The Jeff Bezos Recipe for Disruption
This article about Amazon's founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is only short but it says a couple of things about Jeff Bezos that are fundamental to his management style and his success as an innovator and pioneer in the digital age.
The first thing to note is Jeff Bezos appreciation of industry dynamics and evolution and the risks they pose to survival for all companies in the digital age. For Bezos, that appreciation feeds a paranoia that in turn feeds an ongoing need to identify the next wave of change in his industry. It might not seem like much but the mere fact that he is looking out for the next wave and identifying both the vulnerabilities and opportunities that it brings is a key differentiator between Bezos and most business leaders.
The second thing to note is that Bezos didn't just identify the potential for e-books to deal a body blow to Amazon's existing business, he also had a clear view of the opportunity it presented to lead the revolution and turn a potential disaster into a platform for future success. While seeing the future and/or having a clear perspective on it is a great start, it's not by itself enough. Established players need to master both the art of foresight and the art of actually doing something once an insight about the future has been developed. Bezos courage in leading the revolution against his own existing business model is also rare among leaders of major organisations, particularly those enjoying success and rapid growth. The temptation to milk a successful business model rather than transition to a model fit for the future has been the undoing of a large number of organisations in recent years.
Amazon and Bezos make for a great case study in the approach to organisational and industry leadership required for success in the digital age. It's worth reading this short article and anything else you can find that tells more of the Amazon and Bezos story.