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This Bezos quote is amazing and not widely internalized. E.g. I'm sure United Airlines is telling themselves "We followed the process"
85 replies and sub-replies as of Apr 13 2017

The way I’ve internalised it: try to make sure you’re not just being the fifth replacement monkey.
It's easy for him to say that, though. He can choose who to hire
Process comes in many shapes/sizes. E.g. someone breaking a site and the devs shrug and say "well, this was CRed and played with in staging"
i'd argue 90% of companies operate like this. the ones that get frustrated start their own or join one with similar leadership sentiment.
*don't operate like this
Very few people start companies
If you have leadership that rewards disruption (process inverse) you can avoid process as proxy. Bezos gave that to WP and results are clear
and team!!!
Check out @Disney IT - hired H-1B visas, fired Americans forced to train the indianeers. Luv me some process?
portion on guts, instinct and not finding answers in surveys 👌🏾👌🏾
Sad thing is all this could be handled at the ticket counter, where computers have much more relevant info and the agent can handle transfer
Sounds like the natural result of a bureaucracy to me. When you can be punished for not following process, CYA becomes primary.
You will seldom be fired for buying IBM or for following "the process". Bow before the blue ring binders!
Is there a link to this full article?
Ed Catmull goes into a similar discussion in his Pixar book.
I was at the All Hands when he dropped this - great moment.
Other ppl who "followed the process": warehouse managers who had on-call ambulances to deal with workers with heat stroke
And employees are often measured by how faithfully they follow the process rather than on outcomes.
And that is often a misperception. I know I will be dinged for a bad outcome whether I follow process or not. Process is a tool, not crutch.
All too often in govt, it's process -- not infrequently a process hard-coded in law by legislators. Literally 'go to jail' if you improvise
The airline did. The problem was POLICE following the process. The vast majority of police use-of-force problems involve following the book.
The airline did WHAT? CALLING the police was part of United's "just following process". Wrong call (man was not a threat).
Mid-management must support employees who step outside the process when appropriate. Ultimately, companies get the results they deserve.
Philadelphia 76ers: trust the process
Happens with religion, too.
Like all those Nazi not-so-big-shots after WW2... "I was only following orders".
"We followed the process" was pretty much the gist of the United CEOs public message about beating their customers.
They also didn't follow the "process" (or a legal one), because what United did was a breach of their contract of carriage.
If an employee knows they'll get fired for not following the process they'll follow the process. Try not following the process in Amazon!
And yet, also at large organizations, you can be criticized for being too process-oriented by people who don't care to design good ones.
Agree. The only real fix I've seen is to have process designed by the people who have to follow it everyday
re: your video this morning on Culture
Do you have the link for this article by chance?
The map will always subvert the territory over time if steps are not taken to prevent it.
This happens countless times every day in hospitals. People hide behind "policy" to justify irrational behaviors.
Right. Rules exist to serve people, not the other way around.
Indeed the CEO wrote that in his first e-mail to other employees
A good project manager knows that the only point of a process is to continuously improve the process.
or ETAs, or delivery slots, or anything that competitor delivery cos do, and the answer is '"The process' does't allow that @JeffBezos
I know that poor delivery isn't the same as dragging off aircraft, but AMZN logistics policy is core to @amazon business, so I asked a CSR.
I'm not sure that was/n't a person. Gives me the willies. Either it's a person responding robotically or a robotic 'person.' Who knows?
Is Bezos the new Buffett when it comes to providing insight and knowledge in annual reports? @BeckyQuick @carlquintanilla
Do you know how many time I argued with my superiors that we were not doing well /because/ we followed the process, to many times.
Where is this from?
Following the process got #unitedAIRLINES its ass handed to it on a platter to the tune of $800mn Fuck 'em, the market punishes incompetence
Actually that quote is basic common sense, and any "leader" who doesn't grasp it is an absolute fool.
didn't read, not bezos. :P
"Do we own the process or does the process own us?"
Airplanes crash if pilots don't follow the process. The "art" is determining which employees don't have to follow the process.
or people get frustrated and give up and stop caring about outcomes. Reply to any push back with "did you open a jira?"
Happens often in sovereign wealth funds
As i always preach, if you dont like something in office, dont say NO. Say we will follow the process OR process do not allow it ;-)
I think Bezo's use of air machines is better than United's. Boeing should give up their passenger child to the king of consumer cargo.
While from this far away from Bezos (I'm in California) I am suspicious of him, I still know Amazon is a lot more youthful than air travel.
And likely more current and modern, and possibly more maintained and less staid. Having said that, what's deaths in air travel vs. Amazon?
I don't mean policy deaths by Amazon, or air travel deaths only by plane crashes as error of the plane, or anything limited.
I guess I'm saying to watch out for industries in decline. Airlines are in innovation decline. Just watch out. Be careful of decline.
WWCGPGD? : follow the process
Happens to nearly every company/organization where there's no threat via accountability
Good quote. Found the full text here:…
The bureaucrats in the US govt should take this to heart.
Bezos is a Democrat.
Implication is he did the horrid stuff in his own company with full, considered intent?
Presumably Yeah.
Not defending the indefensible, this is one of those rules that when bad things happen, often it was when humans didn't follow procedures.
Forcing random passengers to give up their seats is a poorly designed process; letting them board first seems like human error.
Their process seems to say "Prioritize crew transport over all else, treat as overbooking and deplane if necessary". The crew was delayed.
this was indefensible. but general view of process isn't appropriate as human error causes most things and most things aren't unexpected.
ex: most every cloud outage traced to failure to follow a process ex: most security bugs arise from failure to execute known review process
There are lot of examples where a formal process only comes into being because of a first instance of such a failure.
I used to get a lot of good-natured eye-rolling in my @ModCloth days when I'd repeat my "don't let the process become the product" mantra.
...the process is the content. And that’s ultimately the downfall of IBM. [snip]. They just forgot about the content.
United has also to deal with a union so the process is also a safeguard (but not to their benefit)
The most important part of process is understanding that there needs to be process for departing from process
Six Sigma black belts are cursing Bezos.