Apple University Will Train Executives to Think Like Steve Jobs

Posted by Liz Dwyer

 

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If you want to honor Steve Jobs' life by following in his entrepreneurial footsteps, forget heading to business school. The Los Angeles Times reports that an Apple team has been working on a top-secret project to create an executive training program called Apple University. The goal? To train people to think like Steve Jobs. 

An anonymous Apple employee told the Times that Jobs considered the creation of a corporate university a critical part of Apple’s future. "The idea was to take what is unique about Apple and create a forum that can impart that DNA to future generations of Apple employees," the employee said. "No other company has a university charged with probing so deeply into the roots of what makes the company so successful." 

Apple refused to comment on the existence of Apple University, but the Times says that in 2008, Jobs "personally recruited" Joel Podolny, the dean of Yale Business School, to "help Apple internalize the thoughts of its visionary founder to prepare for the day when he's not around anymore." Apple analyst Tim Bajarin told the Times that, "it became pretty clear that Apple needed a set of educational materials so that Apple employees could learn to think and make decisions as if they were Steve Jobs." Though the curriculum is still under wraps, Jobs himself oversaw the creation of the "university-caliber courses."

There are dozens of reasons Jobs was so successful, from his vision to his obsession with good design to his emphasis on creative brainstorming. And many of his biggest skills don't line up with the curriculum of traditional colleges or professional schools—fittingly, since Jobs himself dropped out of college after freshman year. So it seems only appropriate that Apple would honor him by ensuring others learn from his legacy.