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- whenever I’m asked to create a deck from here on out

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If you’re in a room of visual learners a deck for internal decision making may be the best way forward. People love provocative blanket statements from influencers though so carry on.


I shared it as a joke because I’m tired of making the same 3 decks every week not because I loved it


Does he offer an alternative or just throws the chaos bomb and peace out like a true Partner?


And if you hire an Amazon person, expect that they may not know how to make slides. (And AWS1, I agree that the approach you describe is better!! I’m just currently dealing with a team member that is struggling here in slide hell)

Mr Bezos lives in his ivory castle. Back down on earth - common ppl attach to ideas better as part of a visual storytelling rather than boring texts


While that’s true there’s a lot of BS that gets put onto slides without much data backing and context.

The one thing I liked about narratives is that you get a more complete and factual picture before starting the discussion.

The format is generally used for decision making, not for all-hands, town-halls etc, rather for deciding where to invest next, what to prioritise or when to promote someone.

The majority of people have a very short attention span. I feel like these papers get skimmed and then listen to the one guy in the room


Well crafted decks are really useful for internal decisions because it forces you to crystallize the decision and it's components into its most essential form.

There must always be sufficiently deep and thorough detail behind it that is available to those making the choices.

However, the detail should never be the starting point of that discussion.


Agreed, I use them for discussion documents whenever I'm working with people who struggle to focus on a single element of the discussion.

Usually folks who get overwhelmed by the "other" things.


For internals, big fan of diagrams on an online whiteboard (miro etc)

let’s everyone else see how I got to an answer, and it’s easy for people to tweak it to suggest alternatives.


Bezos confuses highly productive and intelligent individuals with the general population. Unfortunately the average person including many SVPs are operating well beyond their capacity to be effective and instead rely on looking like they know what's going on by bullshitting with strong verbal fluency and assertiveness. For that individual "yeah I skimmed it last night but remind me again" is the get out of jail free carb for their careers.

Reading narrative memo with logically laid out thought process is many many orders of magnitude more efficient as well as ensuring ideas are thought out rather than just sold with flashy story telling.

Given that this is a consulting bowl and we (including my former self) were selling dreams and bullshit, I can see how there would be a lot of opposition to Jeffy boys opinion. But the real problem is that his solution doesn't work for the general populace because no matter how well thought out and concise your messaging in a memo is, 80% of your workforce is too incompetent to have the time to read it properly because they can't manage their time or are too illiterate to understand it


It’s a learning process, there’s quite a bit of coaching for people to learn how to write better and get to a stage where they become better at writing and reading these memos. There’s no expectation that you need to nail this from day 1.

I’ve done the typical visual pptx presentations when I was back at big 4 and find these better when doing data driven discussions where decisions need to be made.

This is true

I like using slides because it brings some structures to meetings and will at least start a conversation.

To me it’s also the ideal way to professionally present an opportunity/business investment. Like most of us we like to tell stories within our slide decks.

Ok but consider the alternative. Amazon requires long form narratives in Word instead. Decks are much easier.

Maybe to put this more into context, narrative memos is a mechanism used to facilitate data driven decision making internally. We use it for making investment decisions, prioritising effort, promoting people, etc - stuff that is quantifiable. This is to avoid having bias introduced just by the story telling and omitting crucial data from the discussion.

Every first 20-30 minutes is reserved for people to read the memo during the meeting, this is to avoid people having to make time upfront.

The rest of the meeting is then used to discuss the memo.

We dont use this for all-hands/town-hall meetings, knowledge sharing sessions, etc… stuff that actually benefits from story telling. For those we still use PPT.

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