Planning to Be the Change

By Laura Huckabee-Jennings, CEO and  Andrew Jennings, CCO

2016 has been quite a year for us at Transcend―with two awards under our belt, an expanded team and a new office, it has certainly been exciting. But that’s not all. We were recently accepted into the family of B Corporations. Certified B Corporations® are leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good, but more on that in a moment. Let’s talk about planning.

First, how on earth did we get here? Well, those of you who know us well will realize it was not by accident. Every year, about this time, we spend time reflecting on how the past 12 months have been, and then planning our next 12 to 36 months at our strategic planning offsite. It’s this process of measuring, learning, visioning, planning, then executing, measuring and iterating our plan that produces an exciting year like 2016 for us. We refocus on our vision, our mission, our strategic goals, and reconnect with our purpose and our colleagues. We are fearless in acknowledging failures and mistakes, as well and we celebrate our successes and make sure we learn and build each year.

Planning for 2016

Planning to Be the Change When we developed our plan for 2016, we did not have becoming a Certified B Corporation as an objective. What we did decide during our strategic planning was to be a company that was focused on more than just transactional relationships that produced revenue. We wanted to positively impact the lives of the people with whom we worked. How? By building high performing organizations with cultures that deliver a work environment that creates joy and elicits the best work from every individual. We committed to continue our work in our community to build stronger leadership in every realm―from politics, to corporations to non-profits. We pledged to give back both money and services to people who do not have the means to hire us.

How We Became a B Corp™

This year, we have an even bigger reason to celebrate our purpose and recognize how far we have come. In becoming a B Corp, we answered hundreds of questions and submitted documentation to support our social & environmental commitment to transparency, accountability and social impact. The certification journey itself caused us to look at our processes and policies, our history, and how we manage our business to be a force for good. We added a few policies, like a supplier diversity policy and a bonus policy that includes all employees. We also beefed up our diversity training. We were already doing many of the things that helped us be certified, like sharing our financials openly with our team each month and giving paid time off for non-profit work in our community.  Also, many of our clients are public entities with a public or community mission―higher education, government or public power, for example.

Planning for 2017

So our 2017 strategic planning effort will include making sure that we stay true to our vision of developing people and organizations to their full potential, that we focus on development that changes lives (not just training to build skills), and that we actively seek client relationships with organizations that share our commitment to creating social good through business. By working on developing fearless self-aware leaders into extraordinary teams and learning organizations, we will be a catalyst for positive change. We will create cultures that develop people and businesses that grow and give back. [clickToTweet tweet=”We want to create cultures that develop people and businesses that grow and give back to their communities. ” quote=”We want to create cultures that develop people and businesses that grow and give back to their communities. “]

Being a B Corp is a strategic decision for Transcend that shapes our decisions and plans for the future. We hope that we will inspire other businesses and leaders to focus on being a force for good, starting with investing in development―of leaders, of people, of culture. How will you better define your strategic purpose and measure your impact? Let us know how we can help.

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