Podcasts

‘Think Like Amazon’: John Rossman on digital transformation

In the latest episode of the Digital Insight podcast, author and ex-Amazon Director John Rossman discusses the concept of digital transformation.

Rossman lays out 50 (and a half) ideas that businesses and organisations should be considering as they look to transform their operations, embrace innovation and prepare for the next era of business.

In 2002, Rossman took up the role of Director of Merchant Integration at Amazon, overseeing the launch of the Marketplace business – one of the largest third-party selling networks around and responsible for 58% for all units shipped and sold.

In 2004, Rossman moved to become Director of Enterprise Services, overseeing e-commerce infrastructure for worldwide retailers such as Target and Marks & Spencers.

When Rossman left after nearly four years at Amazon, his consultancy role soon started to show him the ‘Amazon effect’ and the impact this ideology was having on the business world.

It is this that Rossman draws upon as the driving force in his new book, Think Like Amazon.

“Several years after I left Amazon,” said Rossman, “one of my clients at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation came to me and said: ‘John, I’ve seen how you’ve put the little anecdotes and manoeuvres from Amazon into our business – it’s really impactful and I think you should write a book about it.”

“My inspiration for the book was that, really. Passing on those little moves, teaching clients to take authentic things from Amazon, and implementing them into your own business at the appropriate point and appropriate approach to help make change happen.”

“Being digital, and digital transformation, has many different definitions and there’s not really one correct answer,” Rossman continues.

“I believe that being digital is the combination of speed and agility. Speed is about being able to do a repetitive action extremely quickly and efficiency – that’s really operational excellence.

“Agility, meanwhile, is about sensing and then making change happen. That’s the ability of the business to innovate within itself.”

Listen to the full interview here

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