2018: The Year of Business for Good
It’s that time of year again, where we reflect on the one that just finished and we look ahead to the one to come. We’ve said goodbye to the turkey, chocolates, and other goodies for a while, and we’re focusing on the changes we wish to create this year. We’re going to change our weight, our relationships, and our fortunes…we’re going to set ambitious goals and finally achieve them. We’re going to be better and we’re going to start now. Does this sound familiar?
Now, we don’t want to sound cynical and we truly do hope that you achieve any goal you set your mind to, but do you find yourself making the same vow every January 1st? Are you ready to commit to something a bit…different?
Our team at Cove would like to offer a new resolution for you. Why not make 2018 the year you use your business as a force for good? 2018 will be the year the impact business movement matures and becomes mainstream. Are you ready to create some impact?
We invite you to join the B Corp movement
Wouldn’t the best resolution for 2018 be to create more impact in our businesses and cultivate deeper meaning in our lives? I believe so, and I hope you resolve to join us in the exciting new world of impact business. Becoming a certified B Corp is one of our proudest accomplishments.
I invite you to take the B Corp impact assessment. Regardless of whether you wish to achieve the certification, the tool can help unlock latent values in your company. You’ll gain insights moving through the process. You’ll also be amazed by what you didn’t understand about your business. You may even discover that you are already an impact company, and you will definitely identify easy ways to amp up your impact and tell a better brand story.
Becoming a certified B Corp does not have to be your primary outcome. The impact assessment will help you measure all of the value your company already creates that doesn’t fit on a balance sheet. The core areas explored are governance, workers, environment, community, and impact business model.
The impact assessment will help you identify both strengths and areas for improvement. With each question you read, seeds of future impact will be planted. The assessment is an invaluable tool from a self-awareness/impact-awareness frame alone, but it can also help you establish your company baseline that can be used to build upon into the future.
The B Corp impact assessment is a little like a game. A company can achieve a possible 200 points by answering a series of questions. The assessment is so powerful, it actually has 72 unique streams within it, and the questions are tailored specifically to your business. Each of the 2,358 certified B Corps achieved a minimum of 80 points on the assessment. For reference, a company with a strong corporate social responsibility policy scores around 50.
After walking dozens of companies through the assessment, we’ve noticed that most businesses—even impact-focused businesses—do not score 80 on their first run through. But don’t give up! If you stick with it and use the questions to develop new policies, you will become an impact company.
Intentional policy is the key to becoming an impact company
You may be focused on social impact, environmental impact, risk mitigation, or you simply want to get that big “B” on your website or packaging. No matter your motivation, well-considered policies are the way to get there!
The questions you are asked, especially the ones you could never have imagined, are engineered to get you thinking and coming up with your own big ideas. Hard questions and deep consideration lead to greater, and often surprising, impact and solutions. The key is to build policies and a plan that you can execute in your business. Be ambitious and realistic!
The assessment will help you establish a baseline for:
- diversity and inclusion
- energy and water usage
- pro-bono service
- and so many more…
The tool can be used to build a weekly plan or a yearly plan. You can even devise your approach to becoming a 100-year company. (We will publish another blog post on 100-year companies soon. Stay tuned.)
We invite you to change for the better
The B Corp impact assessment will ask you new questions that expand your concept of how much good your company can achieve. I have never left a company unchanged after completing the assessment—and they always change for the better.
The B Corp impact assessment is a free, online tool. If you are resolved to become an impact company, there really is no substitute in existence. Use it with your team to start a new conversation about how good your company can be. You will cultivate deep self-awareness, engage your team, and use your business as a force for good.
If you want Cove to help you move through a tailored impact planning process, we’re all for it! Our New Year resolution is to help more companies become impact companies, and we would love to help you join the ranks of Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Hootsuite, and, well, Cove Continuity Advisors.
Creating impact is a fantastic resolution because it can bring your whole team together, and we all know that goals where people work together are often more successful than ones you are responsible for yourself. Also, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t resolve to become an impact business while also changing your weight, relationships, etc. In fact, you’ll probably find all of your values aligning throughout the process.
Welcome to 2018—the year impact business goes mainstream! Let’s do more good, shall we?
~ Kristie O’Leary, Director of Impact
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