Will Apple maintain its culture when Steve leaves?

I had an interesting discussion last night in relation to what our company does, help senior leaders build ever alert enterprizes by raising their level of cultural sense-ability. What does that mean? essentially creating a company culture that is completely focused on creating value for customers, with every person understanding their role in how to achieve the company’s vision and mission by serving their customers better than anyone else.

Durign the discussion the topic of Apple was raised, with someone suggesting they would decline when Steve Jobs retired.

On the face of the evidence in the past when he left the company the first time you could argue that it may well lose the fire and leadership it has with him at the helm…. However things are different this time. What is different is that Steve has built a leadership team around him that share his vision, mission and values for what the company is all about and why it has become great.
Tim Cook the current COO was quoted earlier in the year on seekingalpha.com

“We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot. And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change. And I think regardless of who is in what job those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.”

This demonstrates a deep understanding of what drives success for Apple, these are the same elements we measure in our Market Responsiveness Index (MRI). So long as Apple can remain strong in its depth of understanding of customers, competitors, critical market trends and at the same time continue to foster this cross-pollination they will remain leaders, growing faster and at higher rates of profitability than every competitor they face.