Under Jobs, Apple was not constrained by consensus. The company produced fast and clean innovations in rapid succession.
But we now see the downside of directive management. Apple executives who once waited for instructions from their emperor never learned to innovate. Having never practiced their serve, they are not able to compete in a real match. Jobs did not build his company to last.
Can Apple succeed without Jobs? It will be very difficult. Changing the way a company is managed is the organizational equivalent of a personality change. And as those who spend years in therapy know, personality change is very difficult; and often impossible.
Apple can introduce new policies and practices, but changing ingrained behaviors will be very difficult without dramatic management changes at the top.The moral of the story? The best management style depends on the situation. When a leader is clearly ahead of his/her executive team, a directive style may be ideal. But be aware of the consequences for the next generation. At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @tkyohall This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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