Does “an empty chair” help set your strategy? (It should.) – SCN Encourager

What the heck? It works for Amazon!

Er… for Jeff Bezos, to be more precise.

He’s the founder and CEO of Amazon.

You know, it’s the company that pulled in more sales dollars last year than Best Buy, Target, Kohls, Sears, Nordstrom, my enterprise, and a handful of others COMBINED!

So there can be no denying that Bezos’ empty chair tactic has merit.

Here’s what it is.

And remember, he takes this literally.

At important leadership and strategic meetings, Bezos will make sure to position an empty chair prominently at the table or at the front of the room.

He always wants “the voice” of the customer to be represented.

And “the voice” of the customer gets heard loud and clear as Bezos will pointedly ask his team members questions like, “What do you think our customer – who is sitting right here – would say or think about this?”

The empty chair scenario  is now so ingrained into Amazon leadership meetings attendees will consider and talk about  “the needs, hopes, and desires” represented by the empty chair long long before Bezos even has to bring them up.

As valuable as I believe this tactic to be, I hope my superintendent is way too busy to read today’s Encourager, though.

He’d swap me out for an empty chair in a heartbeat!

An empty chair would:
– be less fidgety at meetings,
– not say dumb stuff,
– listen attentively to new ideas,
– always be on time,
– not be a drag on the operational budget,
and would definitely require fewer bathroom breaks.

Dang Bezos and his empty chair, anyway!

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