What’s Amazon Got To Do With It?

Best Practices for Managing Environmental Laboratories
Oral Presentation

Prepared by A. Carter
Brooks Applied Labs, 18804 North Creek Parkway, Suite 100, Bothell, Washington, 98011, United States

Contact Information: annie@brooksapplied.com; 206-632-6206


How to apply Amazon’s leadership principles to the lab business and why we should.

Laboratories have special regulatory requirements and customer needs that make laboratory management unique and more difficult…or does it? One of the most difficult management tasks in any company is leadership of the company and your coworkers. Every business has unique demands, but can the same leadership principles be applied to a laboratory to drive success?

For those of you that have read many leadership books, you know they often say the same things: model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, encourage the heart, start with Why, follow your true north, and many more. While these are great ideas, I have found them hard to implement and maintain. Living and working in the Seattle area for the last 15 years, it is hard not to be aware of Amazon’s success as it has grown 26x since 2004 to a $178 billion annual revenue business behemoth. It has done this in part by developing and proudly following its own set of leadership principles. Unsurprisingly, Amazon’s leadership principles are very different from others and espouse ideas such as customer obsession, frugality, disagree and commit, and a bias for action. I will dig into Amazon’s 14 leadership principles that have helped lead to their success and show how I’ve applied them to management at a single location, privately owned laboratory.