How Alisyn Malek is shaping the future of mobility through collaboration, innovation, and leadership

How Alisyn Malek is shaping the future of mobility through collaboration, innovation, and leadership

Sign up for The Automotive Leaders Letter

Watch the full video on YouTube - click here

In this podcast episode, Alisyn Malek, a seasoned leader in the automotive and mobility industry, shares her extraordinary journey from working on an OEM electric vehicle project to pioneering startups that influence the future of mobility. Alisyn addresses the challenges confronting traditional automotive manufacturers in adapting to rapid innovation, highlighting the necessity for a mindset shift and a focus on solving tangible customer problems through data-driven decision-making. 

As she discusses her role at May Mobility and establishing SkillFusion, Alisyn emphasizes the crucial intersection where policy, infrastructure, automation, leadership, and technology converge. The podcast explores her experience developing a software platform to address the pressing issues with EV charging infrastructure, showcasing how her leadership and expertise bridge the gap between established OEMs and the burgeoning startup landscape. Alisyn's commitment to shaping the future of mobility through collaboration, innovation, and an unwavering growth mindset shines through, making this episode a must-listen for those intrigued by the transformative dynamics of the automotive industry.

Themes discussed in this episode:

  • Automotive transformation and OEM challenges
  • Challenges and opportunities in the automotive industry's transition to automation
  • Cross-functional design approach in the automotive industry
  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Startup ecosystem and innovation
  • The human element in EV charging infrastructure
  • Leadership traits for innovation

Featured: Alisyn Malek

What she does: Alisyn is a dynamic leader in the mobility and automotive sectors, having played key roles at General Motors, driving EV product development and corporate strategy. As the co-founder and COO of May Mobility, she pioneered autonomous vehicle transportation solutions. Currently, she's driving innovation as the force behind SkillFusion, a platform focused on enhancing EV charging infrastructure through workforce development.

On leadership: “The open mindset helps because you've created a dialogue back and forth. But you also have to demonstrate back that you trust them. That only goes so far, so if they keep messing up, you have to show people there are consequences. But it has to be a two-way street because that, again, really creates the strength of the team that's going to allow you to achieve things you otherwise never would have thought imaginable.”

Mentioned in this episode:

Episode Highlights:

[00:03:25] Alisyn's professional journey: Embark on Alisyn's dynamic career, spanning GM's automation endeavors to co-founding May Mobility and venturing into the realm of startups.

[00:11:53] A blueprint for innovation: Exploring the multifaceted dimensions of mobility and transportation, Alisyn discusses her book's mission to capture diverse perspectives on the future of mobility.

[00:20:01] Get comfortable with being uncomfortable: Dive into Alisyn's perspective on embracing discomfort and cultivating a growth mindset for innovation within the automotive realm.

[00:33:26] Nurturing mobility ecosystem: A dynamic startup ecosystem that Alisyn played a pivotal role in launching in Detroit. Newlab focuses on empowering founders to scale their businesses, particularly in hard tech areas such as mobility, energy, and materials.

[00:36:31] Explore SkillFusion: Alisyn's recent venture addressing the shortage of skilled technicians in maintaining EV charging infrastructure, ensuring a seamless experience for electric vehicle users.

[00:40:51] Alisyn on authentic leadership: Learn about the key traits that fuel Alisyn’s dynamic approach to navigating the fast-paced world of innovation and mobility.

[00:43:59] Personal side of Alisyn: Peek into Alisyn Malek's personal side, from favorite spots in Detroit to literary preferences, offering a glimpse into the life of a leader shaping the future of mobility.

Top quotes:

[00:07:02] Alisyn: “Why would we do the same thing when we knew the same thing was actually having worse outcomes for people getting where they needed to go?”

[00:11:17] Alisyn: “Our entire economy is underpinned by mobility. Our health and life outcomes are underpinned by our access to mobility.”

[00:19:38] Alisyn: “We need to be able to ask questions, and we need to know that sometimes, at the very start, we won't have all the answers, but we'll get them along the way. And that requires a culture that needs that open mindset.”

[00:22:44] Alisyn: “To write something off because it didn't work once is terrible product planning because other people are working to evolve it… Instead of just telling me it doesn't work. Why don't you tell me why it didn't work then? What part of it failed?”

[00:27:15] Alisyn: “The number of decisions that are made within automotive, because an executive has a gut feel or a passion, not because there was data taken or there was an ill-structured customer study done early on, I think fundamentally is what is wrong.”

[00:27:57] Alisyn: “I think the biggest problem that the OEMs are going to be tackling is how do you actually make sure you're solving the right problem. Because each problem is going to take resources, it's going to take capital, it's going to take people, it's going to take expertise.”

[00:30:52] Alisyn: “Stop trying to pretend to be a tech company and actually be a tech company. The whole idea of a tech company from a startup perspective is that you solve a problem that people have and are willing to pay.”

[00:42:03] Alisyn: “Being able to create that learning culture, that open mindset, is going to help your team gel and be able to rally together to be able to do more faster.”