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What is the best way to form the project team?

How

The best way to do this is not for someone in leadership simply to allocate roles and responsibilities. Nor to default to giving the workers section to HR, the environment section to the sustainability team etc. The best way to do this is by invitation. Invite people to come forward, offer to be involved and suggest what part of the process and B Impact Assessment they'd like to contribute to. Then form a project team from those individuals. 

Ask senior members of the relevant departments (eg Head of HR) to then provide the necessary sponsorship so that when the project team requires data, they receive the help needed.

You will want someone to be the lead project manager a) to oversee the progress and b) to be Shoremount's primary point of contact.

Whether you have one person making the changes in the BIA or people editing their own sections is just a question of internal preference.

Why

Centrally or top-down allocated responsibility doesn't come anywhere near to engendering the level of commitment that allowing for personal choice does. Having people choose to be part of it by putting themselves forward ensures you have the best team available, regardless of what department or seniority they are from. Furthermore, it might become a challenge at some point and this is the commitment you will want at that point: they'll continue to show up and act.

This is a great opportunity to create a space for people to bring their whole selves to work. For example, you may have someone in logistics is who is passionate about butterflies and this is their chance to engage with how their company engages with environmental issues.

In a small business, distributing ownership like this may feel a little alien in terms of accountability but it's the essence of the movement, de-risks your business, increases employee engagement and reduces the exposure of the company to a single point of failure. Going forward, B Corp will also involve continuous improvement and recertification every three years so you will need other people to be familiar with how it all works. Not to mention the benefit of sharing the workload.

Question

What if not enough people come forward?

If not enough people come forward to be part of the team, before you jump into manually creating the team, take a moment to wonder why. Why don't people want to do this? Is there not the internal enthusiasm to become a B Corp? Do people think their line managers will frown on them volunteering for something outside of their daily roles? Have you not pulled them into a dialogue on why B Corp is a good idea? There is a reason why no one is putting up their hand. But don't just assume it's because people are too busy: people make time for the things they feel passionate about if they believe there is the honest scope to do so and that it won't be used against them.

Explore some of these questions as a leadership function and try, if you can, to get to the bottom of it. Whatever is holding back people here is almost certainly holding back people elsewhere: this failure to volunteer isn't just about B Corp.

Manually forming a team is not a last and worst resort. It's a perfectly acceptable way forward, i's just not the best way to do so. Given it is also what most people will expect, you won't send the culture backwards when you do it. Equally, you won't pull it forward in the same way.

Can we have some training for the project management team?

Definitely. Whether it's a single individual or a team of people, we thoroughly recommend they undertake some training with us on how to obtain the best use from the BIA. We recommend you do this as soon as your project team is formed, prior to them making too many inroads into the process of change.

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  1. John Featherby

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