What Next?

Over the last 25 years, I have come into work enthusiastically ranting on to those who will listen about the next new thing.

My team then looks at the challenge ahead. Finance, production, sales all question why, and a dialogue ensues.

How are we going to achieve this new goal, what plans are needed, we implement, we review and redocument the plan. etc, etc.

The subject matter has varied hugely, here are some of the topics

  • Food Safety
  • Traceability
  • Allergens
  • Investors in People
  • Labelling
  • Export documentation
  • Lean Manufacture
  • Covid
  • Social media
  • Industry 4.0
  • Sustainability
  • The five “S”s
  • Gender issues
  • Diets – Gluten Free
  • Short supply chains
  • Training

Sometimes there is a need to bring outside help to manage and deliver on these projects, this can be a consultant or an interim manager, but more probably it is handled internally.

Then comes the assessment has the project worked and delivered what was planned? It may be that we need to be audited by a third party and then; Hurrah! We can put up a plaque and add a logo to our email signatures and website.

What is the crisis now?

Read the trade press or the Sunday papers and note the huge coverage given to climate issues and the deep seated cultural and social issues not just in the UK but globally.

Could B Corp provide a management tool to help address these immense issues? Here is how B Corp sets out its stall.

“Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.”

Wow, that is great Westaway Sausages is exactly this type of business. What is stopping us?

Culture and making the right choices

All businesses have a culture, sometimes this is organic it comes from the personalities involved and it is supported and endorsed by the team, it is way that things are done. Occasionally the culture can be influenced negatively or positively by the senior staff and how they might behave.

I do not think culture needs to be audited, either the right culture is there, or it is not. To me it is apparent from the moment I visit an organisation. I would hope visitors to our company would see our values clearly showing.

What are the correct values?

Firstly, there has to a genuine interest in the product or service the organisation offers. Excellent knowledge, a clear vision of what is needed to progress and a selfless determination to succeed. These are prerequisites.

The step up is then to show wider interests in your suppliers, your customers, your employees, your community, the environment, and your interest groups. By wider interest I mean dialogue and discussion on how to add value to what your organisation does to benefit and inspire your contacts within these groups.

By collaborating actively in this way smaller organisations with a smaller number of shareholders can benefit and provide the values that B Corp promotes. There is an argument that smaller companies can be more flexible and more easily managed to provide purpose and profit than larger companies with more levels of management and ownership.

In short

Care about everything and everybody, be interested, introduce small changes every day. Invite contribution. Surprise people, love your business. Do things because you can. Demonstrate the art of the possible.

Life will be richer, more enjoyable and after all business should be fun.

Just do it!