An Interview with Sir Jonathon Ives

Leadership_picby M. Anthony Sacco

As I was sitting in my living room yesterday afternoon almost ready to take a snooze I instead took a look at what was on the Vermont PBS stations. What I found was an interview with Sir Jonathan “Jony” Ive, Chief Design Officer of Apple, Inc., interviewed by Charlie Rose (VPBS 3/10/16). It was riveting and quite informative. I have to say up front that I am not a huge fan of the Apple products but I now have a newfound respect for the level of talent, the cultural paradigm described, and the integrity of the process as explained in this interview. Here’s what I took away from it.

Success comes with the application of “Purity” plus “Integrity” plus “Clarity”. Purity is a visionary concept, Integrity is a process concept and Clarity is a communication concept. Therefore, the words matter terribly in conjuring and then communicating and anchoring a compelling vision. Then in the vetting and process of prototyping and testing the new product it takes brutally honest criticism to focus the process on the intended outcome. This brutal honesty (similar to that described by Jim Collins in Good to Great) garners respect because culturally it is agreed and understood that it comes out of caring about the quality of what you produce and ultimately deliver to the client. This honesty drives integrity and focus of culture to narrow the target and achieve the higher goal.
The “super power” Jony Ives appears to have and that he states he has is the ability to move a project from the big picture to the minute details. Also, he acknowledges having a passion for curiosity and asking questions that comes directly from developmental opportunities he had as a child.
So, we have this I think: special qualities developed in unusual combination of intellect, opportunity, environment, and freedom to exercise demonstrated by extraordinary personal success that lifted the success of the corporate entity. Impressive!
Sir Jonathon Ives Bio
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