Loïc Thomas Profile Picture    Loïc Thomas
 in  Tips
3 minutes

In a Meeting with Elon Musk: Improving Productivity

You’ve surely heard the name Elon Musk. The CEO of Tesla is an icon in the entrepreneurial world. Dabbling in a bit of everything, he also founded SpaceX—the first private company to take humans to the International Space Station—and The Boring Company.

His successes in many areas include running productive and effective meetings. Interested in how this tech innovation mogul runs his meetings? Here are 6 tips from Elon Musk on running effective meetings! 

Communicate clearly 

Communication is often key to solving problems and moving forward effectively as a team. By speaking to employees in plain language, you reduce self-censorship and encourage everyone to focus and get involved. 

This prevents what can sometimes become lengthy discussions on issues that could instead be dealt with by going once around the table

Elon Musk likes to go ‘straight to the point’ to implement real action plans without wasting time. It makes project management more efficient and helps to keep teams engaged. 

Keep meetings short

This extraordinary entrepreneur aims to be brief and efficient. Elon Musk is constantly seeking to improve productivity and efficiency: short meetings mean no time for distractions or for topics not on the agenda. 

Drawn-out meetings often cause participants to lose time, and they can disconnect from the topics discussed as the meeting drags on. Shorter meetings allow each employee to quickly get back to their duties. 

What’s more, if everyone at the meeting is well prepared, it will tend to be shorter and more effective. This will lead to real productivity gains

Prepare meetings in advance

Starting a meeting with Elon Musk when you have no clear objective is a great way to find that meeting ended in short order. As far as he’s concerned, any meeting without a predetermined purpose is a waste of time. A meeting should be used to make clear, important decisions or to inform employees of the progress of projects and developments within the company. To ensure your meeting runs smoothly, it’s important to prepare your contributions ahead of time. 

A well-planned meeting will run more smoothly and will reduce the likelihood of losing or forgetting information, which can diminish the meeting’s effectiveness. 

Leave the meeting if you’re not needed anymore

According to Elon Musk, there’s nothing worse than attendance for attendance’s sake. He believes if you have nothing more to add to a meeting, you should leave without further ado. Make yourself useful on other tasks and let the people truly involved in the subject continue. 

Everyone present should bring a tangible contribution to the meeting. Each participant should be actively participating in the discussions.  

Elon Musk finds five-person meetings far more effective than large ones. Decisions are made faster and the minutes from the meeting are clearer. This saves time in wrapping up the meeting. 

Get useful information across ASAP 

Elon Musk hates vertical communication, which takes too much time. He attributes this poor responsiveness to there being too many processes slowing down efficiency. Consequently, he introduced horizontal communication in his companies to save time in handling information. 

The chain of communication should be as efficient and as straightforward as possible. Communication should take a short route. In his eyes, interdepartmental communication problems are one of the major difficulties in a company. When information takes a circuitous route, actions can’t be as efficient. 

So to improve productivity during discussions, he recommends establishing flexible rules for communication to enable information to circulate as smoothly as possible. 

Keep the number of meetings to a minimum

Organise meetings when there is a real need. As many managers know, “meetingitis” is poor proof of effectiveness. If no decision-maker is needed or if there isn’t a clearly defined agenda, there’s no sense in having a meeting. 

Elon Musk believes meetings should only be organised when there are urgent or significant problems. When non-urgent topics need to be addressed, instead plan quick check-ins with the relevant people. 

Elon Musk has a simple recipe for running an effective meeting: invite a small committee, leave unproductive meetings and avoid recurring meetings.

To be effective, you need to be minimalist and impactful. These are the cornerstones for achieving real improvements in business productivity.

To ensure maximum interaction and communication with your team members, try collaborative tools like Beekast!