Ever since Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced his unique way of running the meetings, the discussion continues about his unconventional ways of working, and brave executives are rushing to replace their power points with Amazon-style memos.
But it won’t work, and here’s why…
First of all, is it really two-pizza sized teams and memos that make the Amazon great? Or is it because Amazon is, well, Amazon, that we perceive all that they do are worth modelling?
Before you start blindly copying anyone else’s success recipes, I would invite you to ask the following:
❓ What is the benefit that the technique is bringing to the organisation?
❓ What exactly the organisation is aiming to achieve by adopting the technique?
❓ And what is the real goal behind that goal?
Once you elicit the principles behind the technique, you can begin to craft your own solution that better fits your organisation’s culture and structure, yet still delivers the same desired benefit.
In order to create sustainable success, processes have to evolve from the inside of the organisation, and be aligned to overall strategic vision.
I have worked with many executives to help them improve productivity, efficiency and communication within their organisations, and I know that in order to create sustainable success, processes have to EVOLVE from the inside of the organisation, and not just be brought in without questioning the real value and purpose behind that process. I am sure Bezos didn’t implement his boardroom systems overnight – it was a process of trial, error, tweaks and testing in order to achieve the desired goal in alignment with the overall business strategy.
John Rossman, former director and author of ‘Think like Amazon’ suggests that memos are a great way to bring clarity, yet only if they are well written, and it takes great story-telling skill to write one, as well as up to two weeks of research and collaborative review process.
Clarity is exactly what Jeff Bezos is trying to achieve – not only at the board meetings but across the entire organisation. Storytelling is his way to gain clarity, and memos are they way to bring storytelling into the boardroom. And this is what should be modelled, not the memos itself.
I am always very curious about the way organisations run and structure their meetings because it is a mirror reflection of their overall organisational effectiveness. If you can’t get your boardroom right – how will you implement strategic change across the entire organisation?
I suggest instead of chasing procedures of other companies, establish the following:
✔️ Culture of honesty and trust, where differences in opinions are welcomed and celebrated.
✔️ Simplicity and clarity of steps are clearly linked to overall organisational vision, culture, and strategy.
✔️ Accountability of actions, and clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
There are many ways to bring productivity and efficiency into the board room, and you don’t have to be Amazon to be Amazing.
Today’s competitive markets require constant reinvention and change. If you want to create a successful transformation, you need to be prepared to break the rules and question the established norms.
What are your company’s boardroom rules?
What do they tell about your organisation’s ways of working?
What works for you, and what needs changing?
Evelina Dzimanaviciute is a leadership development expert and founder of Elite Mind Academy. She is known for helping growing organisations to establish effective development strategies and supporting executives to lead with impact during organisational change. Book your complimentary consultation to discuss options available for your organisation.