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Text comes from the book: “Do it like Amazon !: Become a digital pioneer with 50 ½ ideas” (2020), published by Münchener Verlagsgruppe (MVG), reprinted with the kind permission of the publisher.

Here writes for you:

John Rossman is a consultant and ex-Amazon manager John Rossman worked with Microsoft, Nordstrom, and Walmart before long-term senior executive at Amazon. He started the marketplace business at the online retailer, which now generates 50 percent of Amazon's sales. Today he heads Rossman Partners and helps his clients get started in the digital age.

Founding and managing companies successfully like Jeff Bezos: Do it like Amazon

A successful one Company Setting up a business is not easy, but there are role models. Jeff Bezos is one of them, at least in terms of financial success. How do you emulate him?

What would jeff do?

In the 1990s, the acronym »WWJD« - »What
would Jesus do? ”- on stickers and T-shirts. Variants of it
were not long in coming. Scientists asked, “What would
Darwin do? ", Fans of the rock group" The Grateful Dead "asked," What
would Jerry do? "*

It went on and on, once I even saw one
Sticker that said, "What Would Atticus Finch Do?" ** You get what I'm talking about.
Over the past five years my clients have asked themselves their own version of this question, "What would Jeff do?" If you gave me this
When asked a question, it usually means something like: »What does 'digital' actually mean?", "How do I protect my company from disruption?", "Will
Amazon penetrate our industry or our area? «,» How
does Amazon achieve such results? "," Would Amazon me
as a partner? «,» Would Amazon want to buy our company? «,» How can I make my shopping functions so easy
like at Amazon? ”There are hundreds of questions along these lines, but all of them
can ultimately be reduced to the one question: »What would
Jeff do? "

Recognize the patterns of success

Why do I think I could answer even one of these questions? Why do I think I could write about ideas that are needed to survive in the digital age? Since I left Amazon in late 2005, I've had my customers
in many different industries answered such questions with the
different destinations and for different conditions. To answer the question, "What would Jeff do?", All you have to do is see the patterns.

And these are the patterns: Jeff Bezos and Amazon have
a strikingly consistent way of facing challenges, doing business and dealing with technology, new ideas and
Meeting markets and dealing with growth.
In other words, there is a playbook or system of beliefs and action patterns for how to get results and think about your business there. Once you care
pay attention, you will also find out how to think like Amazon.
Find among the many scenarios and examples in this book
You might not get the straight answer to your specific question. but
if you can understand Jeff's basic view of the world
To a certain extent his insights and principles on your situation

The best attack is even more attack

Why will 80 percent of Fortune 1000 companies be replaced by others in the next ten years? Why are companies threatened with disruption? Even if I risk giving an overly simple answer to a complex question, my answer is: First, because companies rely too much on their own way of doing things
think on their patterns and approaches; and second, to change
is really difficult. "Transformation" sounds good, but the truth is, the concept is incredibly difficult to pin down.

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For the most part, this great idea of ​​organizational and business revitalization manifests itself in just a few short-term projects and efforts rather than creating permanent change or long-term value. “Businesses have a short lifespan, and Amazon will one day fall victim to disruption,” Bezos said in 2013
an interview. “I'm not worried about that because I do
know it's inevitable. Companies come and go. Company that is the most glamorous and important one
Era are. But if you wait a couple of decades, they are
path. I would prefer that it [the disruption of Amazon]
happens when I'm already dead. "

Disruption: Don't cling to old business models

Companies that don't care about their old models and past
Success defines, preserves its potential, it remains the market leader
determine the coming era and are able to change and grow in the course of these turbulent times. This potential too
Maintaining and maintaining requires world-class mental agility.
So instead of resting on current business, they still do
grow, or try to drive profitability up, Amazon invests today in initiatives that do not pay off for years
will, if ever.

The acquisition of PillPack by Amazon in June 2018 is a
Example that "even more attack is the best attack". PillPack
delivers precisely dosed medication to the customer's doorstep and
thus creates a customer-centric approach both in packaging and
in delivery. Who is dependent on a lot of medication and
either does not want to go to the pharmacy or physically cannot,
for him PillPack is a huge improvement over the others
Pharmacies. Amazon doesn't have to enter the healthcare market now, but they are taking this relatively small step and feeling their way
in this branch. You will find out how you can expand the potential of PillPack and what legal requirements there are for the delivery of pharmaceutical products (potential for pharmacies in
Whole Foods outlets?). All of this is part of an overall strategy with many
Niches and business models.

Why should I "think like Amazon"?

Amazon Web Services, AWS, is the largest cloud-based on-demand company. It was also the first. However, this business model did not result from a disruptive strategy of destruction,
by putting an end to the traditional model of hardware, software and licenses. This strategy came later. This
The business model arose from the need for the retail company Amazon to adapt its data processing infrastructure.

And so it came about: During the 2003 vacation season we had
Website reliability issues during the busiest and most important time of the year. Not good. After we ourselves
had somehow muddled through this vacation time, a task force was immediately formed to take care of the scaling and reliability of the website. This team decided to centralize the data processing infrastructure. We should be internal customers
serve. Then it was found that there was no demand from internal customers, only from external customers. This was followed by the instruction to reverse the infrastructure and this to the external customers
to offer. We soon find out that the developers loved the on-demand capabilities. And by the way, that's how the AWS strategy developed.

Amazon's leadership principles

Just think about how many business areas Amazon has
is active today: trade in almost every imaginable category, in every market, cloud technology, film and television production, publishing, smart speakers, devices such as echo, Kindle or doorbells,
Logistics and supply chain, food, over 80 private labels
and healthcare. Amazon is a corporate conglomerate,
that can proudly claim to be, entrepreneurial, customer-centered
and to be less bureaucratic. Each of its business areas has
via external customers and could, in terms of its concept, be an independent
Be a company serving other Amazon entities, as well as
other companies and customers. Amazon can do this without looking into
to get bogged down in countless layers of bureaucracy, mainly because of it

Of course, “Amazon thinking” is not just about innovation. The whole thing is run by a fanatical operational area of
World class supported. Relentless.com (German: tireless, translator's note)
was the name Bezos registered for his start-up and the web address still leads to Amazon.com. Amazons is tireless
Attitude towards excellent operational processes. Amazon is
one of five companies that the research and consulting firm Gartner lists as "masters" in supply chain operations.
Gartner explains that Amazon is a "bimodal" supply chain company, unique in its ability to adapt to new business models as well as to develop innovations.

Getting the best out of the company: 3 tips

In 2016, Amazon had over 80 patents in the supply chain alone!
The ability to work in a world class manner as well as a
to be a systematic innovator who is passionate about his customers
served - isn't that exactly what every CEO wants? That's why
it is so important to "think like Amazon".
How to read Mach's like Amazon
I've packed 50 ½ ideas into this book. I don't believe in that much
massive transformation programs. The path of digitization is leading
both about change in the company and about change
the individual. You need to develop your own path, approach change with method, and develop new behaviors.

At the same time, you need to be patient and have a sense of urgency
to have. You need to be willing to get the most out of yourself and your organization.
There are various ways of developing innovations with the help of this text.

  1. Read it as a manager and bring the ideas to your team where they are needed.
  2. Promote team building by reading these texts in your department and discussing a thought from it for a while each week.
  3. Or discuss what ideas from this could be applied.

Set the clock to zero - your path will not be a shortcut or a straight line

"Not all who hike are lost," JRR Tolkien once wrote. Once you have seen the extremely effective headlines around the world
aside - what is the »competition« of cities about
about the location for Amazon's second headquarters? The initiative
»HQ2« is unique in economic history. I participated in one
Interview by broadcaster CNBC on the characteristics of the different cities that competed for HQ2. The other two
Panelists talked about which location would be the most attractive for the »Selfie« generation, I argued against it,
This is mainly about the long-term risk of Amazon and
about how to attract the best technology talent in the world
Set and hold the world.

Companies have relocated their headquarters before. Boeing moved its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago in 2001. Some time after that, GE moved its headquarters from Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts. Before that, companies from cities and states had obtained offers of tax breaks for the construction of a new location and the creation of jobs. But never before has the combination of potential jobs and publicly known offers received such echo in the media.
Remember, the city that wins the Amazon race wins a prize far more valuable than Chicago than Seattle's Boeing
moved there. HQ2 has the prospect of an investment of $ 5 billion, 50 well-paying jobs, expected growth
and the immediate prestige of the world's leading location in digital technology.

Think and plan for the long term

By making your strategy and assessment of your plans longer term, you will be able to make investments and "bets" that other companies cannot. Find out,
what long-term risks and constraints apply to your company.
You might find a strategic solution to this if you already have it
start early.
What problem is Amazon trying to solve now? Is it about the
growing concerns of some factions in Seattle against the local
Effects of Amazon? When it comes to tensions with the city
Seattle and Washington State? Are you worried about the hazy weather at Puget Sound Bay at Amazon? Why takes
do you have to put all the effort into yourself?
The question “What is Amazon's real motivation for the HQ2?” Calls for a further question: “What is holding back Amazon's growth in the long term?” I think this is exactly the question they asked themselves at Amazon, and the most important answer to it was this Opportunity,
Recruiting, bringing to and retaining talent in the Seattle area
especially world-class talent in technology.

Seattle is a wonderful place, but not for everyone. It is far from many
Places in the world, the time difference for most of Europe is ten hours, and it is not centrally located in relation to the rest of the United States. The cost of living in Seattle has skyrocketed. According to a report by the NW Reporter, this is the average
The price of a house in Seattle skyrocketed to $ 777000. 1
In short, a normal home in Seattle costs about $ 100 more than it did a year ago.
Between 2015 and 2017, the number of employees at Amazon grew from just over 200000 to 541000. Amazon estimates this number at around 40000 at its headquarters in Seattle.
And it is assumed that this staggering growth will be maintained or even increased
accelerate (uff!).

Find the right people

How do you think you will recruit and retain employees while keeping their standard of living high? What would most managers and companies do under these
Circumstances do? Some would not even realize the long-term risk that loomed like a dark iceberg the night before their personal Titanic. Many would recognize it and quietly and cautiously seek short-term solutions. how come
don't just kick the can down to the end of the street, to the next one
Generation in corporate management? Why should they take the effort, the bad PR and the painstaking management
if they only hold their position for five or ten years anyway? It's a common question in chief and senior management.
The second leadership principle at Amazon is ownership, and it states that Amazon executives never sacrifice long-term values ​​for short-term results. With the HQ2
is it about this long-term thinking, about going through a topic
an approach that has many other advantages
brings - instead of waiting until the control options have decreased to zero. In such long-term problem areas of the company, you don't just kick the can to the end of the street.

What I would be happy about is that my text triggered in-depth conversations and important thoughts in you, that it helped you and your team to get on with
new way to face competition and that you enjoy it
Has. But always be aware: this is a collection of
Ideas, not a master plan for a strategy or the change process.
You have to develop it yourself, using the unique features of your situation, constraints and opportunities as well as your own talents and ideas.

The 14 leadership principles from Amazon

Amazon has 14 leadership principles. When I was on Amazon they were
no formal set of rules yet, we talked about them every day and applied them when we made decisions. Sometime after I left in 2005, the leadership principles were put in place. The LPs (Leadership Principles), as they are called internally, play a central role at Amazon because they ensure a
even distribution of speed, responsibility, risk and
Result orientation. You have to be careful not to get too strong
relies on only one leadership principle and neglects the others,
and you have to use them wisely.

  1. Customer Obsession - 100 percent customer-oriented
  2. Ownership - entrepreneurship: taking responsibility
  3. Invent and Simplify - invent and simplify
  4. Are Right, A Lot - Make the Right Decision
  5. Learn and Be Curious - stay curious and constantly learn new things
  6. Hire and Develop the Best - hire and develop the best people
  7. Insist on the Highest Standards - apply the highest standards
  8. Think big - think big
  9. Bias for action - act actively
  10. Frugality - cost awareness / targeted use of resources
  11. Earn Trust - build and earn trust
  12. Dive Deep - get to the bottom of things
  13. Have Backbone, Disagree and Commit - clearly communicate disagreement and still support joint decisions
  14. Deliver Results

How Jeff Bezos sees the world: a question of perspective

Jeff Bezos judges things in a timeframe that allows him to invest for the long term. Sometimes really long term. It is common knowledge that Bezos has close ties with a foundation called The Long Now Foundation.
This foundation deals with the increasingly short-term perspective of society. On property in west Texas that
Bezos heard that they built a clock that ticks once a year. Of the
Century hand moves every 100 years and the cuckoo
only comes out every millennium, and that for the next 10
For years.

Needless to say, Jeff loves symbols. the
The 10000 year clock is a symbol of his will to always be big
think and plan for the long term - as a company, as a culture
and as a world. He once said:

“If everything you do has to work within three years, then you are in competition with a great many others. But if you are ready to invest over a seven year horizon, you have a fraction of the competition because very few companies are willing to do that. Simply stretching the time frame allows you to do things that you otherwise could never do. At Amazon, we want something to work in five to seven years. We are ready to plant the seed and let it grow - and we are very persistent. "

What is a digital company?

How can you apply this to your digitization strategy and the
Apply competition in the digital age? We have to do this first
answer the question: "What is digital?"

Most organizations are under pressure to innovate and
to be digital. So I mostly start from this basic question
the end. So what does it mean to "be a digital company"? Many companies believe that this is about investing in mobile
Communication channels, mobile devices and e-commerce. Others are
thinks it's about cloud technology, on-demand capability and APIs. These are all important tools, but that
alone does not mean that you are a digital company.
On closer inspection, being digital means two things: speed and agility - towards your customers and the market as well as towards
the work within the company. More precisely, speed
and agility, packaged in new business models, innovation and that
Collect and use significantly more data. Speed ​​is characterized by a very precise and repeated procedure. This is an extremely efficient and precise movement in a particular
Direction meant. Operational excellence in data scaling is that
entrepreneurial equivalent to speed.

The role of agility

Agility, on the other hand, is the ability to use key factors, indicators
and to perceive market shifts and changes quickly
and make adjustments. Agility is the engine for innovation in your company, the ability to bring about change on a small and large scale. Amazon's DNA is from these
determined both properties - speed and agility. But how
can you manage to be at the same time in the operational area and the data scaling at world-class level and thereby be systematically innovative year after year? And that doesn't happen just once or by chance. For most organizations, it would be like juggling chainsaws on ice skates.

But Amazon has created the world's best system of speed and agility by leveraging many of the ideas presented in this book and written in their leadership principles. If your business is to become a digital company, you need to build these traits in your company and compete in other ways

Forget quarterly figures

Developing these traits in your own organization is essential
not a single project. It's difficult to find a bespoke route
develop, forecast the results, and it will all be
hard to predict. But you have to believe - in the transformative powers of data, technology, innovation and pursuit
for perfection - applied in every area of ​​work.

If you want to be successful, it is vital in the long run too
to plan. Constant quarterly thinking, broken over the knee,
as they are typical of most American companies
Not only are they inefficient, they are toxic to your culture. Do
Free yourself from this thinking! If you're digitizing for a
hold short term measure or believe within no time
to benefit from it and to get the corresponding results, then you have not understood which path you have taken here, and then you also do not have the patience and the support to go it until it bears fruit.

A question of passion: mercenary or missionary - what drives you

Your most important task as an entrepreneur: Develop a strategic one
and authentic obsession "Man is made in such a way that when his soul burns for something, nothing is impossible", once wrote Jean de La Fontaine. In first grade I had a friend who knew he wanted to be a surgeon. Not just a doctor, no, a surgeon. And he became one. I was always jealous of the security and clarity with which he pursued his mission. How do you create passion and develop a mission if the path is not clear from the start? I asked myself this question and I ask it to executives. I say
then, maybe the art of leadership is
to discover the passion of each individual and to find ways that
To use the strength of each individual for the mission of the organization
and derive value from it.

A colleague of mine once defined a mercenary as someone who
work like a coin operated machine. By that he meant the only thing
Mercenaries are interested, be money. That has a negative connotation to a certain extent.
If you want to build a strong culture, find yourself doing it
probably not a bunch of mercenaries.
Ultimately, financial gain and sales are earnings numbers. as
As a leader, you have no direct control over it. You are that
Result of many other things you do. What you very much
well under control is the input. To be successful in the digital economy, you need to be closely connected with yours
Customers and users, because this is where the knowledge lies.

Surviving dry spells through passion

We start our development towards speed and agility by talking about customer obsession. That's what Amazon started with. The most important key questions are:

  1. What are the long-term risks for your industry and yours
  2. What does the term "digital company" mean for you?
  3. This definition is used at the executive level of your company
    also represented, and is it the basis of the strategy?

When I look back on my own career, it becomes clear that my main interest has been in improving company performance through three approaches:

  1. Efficiency, that is, creating processes with less cost
    produce better quality,
  2. Integration of processes, data, systems and ecosystems,
    to enable seamless work, and
  3. developing new business models and capabilities through
    which sets the company apart from the competition.

Let me conclude with this: You will survive dry spells if you stand behind the cause and the customer with passion. Constant communication
of the corporate mission is the "moderately interested" majority of the
Picking up employees in most organizations and making them fans of your company for success and mission.
It's okay to have other priorities like being able to pursue personal passions, power, and influence
win or financial security. For many business models, professional careers and life plans, these things are probably the
Proof of success.

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