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Externalise your thinking

Amazon has a strong culture of writing narratives. At the start of any meeting, everyone attending spends the first 15-20 minutes (longer for longer meetings) reading the narrative on what decision needs to be made at the meeting.

Writing these narratives is an exercise in externalising our thinking.

We reduce / remove the information asymmetry at such meetings and start everyone off on the same page of what is already known and what has already been considered. This makes the rest of the meeting very efficient and productive. 

From the perspective of someone writing such a narrative, externalising their thoughts and putting them down on paper clarifies their own thinking towards the problem and the situation. It helps them take a more dispassionate look at the problem. It helps put themselves outside the box, looking in. 

I've been a big fan of writing down my thoughts long before I joined Amazon. That's a big reason why I continue to write this blog. Because of the benefits it offers. 

If you are seeking clarity, externalise your thoughts. Write them down.

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