Amazon LPs: Invest and Simplify

Amazon’s Leadership Principles, or LPs help its employees hold themselves and each other accountable, through tangible and measurable qualities that guide and lead decision-making, with customers at the forefront. 

This article will focus on the principle of Invent and Simplify

What is invent and simplify?

Amazon’s official quote for this principle is:

Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here.” As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.

Amazon Leadership Principles

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s a Technical Program Manager, I know firsthand that working at Amazon is a fast and thrilling environment, and to be able to keep up with the pace, you need to think big. That means, automation should be at the forefront of the solution you are building, and you should look at how the mechanize it. You should also look at the problem’s proposed solution and look to simplify it, so that you can get it out and learn and iterate as quickly as possible based on customer feedback. This is the startup mentality of fail early and fail fast.

A famous entrepreneur once said that simple scales much better than complex, and enables you to think big, another leadership principle at Amazon. As a leader, you should look to your team to build innovation by looking at what other teams have done, other organizations have done, rather than reinvent the wheel. But if the wheel does need to be reinvented in order to to innovate.

At Amazon, your job description is never limited to simply running things. No matter what your job, you are expected to improve on the processes in ways that ultimately enhance the customer experience and/or lower costs. For example, Amazon engineers do not consider themselves coders, but rather problem solvers. This mentality promotes big thinking—game-changing solutions and inventions—rather than finger-in-the-dike fixes.

John Rossman, author of The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind the World’s Most Disruptive Company

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