Meeting Framework Amazon Uses to Run Highly Productive Meetings

Today you’ll learn step by step how to run meetings like Amazon because they have one of the best meeting formats of any company. Their meetings actually get things done.

Here the framework. 

Two-Pizza Team Rule
At Amazon, they create teams of people that can be fed by two pizzas bebcause The larger the team, the more opinions and the more difficult it becomes to reach conclusions, and make decisions. 

No PowerPoint

No PPTs are used inside of Amazon. For every meeting, someone prepares a six-page narratively structured memo with real sentences – not just bullet points.

Each group in Amazon has its way of writing 6-pagers. While they look or read a bit differently, they all share the same structure. Also to note, there are different approaches based on the goal of the document for example a business update, new product or feature idea, or challenge they need help with.

For the sake of time here I’m giving you the basic outline.

First, one person does not have to write it. A team can write it. This helps with collaboration and working out ideas before the meeting.

This is the outline, I got this from Jesse Freeman who worked at Amazon for just short of five years and was the Framework Partner Marketing for the Amazon Appstore.

​​Introduction — This needs to set up precisely what the material is going to cover and to inherently state the general direction of where the document plans on going.

  • Goals — List right up front what the metrics for success are so we can use them as a lens to see the remaining document through.
  • Tenets — This is a very Amazon thing where every action has some clearly define north star. There are a lot of ways to word these. Generally, they are inspirational pillars that the rest of the plan sits on top of (go with me on this one).
  • State of the business — This section is another important one. You need to inform the reader of the current state of the business. There needs to be a lot of detail here, which sets up the points to compare against in the next section.
  • Lessons learned — Amazon is big on data. This section will outline the current state of the business and its influence over creating the goals you need to achieve. It should be a detailed enough snapshot to give the reader all of the data they need to understand the positive and negatives activities in the prior period.
  • Strategic priorities — This is the meat of the document and lays out the plan, how to execute it, and should match up to achieving the goals stated at the top of the document.

These 6 pages are designed to transfer knowledge across a company. 

It means you need to write your 6-pager in a way that allows anyone, even people not familiar with the subject, to know what is going on without additional research.

Imagine the power and productivity of this in a business.

The meeting

Start With Silence

The memo is read silently during the meeting – like a Study Hall. Not before. People are given 25-30 minutes to read. Then 25-30 minutes to ask questions, challenge ideas, offer insights.

Meeting attendees read for about a half-hour and then the group discusses the content. This ensures that everyone is in the know and on the same page.

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