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Last week, I moderated a discussion between a group of entrepreneurs from throughout Asia (Malaysia, China, Singapore, Philippines, etc.) and Chris Marquis, Cornell Business School professor, author of Better Business: How the B Corp Movement is Remaking Capitalism, and one of today’s leading authorities on social business.

Chris is known for engaging with businesses and strategists on how they can be more sustainable and act as leaders in social innovation. Becoming a certified B Corporation is a rigorous process in which companies design and reform their strategies to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. The B Corp movement is not only a path toward becoming more conscious of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns, it’s also gaining widespread appeal to customers, prospective employees, and investors.

We can summarize the 90-minute dialogue from last week’s discussion into six points. These are six reasons you should consider becoming a B Corp:

  1. You need a 360-degree view of your business. If your company is like most, today your metrics give you a sense of how you are performing on the financial side and, to a lesser extent, your employee engagement. But the B Corp assessment tool gives you tested, refined metrics around the other areas that increasingly matter as much or more: your environmental impact, fair employment, social impact, etc.
  2. You want to benchmark yourself globally. Not just against people in your immediate market, but against companies in your industry; not just against financial results but also against the other sets of metrics that matter (see point 1).
  3. You will deliver better results. It will be easier to track and retain employees, acquire customers, and access capital from the growing number of public and private impact investors.
  4. You will future-proof your business. We all know it’s coming. The sustainability of your business will increasingly depend on the sustainability of your business model in the world.
  5. You will connect with a global network of B Corps. These connections can become partners, distribution channels, and suppliers.
  6. And finally … it’s the right thing to do. 

To learn more about Chris and the B Corp movement, listen to our recent interview on the Outthinker podcast.

“8Ps” of StrategyOpportunity
for Disruption
Recommended Leverage Points
Position- The farmers, individual and corporate, that you are targeting.

- The need of the agricultural industry that you seek to fill.
3- What technologies do you control that can help you tap into market
segments that you previously thought unreachable?

- What are the potential business alliances you could think about with key players in the segment to serve your customers with integrated solutions? (Serving customers with more integrated solutions example: serving farmers with fertilizers, crop protection and other).
Product- The products you offer, and the characteristics that affect their value to customers.

- The technology you develop for producing those products.
8- What moves are your organization taking to implement Big Data and analytics to your operations? What IoT and blockchain applications can you use?

- What tools and technology could you utilize or develop to improve food quality, traceability, and

- How can you develop a more sustainable production model to accommodate constraints on arable

- What is the future business model needed to serve new differentiated products to your customers?
Promotion- How you connect with farmers and consumers across a variety of locations and industries.
- How to make consumers, producers, and other stakeholders aware of your products and services.
8- How are you connecting your product with individual and corporate farms who could utilize it?
- How could you anticipate market and customer needs to make customers interested in accessing your differentiated products?
PriceHow consumers and other members of the agricultural supply chain pay for access to agricultural products.7- What elements of value comprise your pricing? How do each of those elements satisfy the varying needs of your customers?
Placement- How food products reach consumers. How the technologies, data, and services reach stakeholders in the supply chain.9- What new paths might exist for helping consumers access the food they desire?
- How are you adapting your operations and supply chain to accommodate consumers’ desire for proximity to the food they eat?
- How could you anticipate customer expectation to make products more
accessible to customers/agile supply chain?
- Have you considered urbanization as a part of your growth strategy?
- How your food satisfies the needs and desires of your customer.
- How the services you provide to agribusiness fulfill their needs.
9- Where does your food rate on a taste, appearance, and freshness
- Could the services you provide to companies and farms in the agriculture industry be expanded to meet more needs?
- What senses does your food affect besides hunger? How does your
customer extract value from your food in addition to consumption?
Processes- Guiding your food production operations in a manner cognizant of social pressure.8- How can you manage the supply chain differently to improve traceability and reduce waste?
- How can you innovate systems in production, processing, storing, shipping, retailing, etc.?
- What are new capabilities to increase sustainability (impact on the environment, or ESG) components?
People- The choices you make regarding hiring, organizing, and incentivizing your people and your culture.- How are you leveraging the agricultural experience of your staff bottom-up to achieve your vision?
- How do you anticipate new organizational capabilities needed to perform your future strategy (innovation, exponential technologies needed, agile customer relationship, innovative supply chain)?
- How do you manage your talents to assure suitable development with exposure in the agrifood main challenges/allowing a more sustainable view of the opportunities/cross-sectors?