Corporate bureaucracy kills too many great ideas, explained Bezos at a recent Air, Space and Cyber conference. In the typical hierarchical environment, a junior level employee needs an exec’s approval to greenlight an idea. But for the idea to truly get support, that exec would need to get the go-ahead from yet another boss. At any point, a great idea could be stopped by just one person.
Amazon takes a different approach, says Bezos, providing “multiple paths to a yes.”
Employees who get a ‘no’ from their direct boss can still pitch the idea to another executive for approval. “You want a large number of high level people empowered to greenlight things,” says the CEO, adding that he often has people at Amazon go around him.