Orangeville, ON (My Corner Office) Jeff Bezos revealed in a recent annual letter to shareholders that he does not allow slide presentations at Amazon meetings. Bullet-pointed memos were also not permitted. In lieu of that, participants were required to write six-page narratives that contained complete sentences and paragraphs.

Bezos emphasized the importance of clarity in this policy, and Jean Moroney, founder of Thinking Directions, agreed.

“Thinking on Paper,” a daily practice taught by Moroney, likewise involves writing about dilemmas, thoughts, and pending decisions in full sentences. As she explains, complete sentences ensure that you capture all of your thoughts, rather than something cryptic that you will not be able to comprehend when you return to it a day or month later.  

It is unclear from a bullet point like “Results vs. Plan” whether results were good or bad, expected or unexpected. Additionally, why was there a discrepancy and what are we supposed to learn from the experience?

“By organizing your ideas into paragraphs,” Moroney adds, “you are guided to make your argument step by step, clearly, for yourself or for readers.”

Bezos acknowledges that it takes more time to be clear. Is it worth the effort?  Clearly it is.