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Embarking on a Journey: Culturelabs Holds Its First Members' Week, Inspires Current & Aspiring Leaders at Temple University with Startup Lady Japan


Culturelabs kicked off the spring season 2024 with a Members' Guild Workshop, a forum designed to delve into the intricacies of life at Culturelabs. Against this backdrop, the organization took the opportunity to revamp its freelance and employee Member Onboarding material, reflecting a commitment to continuous improvement and member satisfaction. 

Titled "Insights from Freelancers and Startup Members: The Good and the Challenging," the workshop provided a platform for candid discussions and valuable insights into the unique dynamics of working within the Culturelabs community.

Both freelancers and startup employees openly shared their experiences at Culturelabs, highlighting both commonalities and individual characteristics. They found that diversity is not only celebrated but also valued within our community. Additionally, they recognized a shared cultural aspect of providing opportunities for learning moments, which continues to evolve and strengthen over time.


What particularly stood out from the discussions was the resilience exhibited by the members, a trait often described by many clients as "toughness."  Observing the strength and determination exhibited by each individual, discussions further affirmed the belief that the right people for Japan (and the world) are indeed present among us.

During the workshop, participants engaged in insightful discussions that shed light on various aspects of working at Culturelabs starting with its unique emphasis on Design Thinking training.

Design Thinking training teaches problem-solving methods centered around user needs, guiding participants to empathize with users, define problems, and generate innovative ideas. Through interactive workshops and hands-on exercises, individuals and teams develop skills to address complex challenges creatively and effectively. Ultimately, the goal is to cultivate a human-centered mindset and enhance problem-solving abilities across various domains.

Another key theme that resonated with participants was the autonomy and independence enjoyed in decision-making. Members appreciated the freedom to work authentically, without the constraints of rigid structures or expectations. This sense of empowerment fostered a culture where individuals could thrive and contribute their unique talents to the collective.

Furthermore, there was a consensus on the importance of self-directed learning within the organization. Members valued the opportunity to lead training sessions and share their expertise with peers, highlighting the collaborative and knowledge-sharing nature of the corporate community. This culture of continuous learning was seen as a core aspect of the Culturelabs ethos, promoting growth and development at all levels.

Additionally, the absence of unnecessary politicking and the prevalence of kindness were notable attributes highlighted during the workshop. Members appreciated the lack of office politics and the genuine kindness displayed by their peers, creating a positive and inclusive atmosphere where everyone felt valued and supported.

The concept of "kindness" emerged as a particularly uplifting theme, with participants expressing a desire to incorporate this value into future training programs. This commitment to fostering a culture of kindness reflects the collective effort to create a supportive and compassionate community where all members can thrive.

Overall, the workshop reinforced the idea that each member plays a vital role in shaping the dynamic environment at Culturelabs. With a shared commitment to collaboration, learning, and kindness, participants reaffirmed their roles as captains of their own ships, navigating the challenges and opportunities of the entrepreneurial journey with determination and resilience.

Following our Members' Week workshop, Aya Shimada delivered an empowering speech and participated in a panel discussion for Startup Lady Japan at Temple University Japan. Shimada, the founder of Culturelabs, shared her unconventional approach to decision-making and carving one's own path in entrepreneurship and leadership. 

With "3 tips for finding your own path," Shimada encouraged aspiring students, freelancers, and startup founders to embrace unconventional approaches and pursue their dreams with determination and resilience.

With a focus on initiating one's own company, Shimada offered valuable insights into the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and the unique challenges faced by women leaders in Japan.

Throughout the talk, Shimada drew from her own experiences to provide practical advice and inspiration to the students and audience gathered at Temple’s Parliament building. She emphasized the importance of following one's passions and curiosities, highlighting the role of fun in driving motivation and success. By prioritizing enjoyment over societal norms, Shimada demonstrated how individuals can carve out fulfilling careers aligned with their interests.

She also delved into the significance of values in guiding decision-making and fostering resilience in the face of adversity. Drawing from her commitment to human rights and diversity, she underscored the power of staying true to one's principles, even in challenging circumstances. This emphasis on values resonated strongly with attendees, offering a framework for navigating the complexities of professional life.

In addition to personal anecdotes, Shimada shared practical strategies for aspiring entrepreneurs, touching on topics such as building connections, seizing opportunities, and learning from setbacks. Her candid insights into the realities of entrepreneurship provided students with a realistic perspective on what it takes to succeed in the business world.

As a female leader in Japan, Shimada also addressed the unique challenges and opportunities encountered by women in leadership roles. From overcoming cultural barriers to advocating for gender equality, she offered valuable advice on how women can assert themselves and thrive in male-dominated industries.

Overall, Shimada's talk served as a source of inspiration and guidance for students seeking to chart their own paths to success. Through her personal and entrepreneurial experiences, she offered a roadmap for navigating the complexities of the professional landscape and achieving one's goals with determination and resilience.


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