7 Tips for Productivity: According to Tesla boss Elon Musk
In a leaked company-wide email, Musk outlines the goals, changes, and expectations Tesla will be implementing to reach their new target of doubling production. It’s one of those emails that has a smattering of both praise and criticism that leaves you wondering where you fall on the boss’s naughty and nice list. At the end of the email, Musk enforces 7 small changes for increased productivity:
1. Cut your guest list and keep the party short.
Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get [rid] of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short.
2. Weekly meetings don’t matter.
Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved.
3. Would anyone miss me if I was gone?
Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.
4. Axe the jargon.
Don’t use acronyms or nonsense words for objects, software or processes at Tesla. In general, anything that requires an explanation inhibits communication. We don’t want people to have to memorize a glossary just to function at Tesla.
5. Break the chain of command.
Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the “chain of command'. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere.
6. Love thy neighbour.
A major source of issues is poor communication between departments. The way to solve this is allow free flow of information between all levels. If, in order to get something done between depts, an individual contributor has to talk to their manager, who talks to a director, who talks to a VP, who talks to another VP, who talks to a director, who talks to a manager, who talks to someone doing the actual work, then super dumb things will happen. It must be OK for people to talk directly and just make the right thing happen.
7. Run riot (when permitted).
In general, always pick common sense as your guide. If following a “company rule” is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change.