Tesla’s 3 Word Communication Strategy

Tesla’s 3 Word Communication Strategy

Talk To Anyone.

There it is, plain and simple, no frills, no fuss – a 3 word communication strategy. Talk to anyone. It’s head-scratchingly simple, yet it is so far removed from the communication norms in most organisations. Why? Likely because the world of work is drenched in the legacy of years of command and control leadership driven by chain of command communication.

The problem is that chain of command communication is slow, and a little bit like a game of ‘broken telephone’. Communication is the lifeblood of a business, in a world where fast and agile are critical to business survival, slow or broken communication can bring business to a grinding halt.

Tesla strives to break down and circumvent all sorts of communications maladies with the following key guidelines:

  1. Talk to / email anyone according to what you think is the fastest way to solve a problem.
  2. You don’t need anyone’s permission to talk to anyone else, moreover you should feel obligated to keep talking to people until the right thing gets done.
  3. It’s not about pointless chatter, it is about executing fast and well.

“We cannot compete with big car companies in size, so we must do so with intelligence and agility” – Elon Musk

We live in a world where communication flows more freely than ever before. Hiring brilliant people and asking them to do incredible things, only works if you let them do their thing – which always involves talking to people, asking questions, poking bears. Also, brilliant people want to get it done. Stalling or downright halting their progress by making them wait for communication to flow through an archaic hierarchy when they could easily chat to the right person at the coffee machine is, understandably, frustrating as hell. People don’t thrive when they are frustrated. Frustration doesn’t bode well for employee experience. Poor employee experience doesn’t bode well for performance. Poor employee performance doesn’t bode well for business success.

The organisations shaping the future are constantly becoming more networked, and less hierarchical – a network depends on the flow of communication throughout the system. Since no-one wants to build an organisation to watch it tank – we need to be building networked organisations – places where anyone can talk to anyone, to get it done.

Don’t underestimate the power of meaningful communication, making it ok, talk to anyone, and the impact this has on business success.

When companies fail, it’s usually for reasons that almost everyone knows but almost no-one has voiced – Kim Scott

Make it ok to talk to anyone.

This article originally appeared here