SPROUND STARTUP WORKSHOP — How to (properly) create your startup’s Mission, Vision, and Values

Here at SPROUND, we’re committed to providing our startups with knowledge and information that ACTUALLY contributes to company growth. Startups CEOs don’t need any more networking events.

Image for post
Image for post
NOT a networking event

As an ex-entrepreneur, I had the painful experience of having to simultaneously learn and implement directives across all areas of management. HR, marketing, product management, finance, etc. — many of these areas, as a first time entrepreneur, I had no idea how, or what to start with.

So, as community manager, I wanted to make sure that our startups didn’t have to reinvent the wheel in areas where somebody in our community has the know-how to guide you on the right course from the onset.

We decided to create a series of sessions where seasoned CEOs and industry professionals download their expertise onto next-gen entrepreneurs. Meet the SPROUND STARTUP WORKSHOP.

For our first session, we thought it be fitting to talk about MVV — Mission, Vision, Values — above anything else.

Image for post
Image for post
Slides courtesy of KESIKI Inc.

Many first time entrepreneurs don’t understand how important it is to create a company based on values — really. Of course you’ve heard people preach how important this is, tens of hundreds of times, but especially if you are a B2B SaaS startup, you tend to focus more on the problem you want to solve, and less on what kind of company you want to run.

It’s one of those things you don’t think you need until you need it, but when you need it you REALLY need it. So we thought it would be appropriate to take time out of people’s busy schedules to sit down and talk about missions, visions, and values.

Image for post
Image for post
Shunsuke Ishikawa, Partner at KESIKI INC., former design lead at IDEO Japan and BCG Digital Ventures

We invited Shunsuke Ishikawa, Partner at KESIKI INC. and seasoned professional on culture design, to talk to our startups about how to create, and more importantly, uphold, company culture through startup growth.

Too often, the way people talk about company culture is too meta. The CEO has an idea, and the founding members think they understand the CEO’s idea. Unfortunately this kind of situation breeds discord down the road.

Image for post
Image for post
If your company was on the cover of FORBES magazine, what would the article say?

The KESIKI way is a pragmatic way to simultaneously brainstorm and share vague ideas across team members. Through a series of tasks, startup founders were invited to start by thinking VERY specifically. Questions like, what is your company’s mission, turn into, “If your company were to be on the cover of FORBES Magazine, 10 years down the road, what would the article say?” Why did you start this company? How did the world change because of your product? In 10 years time (20 years from this exercise), how will your company change the future?

Image for post
Image for post
MIRO was a great tool to use for brainstorming.

We used an online whiteboard tool, MIRO, for our brainstorming. This was a great method because images are far more powerful than words, and efficient in conveying vague concepts. Participants were invited to actually create the article — including what kinds of pictures were to be used, and through the exercise revisit what lasting values they wanted to keep as their companies grow into unicorns.

Image for post
Image for post
Don’t need a whiteboard anymore to brainstorm

We can’t give you the full details, because that’s a perk of being a SPROUNDER. However if you ever decide to be one, the full transcript and video content covering the workshop is available to our members online.

SPROUND STARTUP WORKSHOP will cover themes such as hiring, human resources management, marketing, public relations, product design, and engineering, so our startups know exactly where, and how, to start a great company.

(Text: Yuma Tanaka)

Written by

SPROUND is a collaborative office and community dedicated to seed stage startups in Japan.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store