Culture, Mission and Vision

Ideas are worth very little without a culture to guide the selection of talent and a big, bold vision to attract and unify the team. Human capital is what separates great from good companies – which is why establishing a strong culture to attract and retain the right people, while unifying them behind an inspiring vision and mission is essential to any significant venture.

This presentation offers insight into approaches entrepreneurs should consider when developing their venture’s mission and vision – while ensuring they can execute on both – all critical areas of focus when striving to build an enduring company.

Further, the content drills into how to establish a culture that will inspire your team to support your vision and mission. Culture development, in particular, is a complex topic and is one that should be taken seriously, as it plays a critical role in any venture’s success.

Also included is a case example from Salsify, featuring insight from co-founders Jason Purcell, Jeremy Redburn and Rob Gonzalez. Each share details on their experiences related to culture, vision and mission creation in a reall world fast growing startup.

Case Examples

Symantec

Symantec

Cylent

Cylent

Promoboxx

Promoboxx

Salsify

Salsify

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  • Jorge Correia

    I have seen the video about culture, mission and vision and it is very interesting!!
    When you refer the steps Value prop, People, Execution and Vision/Mission, shouldn’t Vision/Mission be immediately after Value prop?

    The people that will join the team shouldn’t they be hired according to the Vision/Mission?

    Is it possible to go to the execution step without a clear Vision/Mission?

    Shouldn’t the order be:

    1 – Value prop
    2 – Vision/mission
    3 – People
    4 – Execution

    • mjskok

      @disqus_gyUJHiMCgf:disqus i’m glad you raised this – we don’t want to be too literal about the order here because a lot of this happens in parallel or even in a unique order depending on the founder. So you’re right for me for example I’d find it very difficult to execute without a clear vision or mission. Refer to the comment above where I suggested the same – eg without a destination, (read vision / mission) as we all know any road will get you nowhere!

      Yet i can tell you that some founders start with a vision of the future and look at the innovation they can bring to the problems they see and work from there to a value proposition.

      However in all cases, the earlier you define your culture the more it will help you stay whatever course you choose, or whatever road you travel, including unforeseen detours and the many bumps, twists and turns!

      • @Jorge Correia We are living this right now. Truth is in the early days – all four are unknown. They are changing on regular basis. It’s not that you don’t know what you want to do, (we all want to change the world for better, after all) , narrowing the scope down is problematic. Everything changes each time I narrow down the market I am trying to target. I find new solutions, new concepts, even new problems. With these new findings, my Value Prop Changes, Vision/Mission becomes more clear and we come up with a better execution. So, I don’t think order has any important. If anything, I feel getting people (culture) part right is most important. At least, I know what kind of people I would like to work and that won’t change much.

  • Watched the video 3rd time and reviewed the slides. So many lessons to learn, I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss a thing. Here are some key points I learned:

    a.) Culture Evolves – You start with your core values and adjust as you build something much bigger than yourself. But you must start as early as possible – hopefully before hiring any employee, bringing in co-founder and even before getting seed funding.
    b.) Culture makes hiring so much more easier – Culture can be your guiding force during interviews. It can help you predict how well they will work within your company. Even a great candidate will fail in your company if he or she do not share the same values as your company culture.
    c.) You can’t use any kind of template to come up with a vision, mission or culture – It requires deep understanding of what kind of company you are trying to build. You might not know which direction you will go but you should how your company should “feel” no matter what stage and which direction it follows.

    • mjskok

      @deepaksharmabay:disqus thanks for sharing your takeaways it helps to understand what the material reflects for you and to ensure we improve them.

      a) there are no hard and fast rules on when and how culture may evolve, but the key point is that the earlier you can really define and refine it the more likely you will be to keep it consistent and therefore have it as a reliable touchstone

      b)YES! A well defined culture can be a clear filter for the right hires. Your values can really help you check that people will fit culturally and are truly additive rather than disruptive. And this is the CQ we talk about in the Hiring part of Startup Secrets.

      c) If you mean template in terms of picking up somoene else’s thinking then absolutely – not, no! It’s vital that a startup think through their own unique situation including the specifics of their market, how their team is particularly suited to address it etc.

      And yes I love your second sentence, though the sooner you can determine your direction even in terms of a vision, the more likely you are to have a guidepost and measuring stick for understanding what is and isn’t working and how to adjust your course. Without a destination, as we all know any road will get you nowhere!