Written By
Jeb Banner
August 02, 2013
Posted In

Beating Up Our North Star

August 02, 2013

This Factory Week we revisited our company's North Star. What's that you ask? We consider our North Star to be our purpose, mission and vision statements. We take them pretty seriously at SmallBox, even if they are fairly simple things in the end. In fact, we think simple is better in this case. They should be easy to remember and if you can't remember them, they don't really exist. At least that's the way we see it.

So at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week we gathered in a conference room and tested our existing North Star to see how it stood up.

Elizabeth, Jon, Leigh at the North Star session. Colin and Kasey at the North Star session.
Elizabeth, Jon, Leigh, Colin and Kasey were part of the evaulation crew. 

Last time we did this was a year ago during Factory Week. Here is where we ended after a week of these sessions, which culminated in a company-wide session where we fine tuned it to:

Purpose: to empower greatness in ourselves and others
Mission: to evolve organizations
Vision: a revolution of purpose-fueled organizations

After a year of living with this we felt it was time to beat it up a little. Did it still resonate, was there another level we could take it to? At the end of three intense sessions we landed on this which was presented to the entire company today and accepted as solid:

Purpose: to do great things
(we felt that empower greatness felt a little pompous and didn't speak to our desire to build and create great things)

Mission: to serve authentic organizations
(this was the biggest shift in some ways, for us serve means to use the web to amplify an organization's voice but also serve the community and each other. Authentic spoke to what kind of organizations we wanted to serve.)

Vision: to spread a revolution of people-centered work
(the word work is important to us, we want to do meaningful work and encourage others to do the same. We believe that work should be centered around people and not profit or products. We want to see a revolution of other people, organizations and communities that also believe this.)

So this is where we landed. A year from now we'll again test our North Star to see how it stands up, probably pushing it further towards that ever elusive perfect articulation of our collective why, how and what.