Why Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos doesn't like meetings with tight agendas

Jeff Bezos / Getty Images

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a big fan of experimenting, even if it leads to failure.

To help Amazon chase big ideas, he makes sure that meetings he goes to aren’t overly constrained. He doesn’t like regimented discussion topics.

“I like to wander — I like going down blind alleys,” he said on stage at Vox Media’s Code Conference. “I make sure all of my meetings don’t have tight agendas. I don’t like tight agendas in my meetings, because tight agendas assume you know where you’re going.”

Although he concedes that certain types of meetings do warrant strict schedules — like weekly business reviews where a team runs through a slide deck of different metrics — most don’t.

“Most meetings should be used for a kind of mild brainstorming,” Bezos said. “Wandering is super important, because thinking you know exactly where you’re going is a kind of lack of humility that doesn’t let you invent.”

When Amazon does come up with a new idea — like when it first decided to create a business out of its cloud infrastructure — Bezos says its also important to try different tactics to achieve a certain goal.

He says he wants Amazon to be “stubborn on the vision and flexible on the details.”

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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