The new Amazon.com Inc. Echo Spot, from left, Echo, Echo Plus, and Fire TV devices sit on display during the company’s product reveal launch event in downtown Seattle, Washington, U.S. (Photographer: Daniel Berman/Bloomberg)  

It’s Not Quite ‘Ask Alexa’ Time as Carney Adopts Amazon Style

(Bloomberg) -- If it’s good enough for the world’s second-most valuable company, it’s good enough for Mark Carney.

The Bank of England governor has brought the management style of Amazon to Threadneedle Street, part of a continuing internal revamp of how the three-century-old institution operates. That means, among other things, shorter memos, focused meetings, and less hierarchy and top-down diktats.

“Central banks, historically, have been very hierarchical,’’ Carney said in Dublin on Friday at a discussion on the future of work. “What we’re trying to do is change the way we take our decisions. One example we’ve taken literally from Amazon.’’

That example from Jeff Bezos’s e-commerce giant involves setting a maximum page limit on memos, spending the first 10 minutes of a meeting reading them, and making sure to include the writer in the discussion.

“Central banking, supervision is very complicated, there’s a desire to have more and more in there,” Carney said. “The discipline of that, getting everyone on the same page, getting more to the point, is forcing us to change the way we make decisions.”

But there are limits to the Monetary Policy Committee’s adoption of Amazon.

It’s not a case of saying “Alexa, tell us where bank rate should be,” he said, before jokingly adding: “Maybe I should try it. I might try it at the next MPC round.”

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