Tim Cook talks importance of collaboration at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business

tim cook fuqua

It seems like Tim Cook’s been everywhere lately. Two weeks ago the CEO was in Washington D.C. testifying in a Senate hearing on Apple’s offshore tax practices, last week he gave a high-profile interview at the D11 conference, and now this.

Duke has uploaded a number of video clips from a talk Cook gave at its Fuqua School of Business back in April for his 25-year reunion. During the hour-long discussion, he talked about a wide range of topics including what he thinks it takes to foster collaboration in a large company…

This is one of 7 video clips that Duke has posted to its official Fuqua School of Business YouTube channel this weekend, and it’s probably the most interesting. Remember, Tim Cook spearheaded a major executive shakeup at Apple last fall in the name of encouraging ‘more collaboration’ between the company’s hardware, software and services teams.

Here’s a transcription of the above exchange from BusinessInsider (via 9to5Mac):

What qualities do you look for in terms of what you think will produce effective collaboration?And what’s your role as CEO in fostering that kind of collaboration?

You look for people that are not political. People that are not bureaucrats. People that can privately celebrate the achievement, but not care if their name that is in the one in the lights. There are greater reasons to do things.

You look for wicked smart people. You look for people who appreciate different points of view. People who care enough that they have an idea at 11 at night and they want to call and talk to you about it. Because they’re so excited about it, they want to push the idea further. And that they believe that somebody can help them push the idea another step instead of them doing everything themselves.

I’ve never met anyone in my life, maybe they exist, that could do something so incredible by themselves in companies with global footprints. In our world, in Apple’s world, the reason Apple is special is we focus on hardware, software, and services. And the magic happens where those three come together.

And so, it’s unlikely that somebody that’s focused on one of those in and of itself can come up with magic and so you want people collaborating in such a way so you can produce these things that can’t be produced otherwise. And you want people to believe in that.

Not only does he give a great answer here, but I think Cook also gives us a lot of insight into how he’s running things at Apple now. If you’re interested in the other videos from Cook’s Fuqua School of Business chat, you can find them here.