Not much is known about Apple’s internal training programme, founded in 2008 and devised by Joel Podolny, previously dean of Yale’s Business School.
It’s well known that Apple discourages employees from talking about the company and its plans, and this is no exception. But three employees agreed to speak anonymously to The New York Times.
As well as classes teaching case studies about Apple’s important business decisions over the years, Apple University holds classes such as:
– Communicating at Apple – clear communication, not just for making products intuitive, but also for sharing ideas with peers and marketing products.
– What Makes Apple, Apple – simplicity in design
– The Best Things – to remind employees to surround themselves with the best things, like talented peers and high-quality materials, so that they can do their best work.
According to this LA Times article, Steve Jobs modelled Apple University on Pixar University, which in this video, he states was the best thing Pixar ever did. The video, from 2008, features an interview with dean Randy Nelson – who according to his LinkedIn profile is now director at Apple University, describing his role as:
“Member of the Faculty of Apple University, teaching leadership-as-jazz to Apple staff worldwide.”
Leadership as jazz. We like that.