I’ve spent the last week reflecting on seasons and the inevitable changes they bring, changes which are often uncomfortable but always filled with opportunity. The relentless heat of summer makes way for the cooling colours of autumn, winter hibernation leads to the awakening and hope of spring. From my experience, the life of an organisation is no different, from the summer of a successful launch to the winter of a cashflow challenge. And, although it is Summer in Melbourne, in terms of the seasons of B Lab Australia and New Zealand, we are definitely approaching Spring!
As we’ve shared along the way, our journey over the past few years has not been an easy one. Following the launch years that were filled with anticipation and excitement, we have been faced with the tricky reality of running a small not for profit organisation (neatly summarised by the desire to do everything and the resources to do much less). We had to go back to basics: Why do we exist? What should we prioritise? How do we best carry it out? This work has been messy and often takes longer than we would like, but is essential when it comes to a building a solid foundation from which to grow.
And so, on behalf of the Board, I want to express deep gratitude for the work of our outgoing Executive Director Andrea De Almeida, who has given her all to leading the organisation through this wintery period. Hers has been a significant, often unseen, contribution and under her direction, the team have developed an organisational strategy, clarity around the business model and funding requirements, strong internal systems and last but not least, a nourishing and supportive team culture: a wonderful example of the components essential to building business as a force for good. Thank you Andrea, I know that this work will benefit us all.
And so as we move into the next season of opportunities that are ahead, let me share a few... In Australia and NZ, we are finalising an organisational strategy for the next three years. Underpinning this strategy are a number of initiatives which have been created with the help of many of the B Corps and include; a strategic marketing plan to build awareness about the certification and all of your work, an advocacy campaign to introduce Benefit Company, a Champions Retreat in the next year and excitingly, the growth of B Local - the tools for local B Corps to build the communities they want and need in their local communities. Further afield, as part of a global network, a lot of work is being done to create greater efficiency for the certification and more transparency in the network and, therefore, greater impact for all.
In order to allow us to implement these initiatives, we are embarking on recruitment, both for our new leader and for other team members. We also have clarity around our funding requirements and are looking for shared value partnerships with organisations similarly seeking systems change, both within the B Corp community and beyond.
To view the B Lab Australia & New Zealand Executive Director position description, click here. If anyone has recommendations for the role, please contact me directly.
See you soon,
Chair, B Lab Australia & New Zealand.