April 6, 2021

Sustainable Innovation | How to Structure your Brand for Innovation

by LiquidMind in Uncategorized 0 comments

The Visionary Chronicles PODCAST

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower…”

Wisdom from Steve

PODCAST: Sustainable Innovation | How to Structure your Brand for Innovation

When Steve Jobs rejoined Apple back in 1997, they had 8,000 employees and $7 billion in revenue. It is not a small company, but today at 137,000 employees and $260 billion, quite a success story! In looking at the main point of difference from pre-Steve to post-Steve, there were two areas where significant change was implemented: Product and People. Along with eliminating and aligning products to consumers or businesses, Steve also restructured the organization as a whole, doing away with SBU’s and the GMs who controlled them. He found this structure stifled Innovation and redirected accountability. The intent was to engrain into Apple the ability to Innovate once again, not stifle it. This change would make those most knowledgeable in each function or process in control of its execution and move all reporting to a top-line P/L vs. individual SBU level. In looking at the change, Apple went from the traditional SBU/GM structure to a functional structure and charged those with deeply ingrained expertise to manage the process or product. This streamlined decision-making and encouraged Innovation through those who understood it the most within each functional area. This structure drives Apple to this day and can be applied to your business as well. If you are looking to build sustainable Innovation, remove barriers, and entrust those with the most knowledge to execute. The following 5 Principles are key to effectively creating this structure. 1. Core functional expertise = Quick decisions. 2. Companywide Performance vs. Individual SBU alignment = Common goal, only expectations. 3. Functional structure, vertical corporate-wide P/L. 4. Deep Knowledge, continual learning with functional Leaders. 5. Continual learning with Functional Leaders vs. Teaching and Delegation. By implementing this structure, Apple was better able to manage continued Innovation and ensure all functional experts/leaders worked together in one common goal for the brand. The Visionary Chronicles PODCAST:

In my new Podcast, Sustained Innovation | How to Structure your Brand for Innovation, I discuss examples, areas where Innovation is stifled, and how it can be changed to ensure long-term innovation is created.

We discuss this and other business strategy topics and pressing issues facing Entrepreneurs, Executives, and Small Business Owners. Please check out “The Visionary Chronicles” on these sites. Available on

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The author

Bryan Smeltzer is a successful consumer products business executive and entrepreneur. He has held executive-level roles in business development, product, and marketing with some of the world's most prestigious brands, including; Oakley, TaylorMade, Adidas, K-Swiss, Schutt Sports, among other international brands. In addition, Mr. Smeltzer founded an apparel brand, successfully running a profitable business for ten years, eventually selling to a VC firm. He currently oversees LiquidMind Inc., a global brand strategy firm that partners with both start-ups and established brands to empower their businesses to think different, be different, drive a passionate culture, and execute relentlessly.

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