The one thing that has benefited me the most in the #lockdown
is the ability to explore some good old habits. Few days back, I had done some poetry in this post. I plan to continue that more frequently.
In addition, I intensified my old habit of ‘reading and then writing’.
Luckily, reading as a habit never died. At times, I am reading three books simultaneously. However, two simultaneous reads is my usual. Though surprisingly in this lock down, its only one at a time. I had hoped to be doing the opposite i.e. having to read more than two at a time. I think my young son is taking more of my available free time, which I am happy to share with him as movement to Chennai certainly had an impact on father-son bonding, even though temporary and early in nature.
So, the one book that I recently finished is ‘The Amazon Management System‘. This is a fairly recent book by the Ram Charan and Julia Yang. Prof. Ram Charan is a renowned name in the world of management education, research and consulting. He has spent significant amount of time in studying world class companies and translating
his observations about the companies and their management practices into books that are easy reads and with a purposeful takeaway at the end of every chapter.
The Amazon Management System is no exception.
Though not really required, the book starts with the typical Ram Charan-style build-up of the greatness of Amazon. This is largely demonstrated by the movement of Amazon stock on NYSE. Ram Charan further goes on to write about the building blocks of the company that seems to have defied the gravity in the stock market and continues to dominate the e-commerce world.
Ram Charan has largely relied on Amazon’s publicly available information like annual report, shareholder communications, Bezos’ YouTube videos and news articles. He does mention that he has interviewed some company officials as well but I couldnt find any reference in the content that he published. Nonetheless, the book is a treat to read for people interested in the management research and science.
Here are my 4 key takeaways from the books. I will split this into two blogs as one may become too long and will go into the ‘tl;dr’ list.
I had a total of 4 key takeaways from the book.
- Amazon has a very deep market research thinking in its DNA
- Amazon has strong execution orientation with rigor coming from the top i.e. with Bezos himself
- Engineers have a unique ability to simplify management work
- Amazon may have a succession problem in the post Bezos era whenever it starts.
I will discuss these in detain in my subsequent blog. In the meantime, if you wish to dive into some quick management reading, dont skip this book.
Its written in very simple language and provides a good level of insight into the way the company operates. And the fact that it is coming from one of the top management gurus, its authentic too.
Stay tuned for the next blog on this book 🙂