Culture and Values Refresh
Futurpreneur Canada has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for nearly two decades. They are the only national, non-proﬁt organization that provides ﬁnancing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Their internationally recognized mentoring program hand-matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors. With a staff of 85 people and seven regional offices, Futurpreneur operates across Canada and provides service in both official languages.
Futurpreneur Canada wished to create a set of employee-driven values. The Board of Directors wanted to do this differently than a top-down approach via themselves and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). An invitation went out in August 2015 to all departments and teams to nominate people to form the Culture and Values Refresh Committee. There were 19 nominations; seven people plus a SLT champion and the facilitator formed the committee. The committee first met on October 1, 2015. The values were unveiled on April 25, 2016. On June 1, 2016, the entire staff from across the country came together and engaged in a highly-participatory exercise to identify personal and team commitments to each of the new values.
The objective of the project was to create a new set of employee-driven organizational values using a peer-nominated team reflective of the entire organization. We used the following approach to achieve the project objective:
- A peer-nominated team met regularly over ten months, working through the creation of survey questions to elicit input from 99% of staff, using that input to guide their discussions, making well-informed decisions about which values would best reflect Futurpreneur Canada now and into the future. They then went back out to their colleagues to test and seek additional feedback on their decisions.
- The entire staff of Futurpreneur Canada was involved close to the front end of the project, through the use of their survey responses to inform the team, the departmental meetings that were held to discuss the new values, and the face-to-face event at the end of the project when each person made and shared personal commitments to incorporating the new values into their work.
Key Results Achieved
The project achieved the following results:
- The creation of a new set of organizational values that involved every single employee across the organization
- A high level of engagement and sense that input was truly valued across the organization
- Visual reminders of how the new values pervade the whole organization and its offices across Canada