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The ‘smartest’ thing the world’s richest man did at Amazon, Retail News, ET Retail

The ‘smartest’ thing the world’s richest man did at Amazon When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks at public events, often he ends up giving an insight into the working of his company and some nice anecdotes. The world’s richest man was once asked about the smartest thing he and his company may have done.

“The smartest thing” Amazon has done over the years, as per Bezos, may actually end up surprising many. Bezos reportedly said that “Many, many years ago, we outlawed PowerPoint presentations at Amazon.” No PowerPoint presentations — which are often the bane of many a corporate offices and employees — is the one thing Amazon employees don’t indulge in. According to Bezos, “ it’s probably the smartest thing we ever did.”

So if now PowerPoint presentations, then how do Amazon employees share their ideas in meetings? What Amazon and Bezos did was they started a new method for meetings. At Amazon, as per a report by CNBC, meetings generally tend to start with 30 minutes of reading sessions. Each employee in the meeting is given “a six-page narratively structured memo” and they have to thoroughly read it.

Bezos was asked about this and the world’s richest man explained that the memo creates a context for “what will then be a good discussion.” Employees are asked to take notes while reading the memo and once they’re done, discussions take place over it. The idea behind the group reading session is that employees actually read it and don’t, as per Bezos, “bluff their way through the meeting as if they’ve read the memo because we’re busy.”

The world’s richest man also said that PowerPoint presentations often have “obscure information.” As for the Amazon memos, Bezos once told shareholders that the memo is actually from the whole team and authors’ names aren’t mentioned. It doesn’t take just a day or two to write these memos, Bezos said. ”

“The great memos are written and re-written, shared with colleagues who are asked to improve the work, set aside for a couple of days, and then edited again with a fresh mind.” This, according to the world’s richest man, has “revolutionised the way meetings are held at Amazon.”

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