John Rossman was an executive at Amazon.com where he launched the Marketplace business and third-party selling platform and ran the merchant services. He’s an expert at digital and ecommerce business models and operations, and has led engagements on ecommerce, Internet of Things strategies, and API driven platform business models. He is the author of three books. In this episode, John shares his ideas on becoming a digital leader.
[4:05] A lot of organizations are hyper-focused on profitability and growth, but they’re not investing enough in new ideas, new people, and new capabilities.
[7:20] It’s everybody’s job in an organization to understand how the business operates, not just the chief executive.
[11:40] Amazon got a lot of things right, but they also got a lot of things wrong. In business, you tend to remember the successes rather than the failures.
[12:10] John shares an example of what Amazon didn’t get right.
[17:00] Jim has found that it’s very hard to find people who are good writers and can write paragraphs with fully fleshed-out ideas. Jeff Bezos also found the same issue.
[19:10] Writing is hard. It takes practice to do it correctly, and it takes patience.
[20:00] John defines what culture is and how to best manage the complex decision-making process in a remote setting.
[21:55] When it comes to having fun at work, happy hours don’t really work in a digital setting.
[23:10] Amazon is one of the companies that’s committed to going back to the office because they want in-person collaboration.
[25:10] Good culture attracts the right talent and deliberately repels the wrong talent.
[28:35] There’s a lot of talent out there that does not want to go back to a physical office. John shares his thoughts on how organizations will be managing this divide.
[35:10] John shares how Amazon didn’t just create a culture, they created a super-culture.
[41:05] Listener challenge: We want successful teams. In order to achieve that, we have to do something different. Instead of optimizing for this quarter’s results. Invest in the future.