How Tesla Became the Most Innovative Company in The World
It is not surprising to see Tesla leading the pack among major automakers when it comes to the use of artificial intelligence (AI), especially knowing that the carmaker is arguably the most technology-focused auto manufacturers today. This is evident when you examine the extreme level of hardware and software integration in its vehicles that other automakers have yet to adopt, let alone apply AI’s deep learning technology.
Constant innovation continues within Tesla’s operations and it shows, having recently unveiled its long-awaited Cybertruck. Tesla has no doubt managed to keep its two greatest assets (aside from financials) running at full speed since the start, technology innovation and business acumen.
So how did Tesla set itself apart (and ahead) as a force for innovation? Here are two key areas contributing to Tesla’s innovative standing among the elite.
When it comes to naming innovative people at Tesla, it goes without saying that Elon Musk is most associated with Tesla’s growth. The other Tesla co-founder, JB Straubel, Tesla’s former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Beth Davies, former Director of Learning and Development at Tesla were also instrumental contributors to Tesla’s innovation; whose signature efforts supported the business growing as a world-leader in electric automobiles employing 33,000 ambassadors to the global brand. More about each of them below.
Its Business Model
Without question, Tesla’s products have been the most innovative in years. Its electric cars defied consumer expectations. Tesla is committed not only to producing unique vehicles, but also to world-changing technology like its fast charging sustainable batteries.
While technology still reigns as one of strong points in Tesla’s journey to innovation, some have taken to Tesla’s business model as the one reason it has remained a financially sustainable company. Let’s take a deeper look, shall we?
- Keeping its ambitious mission of transforming global transportation, energy production and consumption systems front and center in all marketing campaigns, board calls and during customer engagements.
- Marketing directly to customer enthusiasts without relying on dealers or other middlemen who might have watered down any high-energy opportunities to keep motivation at an all-time high.
- Building out for the first time in 80 years, a new energy infrastructure (the supercharger stations) to make Tesla owners comfortable with long-distance travel, boosting a major uptake in their product line.
Its Organizational Structure
Tesla bet on agility rather than corporate hierarchy experience to gain advantage over its larger competitors. Operating with a management style that eliminates barriers in communication so that “anyone can talk to anyone” has given Tesla’s employees free access to the executive team to share ideas and possible alternatives that would benefit the company.
There is an interesting lesson here that growing companies may find valuable: problem-solving is dependent on effective communication, and hierarchies can potentially re-route or prevent the correct flow of information.
The efficiency brilliantly lays with adopting a corporate structure where hierarchy friction is reduced, and employees are encouraged to create a culture that supports flexible and fluid communication in order to bring solutions forward and in-turn, integrated quicker.
Exclusive Tesla Representation @ Aurum
As a co-founder of Tesla and its founding Chief Technical Officer (CTO), JB Straubel managed many of Tesla’s initiatives within the company until mid-2019 and created many new benchmarks in innovation along the way. He oversaw the technical direction of the worldwide supercharger network of fast DC chargers, Tesla’s battery technology, power electronics, Tesla motors, firmware software and controls. Aside from managing his current business interests, JB Straubel has become a globally recognized Innovation speaker.
Tesla’s former Director of Learning and Development, Beth Davies, brought the team from 600 to 33,000 employees in six years, evangelizing company culture and protecting it from being diluted by rapid growth. Beth meticulously designed and built out the training and support to factory-wide operations and oversaw on-boarding for all new hires globally. Recently named a Luminary as a distinguished Alumna with Indiana University, Beth is one of only 12 people to have this honor bestowed upon them. While working as a thought leader with McKinsey & Company, Beth can be found often on tour as a highly engaging speaker.