Becoming a B Corp, Part 1.

June 14th.
Hers said 33.3 and mine said 40.7. Comparing our B Corp assessment answers has definitely highlighted a few home truths for me. One of which is that I feel like HarrimanSteel is a ‘good’ agency. We care about people, the planet, purpose; we’ve done the projects, we’ve shared our opinions, we’ve worked hard to make a positive impact. But, where is this written in stone? Where is the concrete commitment to doing better, being better, throughout all of our business practices?

And also, why does my score come out higher than that of our Operations Manager? I suspect it’s because I’m an optimist and was perhaps being led more by my emotions – after all, having worked at HarrimanSteel for six and a half years now, I know where our company’s heart lies. But the truth is, operationally, that’s not enough.

We’re in the earliest stages of our B Corp journey. So early, in fact, that we’re only just trying to build a roadmap, and that means we are in the assessment (self reflection/hard truths) phase. We’re learning what is required of us and where we’re lacking. And we are lacking.

After 22 years of craft, sweat and tears, and off the back of 2020, the business has chosen to take a stance on all that we believe in. We’ve flirted with ‘purpose’ for years, and in fact you could say we’ve dated seriously at times, but we’re now looking down the barrel of a marriage contract and all that B Corp is asking of us. Yes, we were the ones that proposed, but the pressure of commitment and having to follow through rests heavily on our shoulders.

Five categories, a total of 200 points available and a minimum of 80 points to qualify for B Corp certification. We’re now heading into the ‘improvements phase’ which essentially means we have to look at where we need to make changes for our business, to do better business. Some will be small, such as developing policies, whilst others will be looking at overarching corporate structure.

Throughout the process, I’ll be talking with B Corp gurus, industry peers and fellow applicants about their own journeys and experiences, and how they believe small independent businesses can make a real impact. We’re not striving merely for the 80 points here.

Six months is my crude estimate for this improvement phase (apropos of nothing), simply based on my determination to make it happen this year, and it just so happens to be the middle of June. I’ve decided to share our progress in the hope that it might be helpful or encouraging to other interested parties, or – failing that – it will at the very least provide a form of catharsis for me as I undertake this fairly laborious process!

Watch this space…