Lessons from Amazon on High-velocity and High-quality decision making

Type 2 Decisions: Speed Matters

Bezos maintained speed as a top priority when he said —

  • Type 2: Decisions that are changeable and reversible. If you made a suboptimal type 2 decision, you dont have to live with the consequences for long.

Don’t wait for all the information

Bezos uses a 70–90 rule. Most decisions should probably be made with around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, you are probably being slow. Either way, you need to be good at quickly recognizing and correcting bad decisions.

Let the metrics owner make the call

At Amazon each operations has a set of metrics to ensure operational excellence, and each metrics has one designated metrics owner.

From sequential to parallel approval

High velocity decision making doesnt mean getting rid of necessary gatekeepers.

Type 1 Decisions: Focus on a few

These decisions are few but destiny defining.

  1. COMBAT GROUP THINKING
  2. HAVE BACKBONE; DISAGREE & COMMIT
  3. MINIMIZE REGRETS.
  • What assumptions were made and why some of them were unreasonable?
  • What critical technological breakthroughs was bet on and why it did not happen?

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