Let's say you are going to launch what could be a million dollar product. You've had other products that have been somewhat successful and you have fans but this product is going to change everything. The technology is unheard of but that's not the reason this product will cause so much change. The brilliance behind this product is it's unfinished. As a matter of fact it's like a never ending canvas. It wouldn't be a stretch to consider it the most collaborative tool ever created. Kids will benefit. Adults will benefit. People with special needs will benefit. Education will benefit.
This product is out, you might even be using it right now.
Apple had radical trust. The brilliance behind the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad are the apps. Apple created a wonderful product and handed it over to the world to make it better. There was even the tagline, "There's an app for that." If you remember the initial keynote address about the iPhone there was an introduction to developers as well the ability to begin building apps on their Mac prior to the actual product launch.
What does this have to do with us as leaders? It's a matter of retaining great people. I have learned great people stick around because they are allowed input and ownership. Often, I can ignore this truth. I get in the "get it done" mode and don't look for opportunities to include others. My question for you is where could you be more like Apple and put radical trust in people?
Every organization has systems. So you might want to look at yours and ask a couple of questions:
1. Are people our infrastructure? - Sure the iPhone is genius but other people have made it even better. What are you doing to develop a culture of great people before you think about the ROI of a product or action?
2. Do we build platforms or walls? - Apple could have launched the iPhone and locked everything down. I think it still would have been a pretty inventive product. But apple wasn't thinking just about a product, they were thinking about a creative platform. Do you train your people in this way? Are you thinking about giving people what they need like core values and resources so they can then do even more?
3. Can people give feedback? - I know, this one can be terrifying. Every leader has experienced people who don't understand constructive criticism. But hang in there and give people the opportunity to give feedback. Again, this is the genius behind Apple's success. When a developer hits a bump in the system Apple tries to flatten that bump.
So what about you? Are you a leader with radical trust in people? Do you believe they can make things better? I'd love to hear what you think about trusting people. Please leave a comment below!