221: John Rossman, author of Think Like Amazon
John Rossman, author of Think Like Amazon: 50 1/2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader
John Rossman and Bill Ringle discuss Think Like Amazon: 50 1/2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader for small business leaders.
>>> Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth.
Top 3 Take-Aways from this Interview
- Create customer obsession—and grant your customers superpowers.
- Use metrics to create a culture of accountability and innovation.
- Master the magic of small autonomous teams.
Tweet-Ready Insights from this Episode
Read the Show Notes from this Episode
Q: When you are growing up, who is someone who influenced you or inspired you?
[1:55] A: How John attained confidence that he can tackle a rigorous academic domain like engineering.
Q: What does it mean to compete differently?
[2:49] A: "Not only do we need to be as an organization and as a leader great in our operational domains but you have to actually become great at creating change, envisioning change and making it happen and delivering business value to it."
Q: What's been your experience with some of the consultant clients that you worked with, that they, how they used the book in order to learn about creating change and develop things, some of the skills that they lacking when they first started in their work?
[4:18] A: "First of all it really starts with being honest, we need to...we can't rest on our laurels. And we need to actually invest ore and innovate more in our future. And so idea number three which is called Move forward to get back to Day 1 change the culture of status quo" is sometimes the starting point for that."
[5:22] "We have to think as leaders, we have change our own personal habit...You need to ask yourself, what are you willing to do differently"
Q: Am sure you would agree to the fact that some leaders are embracing the tools and have gotten some results with them first before they roll them out or expect others to do, they come about it from a much more credible place. Isn't that your experience?
[6:58] A: "You have to set the tone from the top. You have to not just go along with it but actually be the biggest advocate, the biggest adopt the idea that in order to make true, lasting full blown change."
Q: When you are in Amazon, what did they do with the culture to actually break into the DNA so that this idea of being a digital leader was part of everyone's' thinking?
[8:25] A: "We are hammering out these concepts of what being a platform company is about. We were hammering out our leadership principles."
[8:54] "We took the time to not only like "okay, what's the problem and how do we resolve it,"how we think about this situation?"
[9:05] "We would always be testing ourselves, "why are we approaching that way," "how would that technique for that leadership principle work in other circumstances and taking the time to really think about why you're thinking about something...that was the habit that we put into place."
[9:47] "Probably my number one customer base for "Think like Amazon" is current Amazon employees who use this as a manual for how they go about their business.
[12:35] "You have to know when to slow down and write out idea...always write out my thoughts...to help me think things through better "
Q: And again that's so clear how that comes back to truly understanding your customer's experience because none of those things are probably measured before nor the people think to track it and once you have metrics to track then you have the process that you can refine, improve and optimize...
[22:46] A: "The truth is in the numbers typically."
[22:53] My Quest for the Best Lightning Round begins
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John is the author of Think Like Amazon: 50 ½ Ideas to Become a Digital Leader.
He was an executive at Amazon, where he launched and scaled the Marketplace business, which now accounts for more than 50 percent of all units sold at Amazon.com. He also led the enterprise services business, with responsibilities for Target.com, NBA.com, Toys R Us, and other top brands.
He now heads Rossman Partners, a niche business advisory firm that helps clients succeed and thrive in the digital era. Rossman has worked with The Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Target, Walmart, and many others. He is highly sought after for expert commentary regarding Amazon by global news media, such as the New York Times, CNBC, and Bloomberg, among others.