Practice dynamic inventiveness and innovation! – Jeff Bezos
This is one of Bezos’ principles described in the book “From Bezos’ Letters. The 14 ironclad rules of business development that made Amazon grow “. The book reveals Bezos’ perspective on the world of business, investment, and risk. This is not a river interview, although the piece has its genesis in his industry itself. Helion’s new book is an attempt to analyze the letters Bezos wrote to his investors and shareholders, from which a synthesis was created in the form of principles written in this code.
Dynamic inventiveness helps unleash creativity
Amazon’s emphasis on practicing dynamic invention across the organization is one of its core growth principles for a number of reasons, two of which are particularly important here.
First, they help identify the most resourceful members of your team.
With more than 600,000 employees, it’s much easier to encourage each employee to test and share their best ideas than to try to determine which of those 600,000 employees are “inventors” inventing new products, platforms, processes, or generating ideas. Allow inventors to reveal themselves by encouraging everyone to suggest ways to create and improve something (you might be surprised at the response).
Second, this method empowers people who de facto perform specific tasks to come up with new ways to do their jobs or improve processes.
If you look closely, you will see the most productive employees doing something, Which helps them come up with newer, better or faster ways to do their work than others. No manager who doesn’t work on the floor himself would be able to come up with new ideas while sitting in a conference room three floors up. Of course, a trained eye can usually identify the most productive employee and the reason for their productivity.
But the best ideas are almost always initiated by the people doing the work, not by employees working in formal management positions. Amazon empowers its people to experiment and encourages them to share their best ideas so the entire organization can benefit from them.
Bezos has always valued creative thinking. This is how he recalls the beginning of Amazon
“I was packing boxes by kneeling and supporting myself with my hands in the company of another person kneeling next to me. While packing, I said: “You know, we need knee pads. I Will Destroy My Knees”. And the guy packing next to me said: “We need packing tables.”. And that was the most brilliant idea I’ve ever heard!” – 2018 interview, The The David Rubenstein Show, Bloomberg.
Why practicing dynamic invention and innovation is essential
Invention and innovation come in many different ways and iterations. Speaking on the “power of invention,” Bezos stated:
“Invention manifests itself in many forms and dimensions. The most radical and revolutionary inventions are often those that empower others to unleash their creativity to realize their dreams. This is largely what is happening with Amazon Web Services, the logistics service Fulfillment by Amazon, and the Kindle Direct Publishing platform. With AWS, FBA and KDP, we are creating powerful self-service platforms that enable thousands of people to experiment boldly and achieve results that would otherwise be impossible or ineffective. These innovative, scalable platforms are not a zero-sum solution, but benefit all users: developers, entrepreneurs, customers, authors, and readers.” – Bezos (letter from 2011).
The practice of dynamic invention is evident at every level at Amazon.
Creating something new and improving what you currently do is the basis for Amazon-like growth.
Lessons learned from past failures help mitigate losses and refine plans for future experiments, so subsequent projects are more likely to succeed. Amazon knows that invention and innovation require experimentation, experimentation requires failure, and learning requires tracking and measuring results.
The book is full of interesting sentences and insights about the reality around us. It is worth reading, if only out of curiosity about how the most successful people on the planet operate. You can buy it for example at this place!