Never Forget The Content That Made You Great

I recently watched an interview with Steve Jobs and I was fascinated with one of the points he made. When googling the quote I found the below article and it also contains some of his best bits of advice. For me, the best thing he has ever said, which I 100% agree with is Number 2: Content.....what makes great products. It’s not process, it’s content

In full, what Jobs said is, "People get confused; companies get confused. When they start getting bigger, they want to replicate their initial success. And a lot of them think, ‘Well, somehow, there’s some magic in the process of how that success was created.’ So they start to institutionalize process across the company. And before very long, people start to get confused that the process is the content. And that’s ultimately the downfall of IBM. IBM has the best process people in the world. They just forgot about the content. And that happened a little bit at Apple, too. We had a lot of people who were great at management process. They just didn’t have a clue about the content. In my career, I found that the best people are the ones that really understand the content. And they’re a pain in the butt to manage! But you put up with it because they’re so great at the content. And that’s what makes great products. It’s not process, it’s content."

In practice we want our people to bring our culture and service experience to life. We want every interaction to represent our values and expectations. However, process can stifle creativity and personal interactions. I was served at a well known retailer recently and the person involved had exceptionally followed the process they were told to follow. However, there was no warmth, no personality and I felt the service was robotic. Process won't make me want to return, but warmth and feeling valued will...

Our businesses absolutely need process, but by overbearing our employees with process there is inevitably a loss of content and interaction.

Let's hear your thoughts or experiences that maybe support (or challenge) this way of thinking? Here's the link to the full list...

Kris :-)

Kristopher Ball, MBA