Organization · Community

What is the best way to establish mission and value in a community of equals?

Iwein Fuld Entrepreneur and developer, founder of StarterSquad

October 1st, 2014

Inside StarterSquad there are no bosses, so vision, mission and values should be collaboratively established by its members.

I have some experience establishing values, but non in establishing community values. I'd be very interested to hear about experiences (good or bad) of others that have tried such a thing before.
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Mamie Stewart Founder & CEO at Meeteor, Speaker, Change-maker

October 1st, 2014

I'm going to share a bit of our process...

1. Part of the challenge is for people to separate out their own values from those of the community. We addressed this by having everyone do a card sort for their own top 5 and bottom 5 values. In partners, people shared why they chose those values for themselves. Then we had them redo the sort with the group in mind - so what did they think the group should have as their shared values. We had all the values written on the wall and people put a dot for each of the 5 values they had selected.

2. We then had a discussion regarding the values that had the most dots and people shared why they thought those were important. For the values that only had a few dots, we also had people share why they had selected those. Through this dialogue we narrowed it down to the top 6 that the entire group was comfortable with.

3. Then in subteams, we worked on definitions for those values, using the definitions from the cards as a starting point but also incorporating language that people used during the conversation. We shared these definitions with the group and then a lead team took it as an action to get all the values written in a consistent form with a single voice.

4. Lastly, the lead team came up with guiding principles that describe what each value looks like in action. So, for example, the value of respect every person looks like **Every person's opinion matters so actively listen and respect each perspective**

All of this was presented back to the group for enhancements and the final work was approved by everyone.

Mamie Stewart Founder & CEO at Meeteor, Speaker, Change-maker

October 1st, 2014

I did this in an nonprofit setting and am happy to share my experience - the process we used, what tools we employed, how we made decisions, etc. You can reach out directly to me to schedule a time to speak by phone if that would be helpful.

Iwein Fuld Entrepreneur and developer, founder of StarterSquad

November 10th, 2014

Thank you Mamie for the detailed input and the followup call. Very valuable, I'll do an experiment with this and followup with the results.