A brilliant one pager – The Amazon Way

I’ve been researching leadership over the past couple of months for material for my first book, The Safety CEO. This week I came across an article on www.time.com – “3 books every leader should read to be successful”. The book that grabbed my attention was “The Amazon Way” – by ex Amazon insider John Rossman. The reviews of the book were overall good (I’d be happy with them 4.4 stars) with most criticism coming from readers expecting to hear more about current Amazon strategies or the inside stories being dated.

What I found brilliant though was a piece of work from collaborator, Todd Clarke. Todd is a software engineer that has a flair for creating visual media and a passion for lean techniques. He produced a one pager on the 14 principles Rossman writes about. You can also get a copy from www.getlit.com/portfolio/. Todd has created a number of one pagers worth reviewing.

amazon-way-visual copy

Now technically, the style would get canned for lack of clarity, too many words, fonts too small, etc. For instance it would never be used as a pilots checklist. But instead I found the style thought provoking. It engaged system 2 quickly. It has the right balance of words to relay a message but not too much to bore me. The use of images already wired in my mind (Einstein, Malkovich, blues brothers) sent neutrons firing all over the place!

The layout is quite interesting. In a number of places on the page you are required to pay attention. Not much that it is taxing or too effortful, switching you back to system 1 or off. Just enough to keep you in system 2 so the messages are being reviewed consciously. Difficult enough to require marshalling your resources creating a small neurological investment. Hooked!

The other interesting part I thought about is I am currently creating one pagers and in a completely unrelated search, this appears in front of me. Almost from nowhere. The universe conspiring to guide me or just my brain unconsciously primed to look for matching patterns? Not being a believer in an almighty force, looks like my brain is doing it again. One pagers here I come!

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