Amazing Business Radio: John Rossman


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Innovation from the World's Leading Customer-Obsessed Company

Think Like Amazon

Innovation from the World’s Leading Customer-Obsessed Company

Shep Hyken interviews John Rossman. They discuss John’s new book, Think Like Amazon, and how to utilize the key factors that drive Amazon’s success.

The Interview with John Rossman:
  • Innovation and success come from developing and committing to systems. Be deliberate in how you approach your work and have a “playbook” you can pull from for any situation. Even though your business may change, a consistent system will drive you to success.
  • Identify the durable customer needs in your industry—the things customers will consistently desire and seek out from companies regardless of other changeable factors. For Amazon, these are low prices, large selection, and fast delivery. It’s helpful to phrase these needs as something like, “I can’t imagine a world where customers would want higher prices.”
  • Once you develop a core set of beliefs about your customers and brand, allow these to act as “swim lanes.” Focus on innovation within those areas; some ideas will work and some won’t, but you will learn from your mistakes. This approach will serve you well over a long period of time.
  • Most companies say they want to change, but very few companies are actually committed to following through with it. Change starts with being honest about who and what you are and whether or not you’re building for the future. Once you’ve done that, you can begin moving forward.
  • Are you a “day one company” or a “day two company”? Day one companies focus on tomorrow; lean forward and look at each day as a chance to grow and improve for the future. Day two companies focus on today; they maintain the status quo and optimize for the short term rather than the long term. They’re often more concerned about money than the customer.
  • A great way to drive change and innovation is to become customer-obsessed. When you’re obsessed, it drives you to do hard things on behalf of your customer. It can lead to more financial gain tomorrow.
  • Be relentless in your approach to innovation. Most innovation comes from every day, operational work. If you approach that relentlessly and put in the hours necessary, you will become better and make a positive impact on your customers.
  • Be willing to adopt change personally as well as professionally. Challenge your own internal status quo in addition to your company’s. This will help you go far.

“Change happens when leaders are willing to challenge their own personal status quo.” – John Rossman

“Most innovation comes from the hard work we do every day. Operational excellence is the feeding ground to drive innovation.” – John Rossman

“Experts make it look easy, but it’s only because they put in all the effort, practice, and skill development. They were relentless about improving their game.” – John Rossman

“When you’re obsessed, you’re willing to do  hard things on behalf of your customer. Building a true customer obsession is a great way to challenge your status quo.” – John Rossman

“Innovation is not an accident. You have to develop a system.” – John Rossman


John Rossman is the author of Think Like Amazon: 50 ½ Ideas to Become a Digital Leader. Formerly an executive at Amazon, he now heads Rossman Partners, a niche business advisory firm.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How can I be more like Amazon?
  2. How can I become customer-obsessed?
  3. How can I innovate like Amazon?
  4. How do I achieve customer loyalty?
  5. How do I make positive change within my organization?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is a hall of fame speaker (National Speakers Association) and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.


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