Here Is Why According To Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s Culture Won’t Work For You


Jeff Bezos in Amazon’s latest shareholder letter persuasively and impactfully offers thoughts on company culture. It is most plausibly in response to the New York Times article that ran in August which was majorly critical.

In the article, Times writers point out how Amazon coerces the corporate employees to follow the company’s vision of productivity by a unique management system and methods of cultural reinforcement. And the social networks later blew up with many credible leaders weighing in on the merits of the company’s approach.

And amongst these conversations, there might have been few entrepreneurs who were inspired by Amazon unique culture and tried to replicate it in their organization. However, it could be a major blunder.

According to Bezos, Amazon’s approach may not be the right one but it is Amazon’s own. And over the decades of Amazon’s functioning, they have found a large group of like-minded people, who find Amazon’s approach energizing and meaningful. And he is right for many reasons.

The cultures within corporates are stable, durable and not easily changeable. It can generate advantages or disadvantages. And note that they are created essentially and irrevocably connected to the organization. It can be a disaster to adopt foreign cultures and applying it in your business.

You’re not Jeff Bezos

A fact is that you are not a genius which is not bad but a reality check. There are only a handful of the world’s millions of business leaders who have managed to become great, create world altering businesses. Jeff Bezos is one among those.

Amazon’s culture is an outgrowth of Jeff Bezos’s personality, who has been the fraction of the company since the inception. If a business leader simply adopts this extremely data focused concept for their organization, it will be clashing, not yielding desired results and inauthentic.

Businesses need authenticity for their culture and management, and the style should be the protuberance of the business entrepreneur’s personality.

Your business is not Amazon

Amazon is a very difficult place to work. Churn in the organization is high because of the jarring standards and pervasive burnout. However, Amazon can get away with this due to a never ending supply of fresh recruits who are looking for employment. It could be because of the size of the organization or their ability to provide financial incentives. However, the fact is they can easily get away due to the effortless replacement of employees in a moment’s notice.

Anyhow, most of the businesses don’t really have broad recognition or the vast resources like Amazon. And it is tough to find and retain talent. Pushing employees out may not be as difficult but finding a replacement will be incredibly tough. And for most of the businesses their team is the fundamental asset of the company. The employees of mid sized or small organizations have to be nurtured and given support.

You are not ready for the unforeseen consequences

A key characteristic of Amazon is the Anytime Feedback Tool. It is a management system that lets the workers send feedback on their co-workers to management. In theory, this may be a strong idea but the tool has unexpected outcomes.

According to the New York Times article, the tool is often used by the employees to knock off their competition and promote their political agendas. Most or any organization will not be able to handle this kind of negativity in company’s culture.

To a very great extent, Amazon is a successful company. They were the fastest company earlier this year to reach about $100 million in sales. Amazon has been able to reinvent they the world shops and they will remain consistent with innovation. Their culture will work for them but most certainly will not for other companies.

(Photo Credit: Giphy, The New York Times)