Elon Musk on Communication

Elon Musk, the revolutionary businessman, doesn’t put a lot of stock in customary office hierarchy. In another email gone viral, Musk explains how communication errors occur in the food-chain pattern of a management system:

“There are two schools of thought about how information should flow within companies. By far the most common way is chain of command, which means that you always flow communication through your manager,” Musk writes. “The problem with this approach is that, while it serves to enhance the power of the manager, it fails to serve the company.”

This process of working up the ladder is inherently flawed and can be harmful to the company and potential innovations. Some solutions from Nina Zipkin of Entreprenur include don’t create artificial barriers between apartments and create processes to solve problems in the most expedient way possible, even if it means going straight to the top.

“You can talk to me, you can talk to anyone without anyone else’s permission,” Musk explains. “Moreover, you should consider yourself obligated to do so until the right thing happens. The point here is not to encourage random chitchat, but rather ensuring that we execute ultra-fast and well. We obviously cannot compete with the big car companies in size, so we must do so with intelligence and agility.”

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