“You cannot have great culture, without caring about culture” – Micha Kaufman, Founder and CEO at Fiverr.
We believe that establishing a shared team culture is a pre-requisite for establishing successful businesses – and that it needs constant attention to function and flourish. Which is why in early 2020, we decided to check-in with and update Square Peg’s team purpose, vision and values.
The process involved long team discussions about our own personal purposes, sharing how we like to operate and what we value, feedback from our founder community on what makes us unique in their eyes, and workshops designed to help us weigh competing priorities.
We’re sharing the outcome with you so that you know what’s important to us and how we measure our own performance. Below, we’ve also included the process that we followed in the event your team needs a refresher, too.
To empower the exceptional
Why: We believe that we must be in service to our founders, our investors and our team–and that success will come if we enable our communities to execute to their best ability.
To be the first-choice partner for early-stage technology founders in Australia, Israel and Southeast Asia.
Why: We believe this statement gives us a clear target and a way to measure our performance.
- Be yourself
- Anchor to optimism
- Unleash curiosity
- Empower through trust
- Be bold.
Why: these five values capture the essence of who we want to be as a team, and our strategy as a venture capital firm.
The most important part of the process for our team, was in developing a shared understanding of what each value meant in practise for us – and in the conversations that sprang from sharing examples of where we upheld the value we’ve defined as important.
When we considered our Purpose, we asked ourselves, ‘what do we do, and who do we do it for?’
Square Peg’s founders reflected on why Square Peg was originally established, and each team member shared their perspective on why the business exists today. We knew we had landed the Purpose when we found the right balance between an aspirational statement and our everyday reality.
Our Vision statement was created by asking ourselves ‘what are we working to achieve, and how do we know if we are winning?’ Each team member shared their draft Vision statements, and we aligned quickly on describing what Square Peg aspires to be. We found that the work we had done to explore our Purpose statement enabled us to quickly reach alignment on our Vision.
Creating our Values was the most iterative journey for us.
After reflecting on our own personal values, each team member created their own list of the behaviours they valued most in their peers, and we explored which of these was truly unique to Square Peg.
To stop us from creating a generic set of good human values, we turned to our founders and asked them two questions: ‘from your perspective, what 3 words best describe Square Peg?’ and ‘what characteristics/behaviours do you most value in Square Peg team members?’ We extracted some clear themes from our founders and aligned these to our own list of behaviours.
After some healthy debates, we refined our list of Values by challenging ourselves on why they were important to Square Peg, and what made them truly unique to us. As a final step, we considered the impact on our values statement if any one of them was removed, until we were confident, we had a collective group of values that captured us at our best.