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Neil Brandt

I agree that culture has significant value in organizational function. From personal experience, I know that building a culture around environmental work in a non-profit setting is crucial for success. Especially in a campaign office, where the work is intense and taxing, fostering a collective passion for the impact of the work you do really helps to keep morale high and provide motivation for working hard.

I think your point about B Corps essentially requiring a company or organization to engage in some level of culture-building is well taken. I remember looking at Namaste Solar when vetting potential capstone partners, and they dedicate a fairly large section of their website to explaining company culture (it's also no coincidence that they're B Corp certified). I do think that it's important to go beyond claiming "fluffy" missions/visions/cultures with empty words, and actually doing the hard work required to build a cohesive culture that works for everyone. It definitely seems like an important part of success for organizations, B-Corp certified or not.

Andrew Cahill

Don't fret, I'm back on the comment train for your posts Carly! I strongly agree with Neil - think he hit the nail right on the head and wanted to join in on the convo. Organizational culture is especially important to younger generations (especially ours) and many organizations have begun to recognize that building a strong culture is key to recruiting talent to work there and encourages them to stay, which enhances productivity.

In terms of examples, Patagonia certainly comes to mind (another B-Corp), as I have heard a lot about their culture. For an assignment in our leadership class last fall, I interviewed Christian Anthony, the CEO of the company (ListenFirst Media) where my wife Meghan works. Anthony co-founded the company in 2011 and I asked him about the company's culture, which he stressed was very important, particularly in terms of building the culture in a new company. As CEO, Anthony stated that it was important to build a culture that features meritocracy and has a runway for growth, but noted that it should be a fun place to work as well. One of his challenges in scaling the company up from a start-up has been to maintain the culture that it started with and be a place where people stay and thrive.

Hopefully I'm not overstepping my bounds here, but I'd be curious to hear your view on the culture at B Lab itself. How adept are they at practicing what they preach and maintaining a strong culture?

Carly Snider

Thanks for the comments Neil and Andrew! It was great to hear your thoughts and examples on successful organizational culture.

To you question, Andrew, I think B Lab is improving the company culture significantly over the past year. With improvements in salary transparency, enhancing health/wellbeing and professional benefits, and creating an open door policy between employees and founders, they have successful working to 'walk their talk'. That being said, I do think there is a lot of room for further improvements in diversity and inclusion, career mapping, and salary/hourly rate (especially for interns/entry level positions). Great question!

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