Jeff Bezos to Amazon employees: If your boss says no, ask your boss’ boss

Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon.com Inc., introduces the Kindle Fire HD tablets at a news conference in Santa Monica, California, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. Amazon.com Inc. is updating its line of Kindle e-readers and tablets in a bid to stoke consumer demand as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. join the crowded market of machines challenging Apple Inc.?s iPad. Photographer: Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

You can’t get to innovation without saying ‘yes’ first. That’s why Jeff Bezosmakes it easy for Amazon employees to get an idea approved, even if their boss says ‘no.’

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.

Source: CNBC

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