matt ridley on amazon's ability to maintain an innovative culture

2021-03-27

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~1 min read

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157 words

During an interview with Russ Roberts on EconTalk (Matt Ridley on How Innovation Works), Matt Ridley relayed a story about how Amazon has retained its ability to innovate even as it grew. One component was what Ridley referred to as a reverse veto. Instead of an idea needing consensus or quorum from the next level up in the organization to proceed for consideration, Amazon empowered teams to proceed with any idea that received at least one vote in favor of the idea.

This of course does mean that more ideas will fail, but in an organization where there are plenty of forces encouraging safe decisions, this stands out as one way to liberate managers and allow for one person to push forward an idea as long as they can convince at least one person. More failure isn’t always bad, particularly not when you use those failures to learn.

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