Axiata and Amazon press releases – The 200 words project

Axiata Group is one of the largest Asian telecommunication companies. Its CEO, Jamaludin Ibrahim, who has overseen a period of hyper growth, had a big challenge when he took office – to bring together all the operating companies in the group and make them work in unison.

So, he invited all his business leaders to a leadership summit in Tokyo. And, rather than concentrate on organizational issues, he asked each participant to pretend they had his job and write a fictional press release dated in the future explaining how they had accomplished the company’s growth objectives. This approach forced them to begin with the end in mind, rethink the way things were done and paved the way for cooperation among them on various fronts.

Similarly, Amazon.com requires product teams to write a press release before they begin developing a product so they visualize the end and align everyone involved to achieve it.  And, these press releases are written in “Oprah-speak” (how would you explain your product on Oprah?) rather than “geek speak.” After all, iterating on a press release is a lot quicker and less expensive than iterating on the product/problem itself.

Source and thanks to: IBM CEO study, The Everything Store by Brad Stone

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