The Chevy Volt's technology represented a huge change for GM. But GM's future high-tech cars could represent an even more dramatic break with the General's past. Photo credit: General Motors Co.

In the old days -- before 2010 or so, in other words -- General Motors (NYSE:GM) wasn't exactly known for its receptiveness to outside ideas. It maintained its own vast R&D operation, and it would listen to its suppliers, but new ideas from outside Detroit? GM had no interest.

We all know where that attitude led: Bankruptcy court, as GM found itself falling further and further behind its import rivals. Now, GM is under new management -- and those new managers are determined not to make the same mistake twice.

GM recently disclosed that it has a special team of executives following Tesla Motors' (NASDAQ:TSLA) every move. But GM's actually doing much more. As Fool contributor John Rosevear explains in this video, GM is scouring Silicon Valley for high-tech innovations it can use in its products -- and that's a massive change from the old General's approach.