Published On: Tue, Oct 29th, 2019

Amazon: How Jeff Bezos made ‘smartest ever business move’ that made his career | Personal Finance | Finance


Mr Bezos, founder and CEO of the tech giant Amazon, was the wealthiest man on the planet until last week, when rival Microsoft giant Bill Gates swiftly overtook him. However, Mr Bezos’s business know-how got him to the number 1 spot in the first place. Most assume this success was through capitalising on the growth of the internet through Amazon, but his approach to working life can also be credited. He has an estimated net worth of $108.2billion (£84.1billion) and Amazon is believed to be the world’s largest online sales company.

In a 2019 article on Inc.com, Geoffrey James explored how Mr Bezos managed to make his office more efficient with, what the writer described as “arguable the smartest management move that he’s ever made”.

Mr James said: “Jeff Bezos recently banned PowerPoint from meetings at Amazon, insisting instead that meetings start with the attendees silently reading a hard-copy document containing the information needed to discuss the issue.”

Mr Bezos asks “whoever called the meeting to prepare a one to three page briefing document” which attendees read in the first five minutes of the meeting.

Mr James explained: “Creating a fully-former, readable stand-alone document demands that you thoroughly think your ideas through and then express yourself clearly.

“This is more work than creating an outline of bullet points, but ensures that you communicate with greater precision, which is to everyone’s benefit.

He added: “The problem isn’t the quality of the presentation but the fact that displaying words while speaking words creates cognitive overload, which blurs the message.”

Mr James went on to say this “isn’t just good science; it’s also an incredibly smart financial move”.

READ MORE: Lord Sugar’s priceless response to Bill Gates over Microsoft deal

“As I’ve pointed out previously, the average executive spends around 50 percent of their time in meetings (one third of which are totally useless).

“This is a huge productivity drain, above and beyond PowerPoints infamous ability to reduce organisational intelligence.

“Since briefing documents are (at least) twice as time-efficient as PowerPoint and moreover tend to eliminate the most useless meetings, by replacing PowerPoint with briefing documents, Bezos effectively increased company-wide management productivity by at least 25 percent.”

Mr James also referred to his own expertise in the field and how Mr Bezos’ technique measures up.

He said: “I’ve been researching and writing about office technology and management technique for over 20 years. There are few if any technologies or techniques that, when implemented, have anywhere near that kind of dramatically positive effect on productivity.”

Mr Bezos has been struggling a little more recently though. He not only lost his title as the wealthiest man in the world, but Microsoft also beat Amazon for a large government cloud contract.

He then came under some heavy criticism for allegedly “failing” to keep up with the space race between aircraft manufacturers started by tycoons such as Elon Musk.

Mr Bezos launched his own company, Blue Origin in the summer, but Mr Musk’s firm SpaceX recently published a scathing review of his work claiming “he’s years behind” their developments.



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