Written By
Sara McGuyer
On
August 11, 2016
Posted In

North Star

August 11, 2016

We do an exercise called "North Star" which dives into an organization's history to mine for important language. It works like this:

  • You start with the origin story of the organization. Who was there? Why did it get started?
  • Moving toward the present, people can jump in with stories about major milestones or pivots from the history. How did new events or circumstances change the path?
  • People jump in and add the story of when they started along the journey. What was it like during that era of the business? What were early impressions or feelings?
  • Everyone listens and writes down words or concepts they hear, one phrase or idea per sticky note. 
  • During the course of the storytelling, a whole heap of potential core language emerges. This is essentially the "raw material" that can help you hone in on values, mission, vision. 

This Factory Week, we decided it was time to revisit this for ourselves, as our current mission feels a little dated with all of our recent changes. We're open to a full edit of our other language too.  Here are some samples of things that are coming out of our exploration:

(Jenny Anderson makes a mean sticky note doodle, am I right?)

Sticky notes from SmallBox's North Star exercise

Sticky note from SmallBox North Star exercise

Sticky note from SmallBox North Star exercise

Sticky note from SmallBox North Star exercise

Sticky note from SmallBox North Star exercise