What do shopping, the cloud and leadership principles have in common?


Who amongst us hasn’t purchased something from Amazon—shoes, tools, supplies for school or even a car?  What’s next:  a mortgage and then burial services? Hey, don’t laugh; it could happen.  These days a more reasonable question is, why wouldn’t you make your life easier and buy on-line from Amazon?  After all, here is an organization that recently leased a set of jets in order to more efficiently deliver on their business objective to ‘serve you anything/sell you anything you need in life and get it to you fast’ (my words).

What drives this mission?  Many people may not be aware of Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles.  They are all worth checking out.  Today I will focus on number eight, Bias for Action. 

This principle is so short and easy to read that it can’t be misunderstood:

Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.

The way I interpret this is:  have the idea, do a list of pros and cons, decide which way to go, decide not to overanalyze, take action, don’t worry because you can always course correct.  Boom!

As a worry wart and having a bit of an analytical mind, this principle is particularly useful to me.  It means getting more done with less overthought! Customers often overthink what workloads or applications to move to the cloud, becoming concerned with loss of control and ability to move data into and out the cloud. There are some real factors to think about including portability of applications into the cloud, connection to the cloud and security to name a few.  These concerns and more of a well-planned (but not overthought) move to the cloud can be worked through like following a map to reach a destination.

Just as Amazon has made it a missions to “serve and sell you anything you need,” Amazon Web Services (AWS) makes moving applications to the cloud easy without forcing customers to overthink.  How? They provide a Cloud Adoption Framework which breaks down the complicated process of planning to move something to the cloud into manageable areas of focus. These areas of focus are referred to as perspectives and cover everything from people (of course, really important) to platforms, to business and security. I have to say the way AWS lays this out is easy and guides a person or complex enterprise through the process of moving to the cloud.

So the next time you are browsing on Amazon or thinking of moving an application to the Cloud, why not adopt and incorporate a bias for action?  Chances are you will discover something new for yourself by taking the action and may even create something really, really big in your life and for others!

Gary Danoff SVP Cloud Solutions, DLT