How much focus do you put on major strategic– “One-Way-Door” decisions?
To scale up a company the CEO needs to balance day to day management with the major strategic “One-Way-Door” decisions.
Amazon has announced that Jeff Bezos will be stepping down as CEO and taking on the role of Executive Chairman.
The goal is for Bezos to be less involved in the day-to-day operations & focus on major strategic– “One-Way-Door” decisions.
What are One-Way-Door Issues?
In his 2016 shareholder letter Bezos explaining that there are two types of decisions. One type, he wrote, is like walking through a standard door: If you’re not happy with your choice, you can always walk back through it. The other type is a one-way door – it’s not reversible, so you have to be very careful about making that kind of decision, he wrote.
Two-way-door decisions can always be reversed–you can go back through the door.
‘One-way door’ decisions are not reversible, you can’t go back through the door. That means you have to be careful when making them.
Examples of one-way door decisions:
Once you make those decisions, it changes how you operate in a way that you can’t simply reverse if it doesn’t work out.
They require time and thoughtfulness and shouldn’t be made lightly.
For Bezos, the “one-way-door” rule is valuable because it gives him and Amazon a way to decide whether a decision is important enough to get involved.
What a great way of thinking about the importance of decisions!
It makes it easier to let go of everything else, and only focus on things that have that level of impact on the business.
That frees up his time for other things.
The reality is the same thing is probably true for you.
Unless you’re a solopreneur, trying to make every little decision isn’t sustainable.
Even then, there will come a point when you won’t be able to grow without multiplying your resources and building a team. As you do, that means handing off many of the two-way-door decisions to people who are qualified to make them without your input.
Bezos makes the point that companies shouldn’t confuse the two types of decisions because it results in “slowness, unthoughtful risk aversion, failure to experiment sufficiently, and consequently diminished invention.”
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