Measuring impact—ours and yours—as a B Corporation
Challenge Factory is a values-based organization. In the beginning, we focused on addressing the needs of an emerging market: older workers. Long before others realized the impact that demographic change would have on our workplaces, workforces, and labour markets, it took courage for us to stay focused and purposely never “chase the quick buck.”
“I really feel that the B Corp process reintroduced me to the organization I’ve worked hard to build. It may sound strange coming from a founder, but this process reminded me why I do what I do and added a solid framework to articulate not only our values, but also our impact. We’ve always strived to help purpose-driven organizations and underserved populations in our communities. Now we have the data to measure and show our impact.”
The work we do to shape the Future of Work requires a long view, often with a lot of effort up front before any guarantee of financial return. We’ve chosen not to bid on projects because they didn’t align with our values, or their goals wouldn’t actually serve the populations they claimed to serve. We’ve also chosen not to apply for funding that we could have easily received but felt it was better served going to other organizations.
Our focus has always been on advancing the body of knowledge that we’re creating about careers and work—aimed at long-term, systemic change.
For Challenge Factory, becoming a B Corp was a simple decision. It aligned with who we already are, held us accountable, and upped our game. The certification demonstrates that we meet rigorous standards of social impact and performance, like an ISO standard. It’s much more than a stamp of approval or a pat on the back. Maintaining our status continually challenges us to be the organization we want to be and to think about how we are impacting all our stakeholders, including the environment, our team, clients, and communities.
Becoming a B Corp is not easy. It’s time consuming, and applicants are subject to a rigorous evaluation process, requiring us to provide a lot of detail to prove our practices. Because we’re scored publicly, there is now objective evidence of our commitment to purpose-driven impact. We’ve made changes to our letters of incorporation that mean we can’t hide behind fiduciary obligation to make profitable decisions that harm communities, people, or the environment. We now have a legal duty to actively consider broader implications of what, where, why, and how we do the work we do.
The coolest part of becoming a B Corp was seeing the metrics in action and learning about the impact that Challenge Factory has on our communities. We’ve always known community matters to us. But the certification process confirmed that our greatest impact and results are realized when we work in support of purpose-driven organizations or underserved populations. In these projects, much of our work is behind the scenes and enables our clients to achieve remarkable success for their stakeholders. This matters to us.
As we move forward, our B Corp certification will ensure the values that have guided Challenge Factory’s growth through our first 10 years remain central to how we operate. It means we will stay focused on what matters, knowing that we don’t have to be the same as other research agencies or consultancies. We are thrilled to be a member of the B Corp community—and committed to impact metrics and thriving as a business that is a force for good.
Read our blog about how Challenge Factory’s work is being shaped by our B Corp certification. We filter this exciting chapter in our company’s evolution through the five drivers shaping the Future of Work.