Can an Organization Stay Great without Its Visionary Leader?

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By Mark P. Barry

Mark Barry Photo 2Last June, in “Lessons from Apple under Steve Jobs,” I suggested what Unificationists could learn from the experience of Apple under its founder. Nine months later, and two and a half years since Jobs’ passing, Apple is facing more skeptics than at any point since its turnaround 16 years ago.

Now, many are asking whether Apple without Jobs can continue to make transformational products that will delight users. The reason is nothing Apple has introduced since fall 2011 — when Jobs died — has been innovative or disruptive, but simply modest improvements of existing products.

Has Apple lost the essence of what made it great? Is it struggling to find new vision and identity after Jobs? And what can we learn from its current experience as Unificationists?

In the business world, two and a half years is generally not sufficient time to make any judgments — except in the world of high technology, where new products are constantly introduced, superseded, disposed, and market share frequently shifts.

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