Rediscovering our Mission, Vision, & Values
As 2016 was winding down, the Radishes worked hard to wrap up any loose threads of projects and button up all those final assignments before we went our separate ways for holiday break. Before we closed up shop and left Brooklyn, though, we decided to end the year with a final team meeting to discuss our mission, headed by Erica Dorn, the Managing Director from Good Work Institute.
The Good Work Institute is a non-profit organization that works to develop business education programs by supporting business leaders with the tools to help their projects succeed. We recently had the pleasure of working with them to build their new site.
Using her insights into business leadership programs, Erica led us all in a workshop where we shared our thoughts, goals, and works in progress for the new year. It was important for us to sit together to assess the year and take time to reconnect to our mission and vision by exercising how we apply them. Having the time to revisit our mission and vision individually, and as a team, was valuable for everyone in aligning to our purpose as an organization.
Finding a Coherent, Shared Vision
The conversation ranged from our internal and external work and how we implicate our organization’s values both individually and as a whole. As a team, we narrowed down what attributes each of us look for in a workplace and in our coworkers, as well as what values and traits we feel define our work and our business.
As an exercise, we split ourselves up into groups of two to share and discuss these values. Members of each pair chose one value they felt the most connected to, then their partner would try to guess the their value as they gave examples of how that person served as an example of it in the office, before switching roles. In the next step, we worked within larger groups to talk about what these values meant to us and to clarify how and why they work for Radish Lab.
Our final exercise was to find three words that embody Radish Lab. We went over all of the values we came up with at the beginning of the workshop, and after a quick round of process of elimination, we found our top picks:
- Support and feedback
We agreed that we stand for growth as we aspire to keep learning and understanding the world we live in; collaboration as a process where we learn from each other and formulate new ideas; and finally, support and feedback to keep improving. Condensing all these values down to three important ones led us to finally revisit our very own mission statement and vision.
Developing Mission + Vision Statements
Finally, Erica split us up into pairs once more and had us work in teams to rework our original mission and vision statements. Pulling in keywords that created combination sentences proved to be helpful in guiding our statements. We brainstormed further to play with new words, all chiming in to take part!
The approach Erica had us take involved analyzing and tweaking specific words that helped us to drive each statement into a new and different direction. We worked again in small groups to come up with new mission and vision statements, substituting some of the highlighted words above.
All of these exercises proved to be very helpful in supporting us with a clearer purpose for this new year. Although we didn’t finalize a mission statement during the time we had with Erica, the quick exercises allowed us to think and focus more definitively. The end of the year was an important time to reflect not only individually, but also as a company – we become self aware of our mission when we take time to revisit what was built. This world constantly changes and we want to be quick to adapt.
Lesson learned: there is always room for improvement, even for a team as tight-knit as ours. We’re indebted to our good friend Erica and, as this was just part 1 of the workshop, we plan to have her back again soon.