Decision making through Document Writing with Stefan Haney
Play • 32 min

Stefan Haney is a 15-year Amazon veteran, where he led multiple product, data, and technical teams during formative years of the Amazon marketplace. In addition to participating in countless narrative document reviews with Amazon’s senior leadership team, Stefan brings experience as a former instructor of Amazon’s internal writing class. In this episode, Stefan shares why writing has become a critical exercise for improving thinking and efficient decision making at Amazon. You’ll hear Stefan share best practices for business writing, including how to get started and how to get the most out of a document review meeting. 


Since his time at Amazon, Stefan has gone on to advise many companies on how to use document writing to clarify values, goals, and decisions and to efficiently review business performance. With the variety of tips, examples, and best practices Stefan shares, there is something useful in this episode for everyone – whether a novice writer or an experienced document editor. 


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More from the episode:


5:06 - Why written narratives are critical for outlining and testing thinking at Amazon

9:00 - What your primary goal should be when writing a business document 

10:05 - How to use "intro-clusions" to prime your reader

12:05 - Using specificity to drive efficient decisions

13:57 - Balancing how much data to use in writing, and how to avoid over writing your document

15:53 - Why you should look out for adverbs in your doc writing

17:36 - Two ways to make sure you are considering diverse functional perspectives in document writing

20:38 - Why you need an FAQ section in your document, and how to approach it

23:11 - Four steps to test a document-review process in your work

27:08 - Three examples of businesses that have found value in adopting a writing culture

29:05 - How to become a better business writer today

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