SpotHero's Mission, Vision, Values

7 Steps To Defining Our Startup’s Mission, Vision & Values . . . So You Can Too

A false start.

That’s how to describe SpotHero’s first attempt to define our mission, vision and values (MVV).

Too young. Too small. Too fast. Why slow down to document what we knew in our gut? Just not a priority yet.

Why Defining our Mission, Vision and Values Became a Priority

We grew beyond the 25 employee count. That’s when culture starts to change. We were closing a $20M Series B, which meant we’d soon be over 50 employees.

How would we maintain our culture? How would we set up future leaders, managers and employees for success?

These questions made formalizing MVV a priority.

7 Steps To Creating our Mission, Vision & Values

1) Secured management team buy-in

In our case, this was the easiest part. The business was about to change. Our board member encouraged us to think about it. We were all ready to make MVV a priority.

2) Chose a decision making framework to get the draft across the finish line

We chose the RAPID decision making framework. The founders made the final Decision. The two executives* who led the process Approved the final draft. The executive team provided ongoing Input. All employees shared input via survey to help kick-off the process.

3) Collected & reviewed input from all stakeholders

  • Set an offsite meeting data for management
  • Sent an email to all employees asking for input. We asked survey questions about their best day at work and why’d they’d recommend SpotHero to a friend
  • Collected existing feedback and reviews from consumers and merchants
  • Put together a packet of everyone’s input
  • Requested a draft of our mission, vision and values from each management team member 

4) Held an executive offsite, only half a day

  • Here is how we spent out time: 1 hour on mission, 1 hour on vision and 1 hour on values. With short breaks between each section, the whole process only took a half day. 
  • We took turns reading a pre-submitted suggestions aloud. 
  • We wrote the commonalities on a whiteboard, word-smithed, debated and got something “close enough”
  • Two team members took ownership of drafting a proposal after the offsite
  • We were back in the office before 1 PM.

5) Drafted, shared and many edited 

For the next month, each week two of us sat down and wrote a draft of MVV. We’d then share the draft in our weekly management meeting for feedback. The next week, we’d do it all over again. On occasion, we gave a sneak peak to a few team members to make sure we were on the right track. They all smiled and looked pumped. So, we knew we were on the right track.

6) Finalized

Weekly revisions continued until everyone involved on the management team was happy. We then sent a final version to the founders for approval. They approved, without any additional edits. 

7) Presented & rolled-out

We set an all company meeting. We asked a designer to build a presentation, and we set a date for our whole company to celebrate.  Our founders spoke.  7 leaders in the company each read one of the 7 values. Feedback was excellent. There were no major surprises. 

SpotHero’s Mission, Vision & Values

 The next step is helping our team internalize our mission, vision and values, and continue to act by them. We’re off to a good start, and I’m hopeful when we look back this will guide us for many years to come.

As you think about your startup’s mission, vision and values, here are a few of my favorite resources on corporate culture to consider:


This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.