce high-quality brands. The culture of the company to invest ininnovation and technology has enabled it to remain the leading brandin the market, courtesy of Steve Jobs.

Thecompany became the market leader as a result of the solid team thatJobs created after rejoining. He realized that for the long-termsuccess of the company, it was necessary to lay a strong foundationin terms of leadership. For a change to be realized in anorganization, leaders must realize that a fully committed team iscritical and resistance is managed proactively as stated by Pitsakis,Biniari, &amp Kuin (2012). This is exactly what Jobs did, and up todate, the company is run by a committed and supportive team. Insofaras innovation and quality mass production of is concerned, credit isgiven to the Apple workforce for ensuring consistent productdevelopment. As such, Apple has been able to have a competitive edgeover its competitors, and the trend is unlikely to change anytimesoon.

Insummation, success was not achieved at Apple merely because SteveJobs was at the helm of leadership. It was achieved because as theCEO, Jobs realized that organizational change was instrumental. Hispositive attributes made it possible to have the change process takeits course despite the unfriendly business environment for Apple atthe time. The change management process should be open to everyone,to ensure that it is effectuated smoothly and ensure that itgenerates positive outcomes. Leaders should first understand thechallenges that would make it impossible to implement change and dealwith them forthwith. This is exactly what Steve Jobs did at Apple.Identification of such puzzles enables the leaders to fortify theirteams and ensure that they collaborate to achieve change.


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