In July 2016, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) updated their mission statement.
They changed One Word.
The original mission was to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport.”
The new one is to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
Here’s why they made the change. On August 1, 2016, Tesla agreed to acquire SolarCity, the largest solar provider in America.
Here is how Tesla explained the case for the acquisition,
“We would be the world’s only vertically integrated energy company offering end-to-end clean energy products to our customers. This would start with the car that you drive and the energy that you use to charge it, and would extend to how everything else in your home or business is powered. With your Model S, Model X, or Model 3, your solar panel system, and your Powerwall all in place, you would be able to deploy and consume energy in the most efficient and sustainable way possible, lowering your costs and minimizing your dependence on fossil fuels and the grid.”
Tesla has a big mission and has a big strategy to make it happen.
To ramp production to 500,000 cars per year, Tesla alone would have consumed the entire worldwide supply of lithium-ion batteries. Therefore, they built the Gigafactory (the name comes from the word “giga,” the unit of measurement representing “billions.”) Once complete, Tesla expects the Gigafactory to be the biggest building in the world—and it will be powered entirely by renewable energy sources.
One of the key aspects of the Drive One Direction® model is the concept of “Aligned Agility.” We want companies to be both highly aligned and extremely agile. The fact that Tesla could pivot the entire company and integrate a major strategic acquisition by simply changing One Word in their mission statement is a testament to their agility.
As you might expect, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has a fascinating way to describe alignment, "Every person in your company is a vector. Your progress is determined by the sum of all vectors."
For those of you who did not get that, you might want to brush up on your linear algebra.
Tesla is a mission-driven company. By simply changing One Word, they were able to integrate Tesla Motors and Solar City.
Two companies with One (BIG) Mission.
Does your company have a mission … or a BIG One?