Amazon Meetings / 6 Page Memo

Meetings at Amazon usually start in silence. Attendees sit around a table and start reading a document for approx 15–20 min. Then a discussion starts. According to Amazon standards, no team should be too large that cannot be fed with two pizza. It is called the two pizza rule. So, a team of twelve people is just about the right size to coordinate efficiently. You might see fewer people in the meeting of course, but that’s kind of the approach.

The reason writing a good six-page memo is harder than creating a 20-slide PowerPoint deck is because the narrative structure of a good memo forces better thought and better understanding of scope and what’s more important than that.

Six-pagers present and answer in excruciating detail the who, what, when, where and why of a product or service.

The real value of the six-pager that I identified is this: It forces otherwise busy and distracted executives to give their utmost attention and opinion to decide on something. I can’t stress this point enough—requiring executives and associates to sit in a room, read every page (front and back) of a six-page memo, discuss and dissect the data and the idea presented, and then make a decision to move forward is a very powerful management and decision-making methodology.

Six-pagers prevent hiding. Six-pagers separate the vital few ideas and products from the trivial many. Six-pagers identify where a company should place its focus and why. Six-pagers enforce discipline and rigor in decision-making. Six-pagers are an excellent management tool.

Bottom line: The press release and the six-page memo work because they identify the products and services most relevant for generating value to customers, and they accelerate execution of the strategy by increasing the speed at which decisions are made.

See also Amazon Future Press Release

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Believes This Is the Best Way to Run MeetingsBrittain Ladd

White Papers At Amazon Andrea Marchiotto

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