Jeff Bezos' Two Pizza Rule: What To Do When It Doesn't Apply

August 11, 2022
Jeff Bezos Two Pizza Rule
Shaimaa Badawi
Written By
Shaimaa Badawi

You might have heard of Amazon's founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos' two pizza rule about running effective meetings.

This statement was sent as a message to his shareholders back in 2013, where he expressed his opinion about how minimizing a team's size can help employees stand out with their innovative ideas and create better solutions for businesses.

There's no doubt Jeff Bezos had a point, but sometimes teams get bigger and you can't help but have large work meetings. Let's find out what the two pizza rule is and what you can do if you can't abide by it in your company.

Here are the headlines in this article:

What is the two pizza rule?

How big is a 2 pizza team?

Why apply the two pizza rule?

What if the two pizza rule doesn't apply?

 

What is the two pizza rule?

The two pizza rule states that meetings should not include a team that couldn't be fed by two pizzas. The idea behind this rule is to ensure each team member has a chance to express their ideas in a meeting so that no opinion is overlooked.

The two pizza rule aims at increasing employee engagement and avoiding motivation loss so that people feel heard and valued in their organization. On the other hand, managers can acknowledge each person's input in a meeting so there's a lesser chance of anyone's ideas being drowned in a crowded meeting.

 

How big is a 2 pizza team?

According to the pizza team concept, the maximum group size in a meeting should not exceed ten members. Some would argue that the sweet spot is between four and nine members on your team. After all, who wouldn't want a second slice of pizza?

The smaller the pizza team size in a meeting, the more each member gets to participate, and the easier it is for the team leader to manage their team. Let's take a look at the benefits of applying the two pizza rule.

 

Why apply the two pizza team rule?

1. Increase employee engagement

When you have a team of four or five members, there's a better chance of each one of them voicing their opinions in a single meeting.

According to Gallup, U.S. companies with teams of less than ten members have shown a 42% employee engagement compared to less than 30% engagement in companies with much bigger teams.

This comes as no surprise because employees can express themselves in meetings, and team leaders are able to make better and quicker decisions when managing fewer people.

 

2. Encourage creativity

In Jeff Bezos' letters to his shareholders, he emphasized the importance of smaller decentralized teams in encouraging people's creativity.

A decentralized organization is where decision makers are distributed across smaller teams so that making important decisions doesn't fall only on the top management.

Instead, there are numerous levels of management and even employees can participate in crucial decisions using voting systems like the fist to five strategy.

 

3. Boost productivity

If you're part of a team of, say, twenty people, how hard do you think each person can contribute in a brainstorming session? Now, imagine if you're in a room with four to five people; the discussion can be a lot more fruitful and everyone can participate in the conversation.

This level of clarity speaks directly to the team's productivity, which makes it more likely to meet your meeting's objectives.

With bigger teams, your voice gets lost in the crowd and people often feel a lack of support and may be discouraged to ask for assistance. According to an article by Buffer, relational loss is a crucial factor in declining productivity in larger teams.

 

These benefits are why many companies apply the two-pizza rule in an attempt to make employees more engaged in the workplace. But what if, at times, you can't seem to apply this rule?

 

What if the two-pizza rule doesn't apply?

If your team is too big to be fed by two pizzas, you'll definitely need a set of tools that will help you communicate with your team, track their performance, and follow up on their work.

However, using too many tools is not the optimum way to run your business or have effective work meetings.

💡Pro Tip. Use an all-in-one meeting management platform to conduct effective meetings starting from scheduling the meeting to following up on your team after the meeting.

✍️adam.ai manages the entire meeting lifecycle before, during, and after the meeting to help organizations run business, close projects, and achieve goals through effective meetings:

You can do all this and more with adam.ai, where you can seamlessly manage bigger teams who cannot be fed by two pizzas. 

Having the voting feature, private and public chats, and the ability to integrate with your existing apps and workflow guarantees a much more satisfying experience to reach the desired outcomes in real-time.

Try out the 14-day free trial at adam.ai and discover all the perks of having one platform to manage your larger teams.

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The bottom line

The two pizza rule is without a doubt a great way to increase productivity and engagement in your team. Managing a smaller team is much easier, but that doesn't mean you can't run effective meetings with larger teams.

With adam.ai, your job as a manager becomes much easier, where you can focus on each employee's performance, communicate with them effectively, and give them a chance to participate using the numerous tools on the platform.

We recommend using an all-in-one meeting management solution to conduct your virtual meetings seamlessly and enjoy the ultimate user experience.

Here's why you should create and run your next meeting on adam.ai:

adam.ai meeting management platform

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