Luko’s journey to scale its impact as it scales its size
At a fast pace growing business, how do you make sure it scales in positive social & environmental impact AS it scales in size? Furthermore, that this vision of being a #betterbusiness for the planet and people is shared across all teams and reflected among its culture?
This is no easy challenge since it requires doing things in another way, scaping the current logic of business as usual, making the positive impact a core performance result. One that grows in resonance with the business and not in spite of it.
In the following lines I will share how we are tackling this challenge, but be aware of what you are NOT going to find here! Which is a secret formula to generate positive impact or a perfect Business. That is simply because, being a better business is a daily exercise, embedded in the decisions and actions that a company takes. It is an ongoing effort and not a static form.
Let’s get started…
1º Step: Measure what matters
Assess the territory. How can you improve your positive social & environmental impact if you don’t even know what it is?
In the case of Luko, their B Corp certification played this part in a very robust way. The assessment used for the certification is a real deep dive in the higher standards of sustainability practices and policies that tackle a broad spectrum of topics — Governance, Community, Workers, Environment & Customers.
Luko got certified in 2019, but in 2020 we did a review of the whole assessment to understand what has changed internally. Measuring it yearly helped create a map of our impact, it answered questions like: Where we are now? What are we doing good? What are we lacking behind? And even gave us some hints on what we might want to do next.
This step created a map but the pilots and crew were still not fully there. To take the next steps there was a need to expand this conversation to the whole company in order to build a roadmap of impact that took into consideration how each and every area perceived Luko’s impact.
2º Step: Make Impact a company wide topic
To answer to this demand we needed to create a space where every Lukoom could play a part. Guaranteeing that this commitment to be a #betterbusiness is not isolated in an specific area or person, enhancing its resiliency and integration into the business model.
Creating a dedicated Luko’Day to talk about our business impact was the way we found to put this in place. Not an easy task on its own with a team of 100 people, and especially challenging in a full remote and vulnerable current context. Nevertheless, an extremely motivating challenge embraced by our Office Manager Anaïs and me. It took us more than a month for all the planning and training of facilitators, but finally on February 25 our event took place. Our main challenge for the day was:
How to engage the whole company for a full day to reflect upon our business impact as we co-create a shared vision for 2021?
Our day was divided in 4 main sessions:
We explored the global context of what is an impact driven business and how Luko was performing in the B Corp assessment methodology. The aim was to make sure everyone had an overview of where we were and the possibilities of what we can do. Setting the tone for the discussions of the day and bringing some inspiration.
For this part we divided the teams in mixed groups with one facilitator each. Responsible for guiding the construction of a Theory of Change, a framework used to create a logic for resolving complex societal issues among impact business, NGOs, Governmental projects etc. This framework allowed the groups to reflect and go deeper into what they perceived as the truly relevant contribution of Luko to our planet and the society.
The goal of this workshop was to bring reflections of the previous one closer to the reality of the business, in a way that the outcomes each group set to achieve could become a roadmap for action in 2021. Bringing the ideas as close as possible to practice.
To finish off our day we structured a series of games connected to the thematic of the day in order to strengthen the connections the groups created during the day while making them compete to get funding for their projects!
What a beautiful and intense day it was!
3º Step: From plans to action
The event reached its goal by engaging our teams to look at Luko and its operations from a different perspective, giving them the space to see how their work can be a motor for positive impact.
Nonetheless, it is just one more step in the journey. Going forward we compile all the roadmaps created, highlighting the synergies among them to present a coherent set of outcomes the company wants to collectively achieve. This leads to an internal Impact Dashboard that will measure our advancement in this agenda.
My main work now is to keep the fire burning animating the projects the team selected as a priority and keeping track of our development.
4º Step: Repeat
The process, but in a new cycle. After tracking our development the cycle of 2021 ends, but the process to become a better business continues. We will go back to measuring our overall company impact and understand how the projects we committed to reflected on our overall B Corp Score, especially since 2022 is the year of Luko’s recertification. With that we will have once again a map to point us the direction, and once again the challenge to make everyone a part of this journey!
Good luck to all of us creating this long-term path of Luko using its force for GOOD!