#52 The problem with adopting “Amazon’s one-pagers” and other best practices

Jeff Bezos called the one-pager the “smartest thing we ever did at Amazon“. And everywhere we look there are best practices and frameworks which worked wonders for big & successful organisations. So why do they often fail when we apply them in our organisations?

We propose that best practices are not something to “lift and shift”. Adopting practices without a proper assessment is risky. But going too far the other way can be it’s own trap. We can dismiss something too quickly if we haven’t bothered to understand the context behind it.

Instead they can be a starting point for finding the solution that works best for your organisation.

1:30 min We start with a healthy degree of skepticism about the one-pager. If people weren’t doing their homework before a meeting, is the best solution to force them to do their homework in the meeting?

2:30 We like, in principle, the idea of people starting a meeting with the same understanding about the context.

4:15 Pilar points out that this practice prioritises one way of consuming information. It doesn’t work for everyone.

6:45 We speculate what problems this solution was designed to solve and what the culture was like to create those problems.

8:15 Tim references Sarah Cooper’s satirical book “100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings: How to Get By Without Even Trying“.

9:00 Tim talks about how many times he failed when applying someone else’s process. And he shares the approach that ultimately worked for his company.

11:15 We might experience the same issue but it’s important to understand any differences between the “best practice” organisations and ours. Their solution might only be suited to a similar context or company culture.

16:00 Tim shares how they changed the atmosphere and improved engagement at the leadership meetings at Shield GEO.

20:15 If people aren’t preparing for the meeting because they didn’t have time beforehand, maybe that needs to be addressed?

What about you, dear listener? Have you had success introducing other people’s best practices? We’d love to hear about your experiences!

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