This morning, Fortune named Amazon’s Jeff Bezos its businessperson of the year, calling him “The ultimate disruptor.”In a wide ranging interview, Bezos revealed that he has some pretty odd meetings for a business that definitely hasn’t been kind to the paper business over the past several years.
For a company that’s intensely involved in e-commerce, tech hardware, and even database software, the meetings of its top executives seem like something out of the 1950s:
Meetings of his “S-team” of senior executives begin with participants quietly absorbing the written word. Specifically, before any discussion begins, members of the team — including Bezos — consume six-page printed memos in total silence for as long as 30 minutes.
It’s apparently something of a shock for new hires. Bezos told Fortune:
“They’re just not accustomed to sitting silently in a room and doing study hall with a bunch of executives.” Bezos says the act of communal reading guarantees the group’s undivided attention. Writing a memo is an even more important skill to master. “Full sentences are harder to write,” he says. “They have verbs. The paragraphs have topic sentences. There is no way to write a six-page, narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.”
An admirable commitment to literacy, especially for a company in the book business, and what also seems like good, if time consuming management practice.
When quick emails and information overload are the norm, actually sitting down and reading something for half an hour can be pretty rare.
Read Fortune’s full piece here
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