Six Ways to Make the Most of Your Life in a B Corp
Okay, so your company is a Certified B Corporation®. You agree that it’s possible to use the power of business as a force for good. Maybe you’ve memorized some ideas about what it means to be a B Corp for pitches to new clients. Perhaps you have the Certified B Corp logo in your email signature. But where has it gone from there?
If you’re like me, probably not too far. I’ve always been proud to work with a company that’s actively working to make the world a better place. But I confess I didn’t know a lot about our B Corp certification or the magnitude of the B Corp movement.
So when I was offered the opportunity to attend the 2015 B Corp Champions Retreat in October, I figured, what the heck, let’s see what the excitement is all about.
The retreat was incredibly eye-opening. PDX Magazinecalled the conference “a gathering of the movement’s heavy-hitters and leading thinkers,” and they weren’t kidding. I met tons of smart, friendly, passionate individuals from every corner of the globe. I learned about challenges that we as B Corps all face, like how to maintain company culture through growth. I discovered how to connect with clients and colleagues through values-based storytelling. And I was finally able to grasp just how large this (now) international movement is becoming.
Throughout all this, I knew what I really wanted to take away from my experience was a list of ways to bring the B Corp love back to my colleagues and share real, tangible ideas for how we can continue to grow and improve as a B Corp. Here are six of the ideas that I shared upon my return to Idaho:
Ryan Honeyman’s B Corp Handbook provides great insight into what it means to be a B Corp, including everything from taking the assessment to tips and tricks from companies like Ben & Jerry’s and King Arthur Flour. (Check out our review of that book in this blog post.)
I’ve never been involved in the rigorous assessment process for Oliver Russell, so it wasn’t until I was doing some pre-retreat research that I realized the areas where we fall a bit short, which leads me to my next tip…
One area in the assessment where we can improve our score is by asking suppliers to take the assessment. Both you and the supplier can gain a better understanding of their social and environmental practices, while adding points to your own score.
Want to write a blog about being a B Corp, but not sure where to start? There is a great set of blog prompts in the B Corp Resources Portal that can help guide you. There’s also a new set of brand guidelines, which include talking points to help you clearly and succinctly explain to others what it means to be a B Corp.
get our newsletter.
On the last day of the retreat, I fortuitously met another woman from Boise. As soon as we returned home, we met to discuss what we had learned and how we could affect change among our own local B Corp community, starting with a series of Boise B Corp volunteer events. (And we actually had a great first event in November).
Be a part of the larger conversation within the B Corp community by joining what is essentially a social network for B Corps. There are plenty of groups and conversations, from best practices to building company culture to assessment tips to resources for women in business. It provides a great sounding board for sharing ideas and for meeting others in the B Corp community.
As human beings, most of us would like our work to have greater meaning than just a paycheck and a place to sit all day. The desire for meaning at work is the motivating force behind the B Corp movement. B Corp certification is simply an objective measurement for how well your company is really performing against a bottom line that includes people, profit, and planet. It’s also proof that other organizations (clients, suppliers, and others) share your values. We’re a tribe that’s getting bigger and having a greater impact every day. If you care about what’s happening in the world and want to do something about it, these are your people. So be a part of it: learn more about B Corps, educate your suppliers and clients, and get to know your B Corp counterparts online and in person. If it’s just a logo in your email signature, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Get our newsletter.
A movement of certified badass companies uses business to solve social issues.
Everything you always wanted to know about B Corps - but were afraid to ask.
The bridge to a new economy is being built by B Corps from around the world.