Think Like Amazon: 50 1/2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader – John Rossman Book Summary

Think Like Amazon: 50 1/2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader – John Rossman | Free Book Summary

Think Like Amazon: 50 1/2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader – John Rossman

Think Like Amazon: 50 1/2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader” is a book written by John Rossman , a former Amazon executive and leadership advisor. The book was published in 2019 by McGraw Hill Education. 

In this book, Rossman outlines 50 1/2 ideas that he believes can help individuals and businesses learn from Amazon’s success and become digital leaders themselves. 

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Rossman draws on his experience at Amazon and provides practical advice on a range of topics, including customer obsession, innovation, culture, and technology.

Reset your clocks: your journey will not be short or a straight line

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If you can strategize and evaluate your plans over a long period of time, you will be able to make investments and “bets” that other businesses cannot. Identify the long-term risks and constraints in your business. You might be able to find strategic leverage by addressing them early

Mercenary or mission driven? Be strategic and honest in your obsession, and then obsess to win

You will stick through the hard times if you are passionate about the cause and the customer. Consistent messaging regarding the mission will take the “mildly interested” majority of employees in most organizations and make them fanatics for your business, for winning, and for the mission.

Move forward to get back to day 1: change the culture of the status quo

If your business has become stagnant or is at risk of commoditization or standing still, admit the situation, change the questions you are asking, and be purposeful in your communication.

Obsessed is different: create customer obsession in your business

It’s everyone’s job to know and have empathy for the customer. Make sure everyone knows it’s their job.

Find many ways to deliberately practice and build this expectation. Dive deep into the issues experienced by customers (or other key stakeholders) and don’t delegate figuring out the root causes.

Know the details of the customer experience and what causes friction with customers.

Don’t go along to get along: the risk social cohesion poses to achieving hard results

Make being right the most important thing. Set the tone from the top that we will win by doing the right thing, having honest conversations leading with customer obsession and data, seeking perfection through data, and ignoring job titles while still treating each other with respect.

Deliver Results: Own your dependencies to overcome and succeed

Set the expectation that leaders cannot point the finger at others if they don’t achieve the right results. Demonstrate how to better manage dependencies so they can better deliver outstanding results in distributed organizations.

Ownership for everyone: compensation strategy to drive enterprise optimization

Craft a compensation structure incenting long-term enterprise value creation. Communicate the strategy and value of your compensation structure often to build alignment. When dramatic shifts are needed in a business, dramatic shifts in compensation structure become necessary.

Make the elephant dance: portfolio strategy and governance for innovation

Innovating requires a different investment and governance mindset than what most companies typically have. If you define, manage, staff, and evaluate innovation investments the same way you do less risky investments, the system will not lead to the outcomes you’ve intended. You need a different governance framework.

You are the Chief Product Officer: the new management science of being a builder

Leaders who can design products, define architectures, and deeply understand and articulate what exactly needs to be delivered are powerful in a digital enterprise. This is a change from the traditional approach of overseeing but staying out of the details.

You need to have the skills, the interest, and the insights into where to dive deep, and you need to be the designer.

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