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Innovation and Culture at Amazon


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Customers often ask how can their companies innovate like Amazon. From its humble beginnings as the “World’s Largest Bookstore,” Amazon has not only innovated across e-commerce and adjacent segments within e-commerce, but also introduced new businesses that are unrelated to e-commerce. Over the years Amazon has gotten very good at taking hard problems and made them easier for the masses to use. This session will give you an insight to our Culture of Innovation and the working backwards process we use and share some ideas you can take back to your own organisations.

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Innovation and Culture at Amazon

  1. 1. Executive Luncheon
  2. 2. Innovation and Culture at Amazon Joshua Burgin Director and General Manager, Compute Services, AWS
  3. 3. True Customer Obsession Think Big Ownership Bias For Action Invent and Simplify Frugality Are Right, A Lot Earn Trust Learn and Be Curious Dive Deep Hire and Develop the Best Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit Insist on the Highest Standards Deliver Results Leadership Principles
  4. 4. Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers. Customer Obsession
  5. 5. Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs. Are Right, A Lot
  6. 6. Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them. Learn and be Curious
  7. 7. “If you decide to do only the things you know are going to work, you’re going to leave a lot of opportunity on the table.” ~Jeff Bezos
  8. 8. Introduction of Innovation workshop Huang Wen-I Innovation Advisory Lead, APJ Professional Services, AWS
  10. 10. f (innovation) = (org * arch) (mechanisms * culture)
  11. 11. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Mechanisms: Encoded behaviors that turn ideas into meaningful innovations – Working Backwards methodology, PR-FAQs, and detailed Narratives Architecture: Empower innovators through self- service tools; utilize AWS cloud platform to build quickly, scale fast and minimize costs of failure Organization: We decentralize authority to single-threaded owners leading small, empowered ‘two pizza’ teams that own what they create Culture: Hire builders & manage against our 14 Leadership Principles, Think Big & invest early – and accept failure as a critical part of the innovation process
  12. 12. INNOVATION AT THE EDGE Enable everyone to innovate
  13. 13. Enabling customers to innovate at the edge Enable Execute Explore Innovation Program Help me adopt Amazon’s approach to innovation Show me how Amazon innovates Help me build the platform on which to innovate How do I innovate (like Amazon)?
  14. 14. Introduce Digital Innovation Working Backwards Workshop Specify the customer problem or opportunity Establish specific customer interest in Amazon’s approach to innovation Executive sponsor identified Specific business problem or opportunity identified Commitment to partner, invest, and build on AWS New digital offering defined at high level Press release (outline) developed Stakeholder alignment and momentum  PR FAQ finalized  Digital offering brought to life via prototype  Value proposition created, with order-of- magnitude cost/benefit estimates  Prototype launched  Scalable architecture designed and deployed  Operating model established to support prototype and sustained innovation OUTCOMESSTAGE Digital Innovation program Identify [Learn & Be Curious] AWS Digital Innovation – engagement model Establish customer interest PR/FAQ Cloud prototype Value proposition Deliver new digital offering Build scale architecture Establish operating model & capability Engage [Customer Obsession / Think Big] Define [Think Big / Invent & Simplify] Prototype [Bias for Action] Realize Value [Deliver Results]
  15. 15. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. AWS Digital Innovation – selected case studies Global media company Experimenting with voice and emerging technologies • CEO and six business units in innovation workshop • Running multiple experiments concurrently • Committed to being a leader in voice Multinational financial services company Reinventing banking from the ground up National media company Multi-year program for cultural transformation • BoD and entire executive team completed training • Launched innovation accelerator and established venture fund • Mass-adoption and enthusiasm for innovation Auto manufacturer Driving innovation for connected car • Benefits across platforms from infotainment to telematics • Ability to rapidly prototype on AWS cloud platform • Access to broader Amazon capabilities through One Amazon Global mining company Maximizing value realized from extracting mineral resource Global healthcare tech company Reinventing healthcare for billions of people • Digital platform supporting a range of health applications • Data securely aggregated, analyzed, shared for collaborative care • Transforming into connected software and platform company • 2 years of co-innovation with AWS IoT team
  16. 16. Interested in Amazon’s approach to innovation? Let’s partner to invent something your customers will love. EXPLORE innovation at Amazon – the principles behind our organization, architecture, mechanisms and culture DEFINE a new product, service, or experience that will delight your customers; start with the customer and work backwards BUILD a prototype in the cloud to bring your new digital offering to life; test it with your customers You bring: • Senior executive business sponsor • Specific customer problem or opportunity • Investment in workshop and prototype Amazon brings: • Innovation expertise • Executive workshop facilitation • Prototyping capability and credits 1 2 3