Ready, Fire, Steer?
These days there’s a big spotlight focused on Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, as the result of his recent purchase of the Washington Post. While the transaction created a lot of buzz, in some regard it makes a lot of sense because if there’s anyone who has what it takes to apply new models to old problems it would be Bezos.
He will no doubt ensure the spirit of experimentation that is so essential these days.
As he put it in his initial communication to the employees at the the Post, “There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy,...We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment.”
In the early days of Amazon, as was recently reported, there were no models for what they were doing so they would just try something and make adjustments later. It became a strategy known as “ready, fire, steer.” To Bezos, putting too much thought into aiming might mean you never fire.
Amazon also encouraged that spirit with employee awards called the “Just Do It,” given to employees who create something good for the company without asking their boss first.
While no one I know has the $25 billion in net worth that Bezos has to support experimentation at that level, it seems to me that everyone could use a dose of Bezos’ thinking about innovation in our approach to growing businesses and communities — big visions, a “ready, fire, steer” approach, and a just do it attitude.
Posted on 08-15-13
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