In the same way exercise is now considered a “must-do” to stay strong, B Corp is increasingly thought of as a must-have in maintaining a strong business. Today, being socially responsible is not an option in running a successful organization. In fact, social responsibility has become an important factor for candidates in job hunting and organizations in finding like-minded vendors they want to work with. With this in mind, I urge everyone to do the B Corp Assessment to see how you measure up to the social and environmental standards set out by B Corp.
B the change you want to see in the world
B Corp is first and foremost a community of businesses and leaders. “Community” by definition is a group of individuals with like-minded interests, shared values and/or residing in a common geography. In the case of the B Corp community, the shared value is balancing purpose and profit, and the common geography is planet Earth.
The B Corp Declaration of Interdependence sets the foundation for the global movement of people using business as a force for good.
Start here: B Corp assessment
In simply writing this article, I’m being a good B Corp member by using my own and Traction on Demand’s success, networks, voice and brand to spread awareness and support about the movement. If I achieve my objective for writing this, you’ll click to access the B Corp Impact Assessment to see how your organization compares with others (here’s Traction on Demand's). I promise doing so will provide insight into what changes you could make to qualify and certify as a B Corp.
Taking the B Corp assessment is like doing an initial consultation with a fitness trainer. This step assesses your level of fitness, so you can create a baseline and develop an individualized program for betterment. The scoring system also acts as a standardized way to measure your CSI (corporate social integration) strength amongst your peers. In the same way having a gym buddy is motivating, perhaps you’ll be inspired by the organizations doing good around you.
Being a B Corp is good for business
Regardless of why you’re motivated to certify as a B Corp—either self-betterment or as a business differentiator—by simply caring enough about the concept to read this article, you’re already on a path to social responsibility “fitness.”
Either way, doing good is good for business, and that business success can lead to doing even more good. It’s a win-win cycle.
Being a B Corp alone will not win new customers, but it sure is a powerful way of demonstrating what matters to us, as a business and as individuals. In the “systems integrator” category that Traction on Demand is often placed, being a B Corp is—sad as it may be—a huge differentiator. Having the B Corp designation allows prospects familiar with B Corp to instantly understand some of the core values of our business. For those prospects who don't yet know what being a B Corp is all about, it’s a great opportunity for us to explain the philosophy and push the movement forward.
Don’t wait: certifi-cate!
The B Corp certification process takes time, effort and a lot of input from your business leadership team. For this reason, I recommend completing it early in the business journey. Oftentimes, an early-stage leadership team is made up of one or two people, so collecting and inputting the initial required data is a simpler process. Once you’re a certified B Corp, integrating the recertification process and compliance criteria into your operation and reporting model will be much simpler if you start early. After all, losing the extra pounds once you’ve packed them on is always tougher than maintaining a healthy weight from the start.
“The best way to change the trajectory of an arrow is before it is launched.”Greg Malpass, Founder and CEO, Traction on Demand
The quote above is one of Greg’s favourites. Much like the way schools instill the importance of social responsibility in students and young entrepreneurs, companies should be adopting the B Corp beliefs early on and teaching responsibility to young businesses and business leaders.
The future of employment is B Corp
“I don't even know what Traction on Demand does. I just want to work for a B Corp”Traction on Demand job applicant
The above was said to a member of Traction on Demand’s talent acquisition team during a phone interview recently. Although recruitment was not an initial motivator for Traction on Demand becoming a B Corp, it sure as heck has been a powerful byproduct.
As a professional services firm, finding and attracting the best talent is one of the key factors in growing a great business, and the B Corp community is where some of the best humans are starting their career search. Even if your current leadership isn't thinking about CSI as part of its organizational strategy, you can bet it’s top of mind for the next generation.
You got this: get B Corp strong
Becoming a B Corp early on in a business journey is much like becoming physically active early in life. Small actions develop habits and behaviours, which make maintaining or making small improvements in your health simpler as life goes on. So get off that couch, get to your computer and get your initial business “fitness consult” started with the B Impact Assessment. Your bottom line will thank you for it.