John Rossman is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal in Seattle, specializing in technology strategy, multi-channel operations scaling and platform enablement in multiple industries including retail, service and public sector.

With more than 28 years of technology strategy, design, implementation and operating experience, Mr. Rossman has led several complex businesses and programs resulting in innovative business models. He has worked with clients across a broad range of industries including retail, insurance, education, forest products, industrial products and transportation.

John Rossman is the author of The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles of the World’s Most Disruptive Company and is an expert on digital disruption ...

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Speech Topics

Creating Digital Disruption 
Amazon has pioneered and created waves of disruption ever since it was founded.  From one click purchasing, to online shopping, to same day delivery, Amazon has created the marketplace for others to follow.  Author of the Amazon Way, John Rossman, will teach how the culture of Amazon drives the ability to disrupt, what principles continually produce these changes, and how to set up your company to drive disruption.

Leadership the Amazon Way currently sells more online than its next 12 competitors combined.  It has grown from an online bookseller to conquering the online shopping world.  Many of the shopping expectations and tastes that consumers have today can be traced by to the Amazon Way.  In John Rossman’s signature leadership keynote he will reveal and unpack the secrets of Amazon’s unparalleled growth and how the company’s culture has driven innovation and growth.  Rossman will show how these principles can help any business seize this advantage.

Building a Culture of Innovation the Amazon Way
Leaders at Amazon expect and require innovation and invention from their teams.  They are externally aware and look for new ideas everywhere.  Amazon has a thrilling power to innovate that few other company has matched.  Former Amazon executive turned business consultant John Rossman shows how it is not one single individual that drives innovation and dreams up new technology, but a well thought out and preserved culture.  

The Future Internet of Everything at Amazon
From John Rossman’s new book The Amazon Way:  10 Lessons Every Leader Should Learn from Amazon’s IoT Strategy, the former Amazon executive unpacks how connected devices will transform industries and businesses, and what leaders should do to take advantage.  Rossman will look at how connected devices will revolutionize how business is done and change the marketplace.  This speech will give leaders from all types of businesses a blueprint on how to leverage connected devices for the future of their business.  

Becoming Obsessed with the Customer
Amazon’s customer service and customer centric attitude is legendary.  It is driven by leadership that can deduce the needs and wants of the customer and constantly push to improve the customer experience.  Author of The Amazon Way, John Rossman, to teach you how to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.  He will reveal Amazon’s “holy trinity” for customers and make it applicable to any business.  After this speech you will see how your customers will drive innovation and have the potential to be your best salespeople.

Making a Supply Chain a Golden Asset -- The Amazon Way
Amazon was recently rated the number 1 supply chain by Gartner.   With Amazon’s innovative and revolutionary culture, they have reset customer expectations for delivery speed, precision, and cost.  John Rossman scaled third party market place business during his time as an executive at Amazon.  Today that accounts for 45% of all units shipped and sold.  In this speech Rossman will discuss the key to scaling, Amazon’s secrets to drive accountability, how to achieve “operational excellence” and “innovation” and what customers truly desire.


  • The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind the World's Most Disruptive Company
  • The Amazon Way on IoT: 10 Principles for Every Leader from the World's Leading Internet of Things Strategies: Volume 2


  • Registration Now Open for the World's Largest Supply Management Conference Focused on "Global Insights, Peak Performance"
    Registration Now Open for the World's Largest Supply Management Conference Focused on "Global Insights, Peak Performance"
    Oct 18, 2017
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    Registration Now Open for the World's Largest Supply Management Conference Focused on "Global Insights, Peak Performance"
    Oct 18, 2017

    Arianna Huffington, Mitt Romney and John Rossman to speak at ISM2018 in Nashville, May 6-9, 2018

    PHOENIX, Oct. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®), the first and largest not-for-profit professional supply management organization worldwide, has announced that registration is now open for the supply management profession's largest global event, ISM2018, which will be held May 6-9, 2018 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

    Focused on, "Global Insights, Peak Performance," the event expects to draw over 2,500 supply management executives and professionals from around the world seeking actionable ideas, standards and best practices to give their organizations a competitive advantage. More than 80 interactive sessions will be part of six practitioner-led learning tracks at ISM2018, and will feature executives from firms such as Google, Pfizer, and P.F. Chang's China Bistro. All sessions are mapped to the ISM Mastery Model®, so attendees can enhance their conference experience by selecting sessions that are specifically designed to improve their individual supply management competencies.

    The impressive line-up will include keynoters Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of the Huffington Post and Thrive Global; Mitt Romney, governor of Massachusetts (2003-2007), president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and founder and CEO of Bain Capital; and featured speaker John Rossman, former Amazon executive and author of "The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind the World's Most Disruptive Company."

    "We are pleased that these accomplished individuals have agreed to share key insights, anecdotes, and inspirational stories that our own participants can draw from. They will help set the tone for an exceptional event filled with strong learning and networking opportunities," said Tom Derry, ISM CEO.

    ISM2018 will also once again feature a number of programs tailored to specific audiences within the supply management profession, including:

    • Invitation-only ExecIn: A select gathering of top procurement and supply management leaders will participate in special executive-level sessions, including exclusive access to these speakers.
    • Emerging Professionals Experience: Designed for those with one to eight years of experience who are working toward their CPSM® (Certified Professional in Supply Management®) designation, this experience features a personal ambassador, specialized career building and networking sessions, on-site CPSM accelerated training, and invitations to exclusive social events.
    • Team Experience: Participants in this program will enjoy specialized counsel from ISM executive leadership, and preferred "team seating" near the front of all ISM2018 keynote sessions. It's limited to only 100 people, so interested attendees should act quickly.For groups of five or more, special pricing is available: If groups register by January 15, 2018 they can receive up to 45 percent savings compared to on-site registration. Individuals can save 40 percent by registering by January 15, 2018 compared to on-site registration.

    A number of scholarship and award recipients will also be recognized during ISM2018, including the 2018 R. Gene Richter Scholars and the J. Shipman Gold Medal Award winner. The Richter Scholarship is awarded annually to top supply chain management students from across the U.S., and the Shipman Award is given annually to an individual who has performed distinguished service for the cause and advancement of the supply management profession. In addition, recipients of the annual 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars award, which recognizes promising young supply chain professionals, will also be honored during the conference.

  • Grocery and the Need for Speed
    Grocery and the Need for Speed
    Sep 20, 2017
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    Grocery and the Need for Speed
    Sep 20, 2017

    The future of grocery belongs to the fast.

    That's arguably the biggest takeaway from Xcelerate Retail 2017, a technology conference held by Symphony Retail Solutions, a division of Symphony Technology Group, which took place Sept. 12-14 in Las Vegas. And while other essentials critical for success also were shared – from increased focus on customer-centricity to implementing new technologies such as artificial intelligence and promotion-planning software – the message was clear: Food retailers that move the fastest at developing and implementing their strategies to compete in an world will be the ones that compete successfully against the ecommerce giant.

    “If we are to do anything going forward from this moment in time, it's to appreciate that the future is coming at us faster than ever before,” said Jim Carroll, a futurist, noting that retailers need to think big, but start small, and then scale fast.

    Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, founder, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Symphony Technology Group, also pointed to the necessity of moving faster, but not while looking at yesterday's performance statistics. Amazon received tremendous publicity when it recently cut prices on just 80 items at Whole Foods Market, on its first day as the owner of the Austin, Texas-based grocer. But it didn’t receive the attention for the price cuts themselves – it did so for the speed at which it implemented them. Grocers need to be as fast with what they do, because disruption will continue, and technology will play a much more important role in grocery, which will require grocers to work with technology companies not just to defend themselves, but also “punch back” at Amazon, Wadhwani noted. In the next couple of years, grocers trying to fight Amazon will need technology to help with dynamic pricing and to understand promotions.


    But probably even more important, they will need a deeper knowledge of their customers, Wadhwani said. Having a “customer obsession” might be a more accurate – albeit extreme – piece of advice here: John Rossman, Amazon's former director of enterprise services who's now managing director at the Seattle office of global consultancy Alvarez & Marsal, used the phrase to describe Amazon's approach to customer-centric retail, which he helped strategize with founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in the ecommerce giant’s early years.

    Amy Hahn, SVP of marketing with Carlisle, Pa.-based grocery company Ahold USA, also noted the importance of technology for the sake of being more customer-centric in her presentation, and that her company is one grocer shifting its focus in this area. Technology and marketing are intersecting, and there are so many new technologies – artificial intelligence, augmented reality, sensor fusion, near-field-communication pay, voice assistants, etc. – yet so little time to implement them. She suggested that whatever retailers employ, they must do it to bring a personal touch to the customer (and with the customer opting in, of course).

    Just like in the days before cash-and-carry grocery, grocer-shopper interaction has to be one-to-one, and technology can do that: Today's shoppers want those same grocery assistants on the other end when ordering, whether online, via voice or through another method, Hahn noted. Ahold does this through several methods, whether personalized promotions and pricing to save money, personal health dashboards to help shoppers eat better, or saving time through advanced list-building. Additionally, proprietary sales data plays a huge role in informing targeting and measuring the impact of targeted advertisements.

    Also pointing to the importance of data in customer-centricity was Sahir Anand, managing VP of research and strategy with EnsembleIQ, Progressive Grocer’s parent company, who noted that grocers must adopt a customer-centric focus based on real-time data availability, rather than sticking to a one-size-fits-all concept.

    All too often, however, retailers talk a big game but don't act on it when it comes to focusing on the customer, said Evan Anthony, owner and CEO of EDA Consulting and former VP of marketing, advertising, loyalty and research with the Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. (pictured in the opening image). The time to start is now – whether grocers are pulling money out of print marketing and putting it into other customer-centric marketing channels, or activating dynamic pricing in stores to compete in an Amazon world, even if some pushback comes from the customer.

    “You can't keep doing what you've always done,” he explained. “You've got to make some shifts” at the right time. Anthony continued: "Everyone has weaknesses, even Amazon. Learn them. Exploit them. Make the competition do what it doesn't want to do."


    While competition is tougher than ever in food retail, and many are likely to fall and not get back up from Amazon’s blows, “doom and gloom” is hardly the term to apply to physical stores' outlook, argued John Lucot, former president and COO of Pittsburgh-based grocer Giant Eagle.

    “This whole doom and gloom about brick and mortar going away, I don't share that,” he said, adding that “it's about relevance. … It's the start of a discussion of how we think differently.”In a co-presentation, Lucot and Dr. Pallab Chatterjee, CEO of Symphony EYC and Chairman of Symphony Retail Solutions, divisions of Symphony Technology Group, noted that Supermarket 2020 – a theoretical concept that reimagines the future physical grocery store of the near future – shows that brick and mortar has a definite future in food retail. However, unlike today’s stores, it may be set up in a shopping center format with other necessities such as banks and salons.

    The store of the near future may have six to seven aisles instead of 15 to 20, given the rise of hard-discount, limited-assortment grocers, as well as more center store sales moving online. Additionally, average product range per category could go from 40 to 80 SKUs to 10 or lower, prepared foods may see up to 25 percent of space dedicated to food-court-style seating, and locally sourced offerings could grow up to 25 percent of the assortment, with local produce offering “instant info” that can easily be accessed via smart devices (possibly even via augmented reality). And more stores likely will offer drive-up click-and-collect, while the number of manned-checkout versus self-checkout counters could invert from 80 percent to 20 percent to 20 percent to 80 percent.

    The combination of these characteristics that retailers will employ in the future to compete will vary, but in the end, it will be about experimenting with different technologies and formats, all to become more relevant in people’s everyday lives. The old fades away, but new concepts and solutions take their place – grocers, like Amazon, simply need to have the courage to test, risk but embrace failure, and test again to eventually achieve success.As Lucot put it, experimenting and taking risks to win in the new normal is “not for the faint of heart. But retail never was for the faint of heart.”


    • Learn about Amazon, Anthony said. What did they do in the past to get where they are today? It might help you know what they're going to do in the future, and prepare.
    • Don't confuse thinking big with betting big, Rossman explained. How can you make small, low-risk bets that can be tested and adjusted?
    • Remember that people are hard-wired to make most of their decisions through shorthand rules of thumb, reminded Joan Lewis, principal of Joan Lewis Consulting and former senior executive at Procter & Gamble.
    • Think of ways you can share supply chain data with suppliers and work together to apply it, recommended Graeme Cooksley, CEO and president of Symphony GOLD, a Symphony Technology Group division. There are so much data in the supply chain, which can be daunting for retailers seeking to analyze and use it.
    • Spend lots of time not just reviewing metrics, Rossman advised, but also making sure you have the right ones and are adding to them.
    • Take advantage of new technologies – from voice assistants and drone technology to artificial intelligence – to rethink every aspect of your business, reimagining the shopping experience, streamlining operations and fostering a culture of innovation, Cooksley said.
    • Culture is more important than technology, said Ken Fenyo, head of consumer markets for McKinsey Fast Growth, who previously served as VP of loyalty at Kroger. But how do you create a culture where it's OK to test things and fail? An important point: Grocers don't have to build it all themselves, but instead, create a whole series of relationships (such as with startups) to test technology and see what works.
    • The Xcelerate Retail Forum also will be held in Paris Oct. 9-11.

  • Forbes: Think Like Amazon: The Principles Of Success
    Forbes: Think Like Amazon: The Principles Of Success
    Sep 19, 2017
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    Forbes: Think Like Amazon: The Principles Of Success
    Sep 19, 2017

    What are the leadership principles that drive Amazon's success?

    Amazon is objectively one of the most profitable companies in America today. Yet it didn’t become the business behemoth it is now without following a certain set of internal rules. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a leader looking to optimize your team, we could all stand to take a page out Amazon’s book of success.

    John Rossman is a Managing Director at Alvarez & Marsal where he specializes in innovative business models and organizational change, including the ‘Internet of Things’. Previously he was an executive at where he launched the third party selling business which today is over 50% of all Amazon units, and supports over three million sellers. He's the best selling author of The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind the World's Most Disruptive Company and The Amazon Way on IoT.

    I recently interviewed John for the LEADx Podcast, where we discussed the guiding principles at Amazon and the important lesson he learned through failure. (The interview below has been lightly edited for space and clarity.) 

    Kevin Kruse: Tell us what was a lesson you learned through failure?

    John Rossman: Well there's a wide portfolio that we could pick from here, but I was an industrial engineer, and so I always approached things in a very methodical and thorough manner, and I was in the systems integration business, custom software development business early in my career. Where I had my failures was really in like connecting with people. I really had to figure out and learn how do you not just address the technical or the business requirements aspect of a situation, but how do you create motivations and how do you address the emotional quotient of a problem and of a situation, in addition to the technical or business requirements of it? That's where I've really throughout my entire career, always have to keep reminding myself that you really need to think in a comprehensive way beyond the technical and really get to know people and situations at both a personal level, as well as at an organizational level, and think all the way through those if you truly want to create lasting change.

    Kruse: I used to be so single-mindedly focused on the problem and I wasn't putting the people part of it together, so that's a good reminder.

    Rossman: I had a great mentor in my career and he always used to tell me, "John, you're the most productive person I know but what you need to allow for is more unproductive productive time." What he meant by that was ‘Take time to just slow down,’ especially with people that you're working with or that you're trying to make change with. Just let it air out a little bit. Don't always be focused on hyper-productivity. Again, I have to continually remind myself because your natural orientations don't change. It's just you have to keep the awareness of your weaknesses or your natural orientation, and make sure that those strengths don't become your weaknesses at certain points.  

    Kruse: Your books are focused on the success principles behind Amazon's success. What was it like being a leader there?

    Rossman: So there are 14 leadership principles at Amazon. They weren't written down, they weren't codified when I was there, but you saw them being used every day. The first one is ‘Obsess over the customer,’ and the 14th is ‘Deliver results,’ and there's 12 in between those two. The thing I'd say is that these principles are truly used in everyday meetings and everyday situations by everybody in the organization to help make better, faster, more consistent decisions aligned to the strategy and the beliefs of the organization. 

    And so these principles are real and what I find lacking in so many circumstances is that while people may agree on an element, a strategy, or how we want to work together, they actually don't have a consistent or shared decision-making framework. So, when you can create a shared or consistent decision-making framework, then what you can do is you can let more people make decisions and you can move faster and be less bureaucratic. That, I think, is a worthy goal for any organization of size. 

    Working at Amazon was both intoxicating and awesome, but it's also a full-contact sport. You are truly accountable, you have to make hard things happen, deliver hard results. You have to work in a very non-hierarchical organization, you have to get things done across a lot of teams, most of which won't report to you. You have to be very multifaceted.  

    In particular, business leaders at Amazon are expected to know technology extremely well, and know data, and be able to dive deeper than most leaders at other organizations. So it was great because you could get more things done faster and truly impact customers in the business faster at Amazon than any other organization of size that I've ever been around. But it did come with a lot of accountability and it was an ‘always-on,’ environment. It was a lot of fun and I really took a lot away from it.

    Kruse: The stories that outsiders hear about Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, is that he is a brilliant leader, but maybe not the warmest and fuzzy guy to work with. Was that your experience while you were there?

    Rossman: I mean, he's a very funny individual. He enjoys a laugh more than anybody else, and everything, but he's out to change the world, right? “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs,” right? Like, you have to be demanding and you have to look for the right thing, not just the easy thing. So, I think what he's really created is an expectation that while we want to be collegial and we want teams and people to get along, if that comes at the compromise of not getting at things the right answer or things working exactly right, or other types of compromises, then we've failed. So, he's demanding but I think it was in a very appropriate way.

    Kruse: Do you think he's an underrated entrepreneur with all that he's achieved? Or you think that people are judging him about right?

    Rossman: I think over the past 18 months that certainly has changed, right? That's because of the impact that Amazon has had, the number of different businesses that they're in and that they're uprooting and disrupting, as well as his own personal prestige and the wealth ticker that goes along with that and everything.

    I think he, until about 18 months ago that was certainly the case and I think it depends on the audience that you're talking about today and everything, but I think most leaders I talk to today, they've got Amazon now in their focus. It's either like A) "How do we compete with Amazon?" Or B) and I think this is the more interesting conversation, is like "How do we create these same types of outcomes of constant reinvention and operational effectiveness and operational excellence and a customer-obsessed organization? Like, how do we create those things in our organization?" That's the type of business and the type of conversation that I'm interested in.

    Those were the goals for my books was to help others take from a company like Amazon and figure out, "How do we apply that into our own organization?"

  • ICMI Contact Center Demo 2017 Announces Notable Keynotes, Local Tours, Dynamic Workshops and Full Conference Program
    ICMI Contact Center Demo 2017 Announces Notable Keynotes, Local Tours, Dynamic Workshops and Full Conference Program
    Jun 12, 2017
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    ICMI Contact Center Demo 2017 Announces Notable Keynotes, Local Tours, Dynamic Workshops and Full Conference Program
    Jun 12, 2017

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 8, 2017 — The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) announces new headline speakers for its upcoming event, ICMI Contact Center Demo, taking place September 25-27, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV. Jim Knight, author and former head of training at Hard Rock and John Rossman, author and former Amazon Executive.  ICMI Demo will also feature new contact center tours, networking opportunities and presentations.

    “We are proven thought leaders in the call center industry and continue to provide forward thinking content at our events in order to offer our attendees the best experience possible,” said Patty Caron, event director, ICMI. “We want to create an environment that is conducive to education and networking, while also creating a fun and exciting experience, and the rollout of our new 2017 conference program does just that.”

    Meet the Keynotes:

    Jim Knight, author and former head of training at Hard Rock, presenting, Culture That Rocks!: Jim Knight has put his experience and creativity to work to develop cutting-edge training concepts. During his time with the Hard Rock brand, his team won many awards for their excellent work, including Brandon Hall’s Gold Best in Class Award for their “Service Recovery” e-learning course. Knight was also recognized by Training Magazine as representing one of the Top 125 training companies in the world, out of all industries and businesses.

    Knight’s presentation, Culture That Rocks!, will explain the obstacles faced and the action necessary to build an awesome team culture. Knight will focus on departments tasked with revolutionizing the corporate culture of their organization.

    John Rossman, author and former Amazon Executive, presenting, Becoming Obsessed with the Customer: Rossman has more than 28 years of technology strategy, design implementation and operating experience. In his presentation, Becoming Obsessed with the Customer, Rossman will pull from his experience with Amazon, a legendary customer service company, to help attendees improve the customer experience. Rossman will reveal Amazon’s “holy trinity” for customers and demonstrate how customers can become your best salespeople.

    To learn more about the ICMI Demo headline presenters, please visit:

    The conference program features six learning tracks that cover vital foundational topics as well as customer service trends and strategies. The 2017 learning tracks include:

    • Achieve Metrics Nirvana
    • Boost Your Culture
    • Drive Customer Success
    • Elevate Your Leadership
    • Maximize Productivity
    • Optimize Technology

  • IoT Evolution: Author of The Amazon Way to Deliver Keynote at IoT Evolution Expo
    IoT Evolution: Author of The Amazon Way to Deliver Keynote at IoT Evolution Expo
    May 19, 2017
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    IoT Evolution: Author of The Amazon Way to Deliver Keynote at IoT Evolution Expo
    May 19, 2017

    John Rossman to share how to develop and scale Internet of Things business strategies

    Trumbull, CT – May 18, 2017 – TMC and Crossfire Media today announced that John Rossman, Author of the best selling Amazon Way series including The Amazon Way on IoT, will present a keynote address at IoT Evolution Conference and Expo being held July 17-20, 2017 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. IoT Evolution Expo has evolved to become the leading educational and networking forum for the enterprise looking to understand how to develop and implement IoT solutions that drive measurable results and business transformation. The event will feature a robust exhibit floor, powerful keynotes, case studies, live demos, unique sessions, special events, networking opportunities and much more. Rossman will deliver his keynote on Monday, July 17 at 4:00 PM.

    “Every enterprise is wrestling with improving the customer experience, improving operational efficiencies and building their digital business models,” said Rossman. “The internet of things is the great enabler unleashing the next wave of opportunities to improve your business.  I’m honored to get to speak at the IoT Evolution Expo and help the audience answer the question ‘what should my IoT strategy be?’”

    Author and strategist John Rossman outlines how the leadership principles of Amazon set a framework for developing your IoT plan. Mr. Rossman, who has planned hundreds of projects throughout his career, walks you through the process of how a company like Amazon would define their plans and create change in the organization.  Hear about tactics and business strategies you can use to create a faster and more innovative business leveraging IoT.

    “It seems like every company is taking advantage of the cloud and AWS,” said Carl Ford, CEO, Crossfire Media, Executive Director of Content, IoT Evolution. “Having John Rossman give us his insights on the Amazon way of working and the impact of that method on IoT. We are excited to understand and hear how Amazon's principles can be applied to IoT and transform our businesses.”

  • 'The Amazon Way on IoT' author is featured speaker at business technology conference
    'The Amazon Way on IoT' author is featured speaker at business technology conference
    Mar 24, 2017
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    'The Amazon Way on IoT' author is featured speaker at business technology conference
    Mar 24, 2017

    'The Amazon Way on IoT' author is featured speaker at business technology conference

    AIM, an Omaha nonprofit that promotes economic growth through technology, will hold its 2017 Infotec conference on Tuesday at Embassy Suites La Vista.

    Business leaders and others are invited to learn how to streamline business and reach more customers through technology.

    John Rossman, author of “The Amazon Way on IoT: 10 Principles for Every Leader from the World’s Leading Internet of Things Strategies” and other publications, is the event’s featured speaker.

    The Internet of things is “the technology of putting sensors into everyday items,” he said. Those sensors can gather data that can help businesses become more efficient and boost their customer base, Rossman said.

    The event is for startups to large companies, Rossman said.

    The Internet of things is a rapidly growing technology that can be used in just about every industry: retail, education, manufacturing, health care and insurance, among others, Rossman said.

    The conference also features breakout sessions on leadership skills, cybersecurity, virtual reality, management tools, the cloud and other topics.

    Other speakers include Kelly Burdine, data analyst lead at Hudl; Michael Hemenway, director, decision support center at Union Pacific; and Branden Collingsworth, director of predictive analytics at HDR.

  • Tulsa World: Former Amazon executive highlights principles that drive the company
    Tulsa World: Former Amazon executive highlights principles that drive the company
    Feb 23, 2017
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    Tulsa World: Former Amazon executive highlights principles that drive the company
    Feb 23, 2017

    Tulsa World: Former Amazon executive highlights principles that drive the company
    John Rossman talks about his book ‘The Amazon Way’ on company’s principles, practices
    By Casey Smith Tulsa World

    Since its launch in 1994, Amazon has grown from an online bookseller to a mega-retailer, with lines of business that also include cloud computing, crowd-sourcing and streaming services. In 2015 it became the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in annual sales, and since the beginning of this year stock has stayed between $750 and nearly $850 per share.

    John Rossman, a former company executive who launched and scaled the Amazon Marketplace business and was responsible for the enterprise services business while he was there from 2002 to 2005, says part of the company’s success can be attributed to looking at its 14 leadership principles, which he outlines in his book “The Amazon Way.”

    Rossman spoke in Tulsa on Wednesday at Tulsa Business Forums, presented annually by Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business. Before the lecture, Rossman sat down with the Tulsa World for a Q&A.

    What is “The Amazon Way”?

    The Amazon Way is really about the company’s culture and their leadership principles and how they go about getting the results that they get, which are both world-class operators and systematic innovators. They run a worldwide conglomerate business today. Amazon is in so many different businesses, way beyond retail.

    I think it really is those leadership principles, which is really an articulation of “How do we make decisions,” that allows them to make good decisions, consistent decisions and keep the organization running fast and in a low bureaucratic manner.

    The Amazon Way is about all those principles around being obsessed with your customer and taking ownership for results and thinking big. All those ways together are The Amazon Way.

    Is that something that you think other companies should be doing?

    I don’t either believe or advise that anybody should take these principles and make them their own.

    The key, though, is most companies are trying to think through “What’s the digital opportunity in our business?” or “Where could somebody new, a nonincumbent, disrupt our business?” And figuring out how do I act in an agile manner, or how do I both manage my large legacy business and start new things and to take more bets — that’s kind of the universal challenge for management teams.

    So at a minimum thinking through: how do we make decisions and how do we create an environment that fosters appropriate risk-taking and how do we put our customer first and our organization second behind that.

    This is how Amazon does it, and you can learn and draw things from that, but I think a leadership team really needs to think about how do we go about making that work for our team and how we want to run our business and our culture and our heritage.

    Were you part of putting together these leadership principles or were they already established when you came to Amazon?

    The principles weren’t codified at that point, so they weren’t written down, but you worked them every single day. You used them in meetings, and they were referred to and you talked about them. It was sometime after I left that they wrote them down.

    But I was there at a period in time when we got clear about Amazon essentially being two types of businesses — one is being a retailer, and the other is being a platform business that offers core capabilities that both Amazon the retailer can use and other businesses can use.

    Amazon Web Services is a good example of a platform business. The business I ran there — the Marketplace business — is a good example of a platform business.

    And so those were kind of the formational days of really what started to expand Amazon well beyond being an internet retailer.

    Tell me about the first leadership principle, customer obsession. What does that mean and how did you guys carry that out?

    What it means first and foremost is that your customer is not present, and you need to have great empathy and great insights in understanding the customers’ needs, or maybe opportunities that they don’t even recognize today. And you need to be willing to do hard things in order to achieve that kind of customer experience that you envision.

    They use the word obsession pretty purposefully, meaning it’s easy to say you’re “customer focused,” but when you’re obsessed about something, you’re kind of irrational and you’re willing to do very hard things and you’re willing to stick with it.

    A lot of where Amazon’s innovations come from is that deep customer understanding and looking upstream and downstream … saying where is there a bad customer experience and how might Amazon help improve or fix that customer experience, and that’s lead them to a lot of new businesses.

    Are there any other leadership principles you want to highlight?

    There’s a leadership principle called “invent and simplify.” It is No. 3. Amazon has always defined itself as a technology company and as innovators and explorers, and retail was the first business model that they focused on.

    I think that that willingness to apply resources and being curious and being willing to invent on behalf of your customer or on behalf of driving operational improvements has been a key force to help them innovate. It’s just part of their ethos to look for new opportunities and to solve problems that may have not been solved yet.

    There’s a lot of very visible examples of that, but I think the drones are a very clear one where they’re on the absolute leading edge of building that capability. There’s going to be a lot of trial and error, but if you have a longterm perspective of the market and you have the opportunity then the investment makes sense. If you have a short term perspective on the opportunity of your business then an investment like that will never make sense.

    How have the principles benefited the company?

    I think the primary benefit is just that as an organization they make decisions in a consistent manner. They can scale decision-making but still get consistent decisions made. It’s a way of articulating their strategy. And it helps them recruit, so they specifically are looking for people that demonstrate these types of values, they evaluate talent relative to living up to these principles. So there’s a lot of benefits, but I think it’s primarily about moving fast and smartly.

    Does Amazon have a culture that discourages employees from getting too comfortable in their roles?

    I don’t know if it’s that they don’t want them to get too comfortable. I would express it as more of every function, every role, every cost has an opportunity to be improved. Amazon’s original name was And so just that relentlessness of everything can always be improved, you’re never done, I think is really the culture of continuous improvement.

  • Former Amazon executive explains keys to success, leadership in OSU speech
    Former Amazon executive explains keys to success, leadership in OSU speech
    Feb 16, 2017
    Read More
    Former Amazon executive explains keys to success, leadership in OSU speech
    Feb 16, 2017

    Former Amazon executive explains keys to success, leadership in OSU speech

    John Rossman discussed the importance of failing but succeeded in entertaining and informing a crowd of about 175 in the Wes Watkins Center on Wednesday night.

    The Spears School of Business, Student Government Association and President’s Speaker Series sponsored the speech.

    Rossman, a former Amazon executive, explained leadership principles from his book “Leadership the Amazon Way” to begin his presentation.

    The energy of the audience matched the dimly lit appearance of the room. Those in attendance were attentive yet quiet during Rossman’s speech. The crowd chuckled after Rossman, an Oregon State University graduate, sprinkled in a few jokes, ranging from topics such as bow ties to what was on the menu for dinner. 

    The main focus of his speech included accepting failure and an overview of leadership principles from his book.

    “The flip side of innovation is failure,” Rossman said. “It’s all about doing as small of an investment as possible to see if it works and then move forward. That is the notion of what innovation is. It’s repeated failure until you get success.”

    Rossman said before writing his book, he felt extremely unqualified to do so. But to make the process simpler, he followed certain guiding principles for writing it.

    Rossman received his first spurt of laughter after explaining his first principle. He said he wanted readers to be able to read his book on a plane with a glass of wine, joking the alcoholic beverage would cause readers to skim over any errors he made while writing.

    Kyle Eastham, a professor in the Spears School of Business, said he didn’t have any expectations coming in but mirrored Rossman’s sentiments following the speech. 

    “It’s OK to fail; in fact, we encourage failure,” Eastham said. “In fact, if you’re not failing, you’re not trying much.”

    Ken Eastman, dean of the Spears School of Business, said the decision to bring Rossman, a former executive for an online company, to speak was made because the Internet is an important topic.

    Too often, people point to why a problem can’t be solved instead of finding ways around those obstacles, Rossman said.

    “The job is to get to yes,” Rossman said. “I can find anybody who can tell me no. When you put yourself in that mindset of, ‘There is no ‘no,’’ you will typically find solutions. That’s where mindset is so important in the problem-solving process.” 

    After 40 minutes of discussing the content of his book and career, Rossman allowed the audience to ask questions, yet in an unorthodox manner.

    Before the discussion began, Ryan Neal, director of the Speakers Board, and Eastman gave the audience a phone number that could receive questions from text messages.

    Each sitting to Rossman’s side, Neal and Eastman took turns asking questions, which led to Rossman comparing the back-and-forth action to a tennis match, garnering more laughter from the crowd.

    “That was nice to hear,” Eastham said. “I always enjoy some humor thrown in. It makes him seem more likable as a presenter. Yeah, he was a big shot at Amazon, but he’s a regular guy. He’d probably be fun to hang out with.”

    For more information about ESB exclusive and disruption speaker John Rossman, contact Executive Speakers Bureau at (901) 754-9404.

  • CIO: 10 principles of a successful IoT strategy
    CIO: 10 principles of a successful IoT strategy
    Jan 31, 2017
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    CIO: 10 principles of a successful IoT strategy
    Jan 31, 2017

    CIO: Former Amazon executive John Rossman says these 10 principles can help leaders successfully approach the internet of things.

    By: Thor Olavsrud, Senior Writer, CIO

    The internet of things (IoT) presents an opportunity for enterprises to rewrite the rules of their industry. The potential upside is massive: According to research firm Gartner, there will be nearly 20 billion devices on the IoT by 2020, and IoT product and service suppliers will generate $300 billion+ in revenue.

    By bringing together sensors, connectivity, cloud storage, processing, analytics and machine learning, IoT may well transform countless industries, from healthcare to manufacturing to utilities, transit, government and more. But IoT is still in its early days. Creating and executing an IoT strategy for your organization is no mean feat, says John Rossman, author of The Amazon Way on IoT: 10 Principles for Every Leader from the World's Leading Internet of Things Strategies.

    Rossman, who spent four years launching and then running Amazon's Marketplace business, and who was also ran Amazon's Enterprise Services business, initially set out to create a specific roadmap to help companies approach IoT. But in the course of developing the book, he realized that methods are highly situational. Principles, on the other hand, provide vision that allow leaders to develop an IoT strategy customized to their unique needs.

    "I think of IoT in layers," Rossman says. "In one way, it's the technology component, the sensors that are connected to cloud computing and analytics that are able to make optimizations that go back out to devices in the field. On the next level, it's really the use case that can be enabled. Whether its consumer or more industrial and business-to-business scenarios, there's a set of developing use cases that come up. At the third level, it's really the business models that can be developed, morphed and changed because of these insights and the ability to be always on."

    Rossman recommends that business leaders focused on IoT think of it as a journey, not a single step.

    "You don't implement IoT," he says. "This is an ongoing portfolio or program or overarching strategy for a company. It's a journey: how IoT is impacting your industry, where investors are going, where competitors are going."

    Here are the 10 principles Rossman believes you should take into account when developing your IoT strategy. "They aren't all applicable to every company, but they do need to be contemplated," he says.

    IoT principle 1: Obsess over customer experiences

    First and foremost, Rossman says, pursue IoT projects only if you're obsessed about your customers, their experiences and how you can use connected devices to solve their problems.

    "Connected devices and sensors give yet another vehicle to improve the customer experience," he says. "If it improves the customer experience, that's probably enough business rationale to proceed with it. Figure out how to monetize it afterward." Leaders start with the customer and work backward, Rossman says, and they work tirelessly to earn and keep customer trust.

    IoT principle 2: Create seamless experiences across platforms and channels

    In an IoT-enabled world, your customers will interact with you across a series of platforms and devices. "You need to focus on the omnichannel experience when you connect across channels and experiences," Rossman says. "Providing that seamless customer experience is a really important part of improving that customer experience."

    The key to creating great omnichannel experiences is to master information continuity, Rossman says. For instance, if a customer has a faulty connected vacuum cleaner and calls one of your customer-service agents, that agent should already be able to see where the vacuum cleaner is and what's wrong with it — better yet, that agent could contact the customer proactively with a solution.

    IoT principle 3: Pursue continuous improvements

    Connected devices and IoT offer the opportunity to examine your processes like never before, providing the tools you need to drive change and improvements on a continuous basis. "You have access to much better data, much better signals," Rossman says.

    "That gives you the ability to create a whole new wave of visibility and process improvement within your organization." Connected devices, he says, can give you real-time insight into the flow, status and state of key items in your process

    IoT principle 4: Data isn't enough, do the math

    IoT will help you collect data on your operations at a scale and magnitude beyond anything you've seen before, Rossman says, but the data isn't enough. You need to leverage that data with models, analytics and algorithms that help you generate insight from it.

    "Your operations can give you much better data, which can tell you what's happening within your organization," Rossman says. "With that, you can strive to create a formulaic understanding of your processes that will give you more insight and definition to tighten up and reinvent those processes."

    Within Amazon, Rossman says, teams spend as much, or even more time, defining and agreeing on how to measure a new feature, service or product as they do designing the feature itself. They consider the inputs and outputs of an operation and the data required to run that operation and understand its inner workings.

    IoT principle 5: Think big, but start small

    Successfully innovating with IoT requires vision, Rossman says. You need to think big if you're going to create fundamental transformation. But big visions are brought into being with small, discrete projects that allow you to fail and iterate with experience gained from those failures.

    "IoT is about a journey, and you should have a notion of what the long journey is," Rossman says. "But you need to proceed in small, agile, low-risk bets as you seek to prove out what works and what doesn't. Understand what the small bets are that you're making relative to IoT and other innovations, de-scale the risk of those bets and they're no longer a bet anymore."

    IoT principle 6: Use IoT to become a platform company

    A platform business model, which allows other businesses to leverage your capabilities to build and grow their own businesses, creates a strong, sustainable competitive advantage for your business, Rossman says.

    Seek ways to allow other businesses to leverage your connected devices. "A platform business is a type of business that enables others," Rossman says. "IoT, for some companies, provides the opportunity to think about how your products and services could be a platform for other companies to offer insights and services to their customers."

    IoT principle 7: Facilitate outcome-based business models

    Selling products is well and good, but IoT-connected devices allow you to go a step further and sell outcomes. Under an outcome-based business model, customers pay for the results a product or service provides, rather than the product or service itself.

    That, Rossman says, shifts ownership, effectiveness and maintenance responsibilities from the customer to the provider; it also aligns customer and provider interests. "This is about the opportunity for companies to get real-time insights into how their products are operating with customers," Rossman says. "You transition to being a product with maintenance to providing the outcome that your customers want."

    These models encompass a number of variations, from self-monitoring services that replenish themselves automatically, to subscription services with a regular fee, to 'as-a-service' businesses with services tailored to individual needs. Rossman acknowledges that outcome-based business models are not the right fit for every business, but if they are, he says, they can increase your profits, improve your relationships with customers and increase customer loyalty.

    IoT principle 8: Find a path between monetizing data and protecting privacy

    Data just may be the new "black gold." While Rossman says it's as yet difficult to find examples of IoT-based companies that have successfully packaged and sold their IoT data, the time is coming. The confluence of sensors, cloud computing, third-party data sources and APIs will all feed into the market for IoT data brokerages.

    "The data is the business model," Rossman says. "If data is the new black gold out there, then IoT creates a lot of data. Some companies will have the opportunity to create value and monetize the data they're creating from sensors. It's a business model that you'll see more and more of going forward."

    Some of that market is beginning to materialize, he says. Financial trading companies are buying cargo ship transit and port arrival information. Utility companies are buying building and appliance energy-consumption data. Smart home companies are selling data to advertisers and insurance companies.

    IoT principle 9: Disrupt the industry-value chain by exploring new products and services

    Innovation is the name of the game. IoT creates opportunities for expansion up and down the value chain, Rossman says. "Enter business in one place in the value chain," he says. "Then maybe partner heavily to get an overall solution. Learn the industry, looking upstream and downstream. Look for indicators of bad customer experience or trapped excess margin. Then look for strategies that would disrupt that industry value chain through IoT."

    A value chain is the end-to-end set of processes and activities for an industry, Rossman says. Imagine, for instance, an HVAC system provider. Its customers are commercial building manufacturers. It could install sensors that would allow it to take responsibility for maintenance of the HVAC system in an as-a-service model, creating a new revenue stream while reducing the building manager's maintenance burden.

    IoT principle 10: Build a flywheel for your IoT strategy

    Many executives these days are big fans of Jim Collins' management treatise, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don't. In the book, Collins asks readers to think about their business as a flywheel: Put your effort into identifying the factors that will generate and sustain the most momentum in creating growth.

    Rossman says that if you have a clear understanding of the systems dynamics — the flywheel — of your business, you can then use IoT to identify and execute on opportunities and risks in your business.

    "As you're developing your IoT strategy, seek to gain insight into who the right partners might be, where the threats might be," he says.

    For instance, he says, the big plays in IoT — the ones that will drive billions of dollars in revenue — won't be rooted in proprietary connected devices themselves. Instead, the opportunity will be in providing the infrastructure and tools to help other companies and developers to design, build and operate their own IoT capabilities.

    You need to understand the moving pieces that will give your IoT flywheel the momentum to carry you to bigger and greater things.

  • The Toughest Challenges of IoT Are Not the Technology The Toughest Challenges of IoT Are Not the Technology
    Jan 09, 2017
    Read More The Toughest Challenges of IoT Are Not the Technology
    Jan 09, 2017

    The Toughest Challenges of IoT Are Not the Technology

    While companies such as Amazon, GE and Microsoft are well-launched on their Internet of Things journey, says John Rossman, they represent “just the tip of the iceberg.”

    “Below the water line is the biggest segment of businesses and leaders who haven’t figured out how IoT will impact their industry or how to take advantage of it,” he adds.

    Indeed, while the technology and architecture of IoT is complex, Rossman writes in his new book, The Amazon Way on IoT (Clyde Hill Publishing, 2016, 168 pages, $12.99) “most of the challenges you’ll face in IoT will lie in building the organizational capabilities, culture and leadership that take advantage of these opportunities.”

    For example, an OEM may sell its products through distributors and provide service through third parties. But as IoT is implemented and those products have more of a “digital pulse,” says Rossman, that company may want to greatly expand its service offerings. Now it is faced with changes in its channel relationships, service arrangements and revenue model. In each of those cases, he points out, “a lot of people are vested in the status quo.”

    “But as we have seen throughout history, if it is better for the customer, if it offers huge advantages, innovation will win,” he explains. “You have to decide, am I going to be someone who forces the topic and is a leader in this, be a fast forward? Or am I going to potentially suffer the consequences of hanging on to the legacy traditions?”

    The Amazon Way

    Rossman spent four years launching and then running Amazon’s Marketplace business and then ran the Amazon Enterprise Services business. He uses that experience and his subsequent consulting work to lay out 10 principles that he says have helped Amazon become a leader in capitalizing on the IoT’s immense promise. He warns that no one approach to implementing IoT will work for every company.

    Amazon sees itself “first and foremost” as a technology company, Rossman says, that is always trying to do three things – reinvent the customer experience, improve operational effectiveness and develop new business models. “You see Amazon executing on all three of those and IoT is key to those initiatives,” says Rossman. “That is what I call the triple threat of IoT.”

  • Geek Wire: New book explores how the Internet of Things is reshaping business, using lessons from Amazon
    Geek Wire: New book explores how the Internet of Things is reshaping business, using lessons from Amazon
    Nov 16, 2016

    John Rossman, disruptive innovation speaker, is set to release his new book "The Amazon Way of IoT: 10 Principles for Every Leader from the World's Leading Internet of Things Strategies"

    Read More
    Geek Wire: New book explores how the Internet of Things is reshaping business, using lessons from Amazon
    Nov 16, 2016

    Combine a hot technology and the world’s largest online retailer into a single book title and you’ve got a pretty appealing volume. Or so hope author John Rossman and Seattle-area publisher Clyde Hill Publishing, who tomorrow will officially debut “The Amazon Way on IoT: 10 Principles for Every Leader from the World’s Leading Internet of Things Strategies.” Read more of John's Q&A from Geek Wire.

  • IoT Business News: How leading companies are reinventing the customer experience with IoT
    IoT Business News: How leading companies are reinventing the customer experience with IoT
    Nov 13, 2016

    ESB exclusive speaker, John Rossman, will be featured in a series of articles on IoT Business News. In Sunday's post, John discusses how leading companies are reinventing the customer experience, and explains the importance of putting the customer first.

    Read More
    IoT Business News: How leading companies are reinventing the customer experience with IoT
    Nov 13, 2016

    ESB exclusive speaker, John Rossman, will be featured in a series of articles on IoT Business News. In Sunday's post, John discusses how leading companies are reinventing the customer experience, and explains the importance of putting the customer first.

    Putting The Customer First.
    by John Rossman

    This is the first of a series of exclusive articles by John Rossman, the author of The Amazon Way on IoT: 10 Principles for Every Leader from the World’s Leading Internet of Things Strategies, for IoT Business News.

    “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” – Any late-night-TV-watching baby boomer knows the reference to Life Alert, the wearable device that allows the elderly to request medical assistance just by pushing a button.

    Life Alert wasn’t originally part of the Internet of Things, but it is a button-driven, connected, special-purpose device with many similarities to the IoT products that Amazon and others have launched in the last few years.

    Most importantly, Life Alert is a living example of Amazon’s first leadership principle—customer obsession. A necklace fob might seem simple, but it fundamentally reinvents the customer experience—both for the elderly, who gain significant autonomy, and for their family members and caretakers, who can feel confident that their loved ones will be able to call for help in case of a medical emergency.

    Customer obsession is a key driver of Amazon’s innovation. The Internet of Things has made it possible for Amazon to gather key insights about its customers’ needs and put them to use in real time, and to continue to reinvent the customer experience.

    It’s no accident that customer obsession is the first of Amazon’s official leadership principles, which reads:

    “Leaders start with the customer and work backward. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.”¹

    There are two specific concepts to take note of here. First, customer trust—not profit—is the most critical asset Amazon expects its leaders to build. And second, leaders must obsess over customers.

    To Amazon, “obsess” means being willing to do really hard things just to make life easier for its customers, frequently in ways that won’t drive short-term profit. Often this means literally making the impossible possible.

    Most of all, “obsession” means not being stuck in the past. The fact that a product or experience is currently considered “good enough” does not mean that it’s good enough going forward. Amazon has innovated, invented, and scaled a long list of historic firsts including free everyday shipping, search inside the book, selling a used version next to the new version of the same item, customer reviews and on and on.

    Each innovation on this list was controversial or negatively perceived by industry traditionalists when launched. Because of that strategy, we’ve also seen Amazon confidently lead the way into the IoT product space.

    Kindle. The Kindle wasn’t the first e-book on the market, but it was the first “connected device” developed by Amazon. And, like Amazon’s entry into online shopping, when Amazon turned its attention to revolutionizing the connected-reading experience, incredible things began to happen.

    Dash Buttons. A customer-focused Amazon might have been content to sit back and enjoy the spoils of its e-commerce successes, having already revolutionized online shopping. But a customer-obsessed Amazon soon realized that it was missing sales opportunities long before its customers even made it to the website—particularly when it came to household groceries.

    The button, which was launched the day before April Fools’ Day, 2015, was mistaken for a joke by many. Others skipped straight to mockery. “The idea of shopping buttons placed just within our reach,” wrote Ian Crouch for the New Yorker, “conjures an uneasy image of our homes as giant Skinner boxes, and of us as rats pressing pleasure levers until we pass out from exhaustion.”

    But the Dash Button has been surprisingly successful. So successful that Amazon is now expanding the buttons to hundreds of new brands and products. The next generation of Dash is a set of sensors embedded directly within devices like Brita filters and washing machines. No button pushing necessary. They’ll reorder water filters and laundry soap on their own.

    From widespread ridicule to widespread adoption…you’ll remember this pattern from Amazon’s most successful e-commerce innovations.

    Drones. Amazon’s drone delivery program is simultaneously its most magical and it’s most predictable IoT innovation to date. I say predictable because, unlike the Dash or the Kindle, drone delivery is not meeting customers in a new place or creating a new purchasing platform. It is simply doing what Amazon has been focused on for a long time—making order delivery faster and faster.

    That is how innovation and disruption begin—create better customer experiences.

    Putting IoT to Work for Your Customers

    “This all sounds nice,” you might be thinking, “but I’m not Amazon, my customers need very different things, and we have to generate a profit along the way.” What’s the path?

    Start with the Customer. Walk yourself through an entire day in the life of your customer. How might connected devices change the way that your product or service fits into their day?

    One way to start building customer obsession is through a “voice of the customer” program. Keep in mind that successful customer feedback loops aren’t relegated to any one product or channel. They span the enterprise and include a deliberate, ongoing mechanism for taking in data from and about your customers. (One survey is not enough.) The toughest—and most important—part of the program will be empowering it to create change across the organization. This will require buy-in and collaboration across departments.

    Remove Friction. What problems do your customers face? Why do customers contact you? What parts of your product or customer-service apparatus get in the way of solving those problems? And how could a connected device remove those pain points? Is there data or events you could be collecting that would give you or your customer new insight?

    As you think about how to reduce friction in your industry, start by recreating a terrible customer experience, and then think about how the Internet of Things or connected devices could improve that experience.

    Think Broadly. The next most innovative move in your industry may not directly involve your current product or service—just think about Amazon’s drones. Amazon is an e-commerce company, but it turned out that the design of online-shopping sites and the products they offer are no longer the biggest pain points for customers. The speed and efficiency of their delivery are. So Amazon pursues inventions beyond the traditional role of a retailer.

    Lastly, across all of these experiences, think about the power of the Internet of Things to provide a new interface to your customers. Connected devices empower you to learn more about your customers and to build deeper insights into your products and services and the environment in which they are used.

    What data would help you understand your customers and their experience better? How can you collect that data? And, most importantly, how can you use that data, once collected, to create value and improve your customer experience?

    Integrating this kind of thinking into your current customer planning is the key to transitioning from customer focused to customer obsessed.

  • (Podcast) The Importance of Building Customer Trust
    (Podcast) The Importance of Building Customer Trust
    May 05, 2016


    John Rossman is the co-creator of the Amazon 3rd Party Marketplace, and is the author of "The Amazon Way". As Jeff Bezos' right hand man during this critical new venture for Amazon, he was responsible for building the Amazon platform many of us sell on today. In this episode, John and Kevin discuss how the marketplace was created and some of the leadership principles used to drive success.

    In the beginning - The creation of the Amazon Marketplace and how it evolved.

    The importance of building trust with your customers and how Amazon achieves it.

    Why Amazon believes owning "control" of the customer experience is so important.

    Amazon's original goals when creating the third party marketplace and how they have been realized.

    Tensions between Amazon retail and the third party marketplace.

    How the marketplace far exceeded expectations and the evolution of third party brand builders.

    What private label sellers can learn from "The Amazon Way"

    Read More
    (Podcast) The Importance of Building Customer Trust
    May 05, 2016


    John Rossman is the co-creator of the Amazon 3rd Party Marketplace, and is the author of "The Amazon Way". As Jeff Bezos' right hand man during this critical new venture for Amazon, he was responsible for building the Amazon platform many of us sell on today. In this episode, John and Kevin discuss how the marketplace was created and some of the leadership principles used to drive success.

    In the beginning - The creation of the Amazon Marketplace and how it evolved.

    The importance of building trust with your customers and how Amazon achieves it.

    Why Amazon believes owning "control" of the customer experience is so important.

    Amazon's original goals when creating the third party marketplace and how they have been realized.

    Tensions between Amazon retail and the third party marketplace.

    How the marketplace far exceeded expectations and the evolution of third party brand builders.

    What private label sellers can learn from "The Amazon Way"

    • Customer obsession and making difficult decisions in favor of the customer
    • Disagree and commit
    • Creating narratives - no power-point
    • Managing dependencies and delivering results
    • Think big but bet small

    How Amazon is "the best place to fail".

    The future of online selling and Amazon.

    Advice: "Take a long term perspective in building a brand and understanding your customer"

    More about John Rossman

    To listen to the podcast, click here: 

Read More

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