Every year I wait to see which companies made FORTUNE’s list of America’s Most Admired Companies. This year, Apple is not only ranked #1 in America, but also #1 Globally and in the category of Most Innovative Company. Apple has not only created successful new products but it has disrupted three different industries - computers (with the Mac), music (with the iPod) and movies (with Pixar).
Let me make a full disclosure here: I own most of Apple’s latest products with the exception of the MacBook Air (though, it’s next on my list).
What I found most interesting about the Apple coverage in the latest FORTUNE article was the comment by COO Tim Cook, ”Apple hires people who are never satisfied. You don’t get a foot in the door unless your eyes light up when you talk about your Mac.” It really is passion that provides the secret sauce to talent management at Apple. It’s so easy to forget the passion quotient in thinking about talent management, but in the end it’s what drives customer satisfaction.
This is what Steve Jobs has this to say about recruiting and managing talent:
“When I hire someone really senior, competence is the ante. They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is, Are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself. They’ll want to do what’s best for Apple, not what’s best for me or them. Recruiting is hard. It’s finding the needle in the haystack. In the end I ask myself: How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they are challenged? Why are they here? Hopefully the answer will be: They cannot do what you can do at Apple anywhere else.”
Below are the lists for this year’s top 10 most admired companies and the top 10 most innovative.