The Great Game of Business Blog

Sign up to receive our blog posts conveniently in your email box

Operating with Purpose: How The Great Game of Business and B Corp Benefit Employees

Operating With Purpose (2)

The pandemic has caused many people to stop and reflect on what really matters to them, resulting in what some have called The Great Resignation or the Great Reshuffle. This has had a huge impact on businesses — now dealing with higher than usual turnover. Recent studies by McKinsey & Company and Gartner show that the majority of employees – especially younger generations — are seeking greater purpose at work. And when they find that greater purpose, they are happier, more productive, more engaged, and more likely to stay. The McKinsey study also found that employees are five times more likely to remain at a company that regularly reflects on its impact on the world.

<< Get one-on-one help implementing The Great Game of Business in your company when you hire a business coach. >>

Companies playing The Great Game of Business take transparency to a new level by creating an operating system that enables employees to understand the business, make better decisions day to day, share their great ideas for improvements, and prosper together through a bonus payout system. This is a huge draw for new employees seeking purpose. But why not take it a step further?

B Corp certification is a rigorous third-party certification conducted by the nonprofit B Lab that affirms the company's accountability and commitment to all stakeholders, including customers, employees, the community, and the environment. Companies across the world of all different sizes, stages, and industries pursue B Corp certification. Their one unifying goal is to use business for good and to be transparent about social and environmental impacts. There are currently 5,080 certified B Corps in 80 countries representing 115 industries.

B Corp Stats

Why would a company pursue B Corp Certification? Companies like mine, Broughton Consulting, want to be part of a community of businesses constantly striving for improvement. We learn from each other and challenge each other to adopt new and better practices. B Corporations often prefer to do business with other B Corporations, as we know we will be aligned in what we value. I'm currently the only Great Game of Business Certified Coach with a B Corporation Certified business. So that has been helpful for several of my B Corp certified clients, including The Black Sheep Agency and Counter Culture Coffee.


Customers and consumers also increasingly value businesses with demonstrated good practices, and employees are drawn to companies that regularly articulate their higher purpose and positive impacts.

How does a company become B Corp certified? The first step is to conduct the B Impact Assessment to determine where your company stands in regards to best practices in Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. The assessment will ask different questions based on your industry and number of employees. The B Lab team will help guide you and will ultimately audit your assessment. Companies playing The Great Game of Business have an advantage in seeking B Corp certification and will score well in the Workers category. The baseline for B Corp certification is 80 points, which are hard-earned!

Broughton Consulting recently achieved its 3-year recertification at 82.9 points. Because we are a service business, we have less impact on the environment, so we focus on other ways we can make a difference. Our biggest impact is on customers (mostly frontline workers at Great Game™ companies). On the other hand, newer B Corp, Counter Culture Coffee, has the opportunity to focus on their environmental impact. They have a strong commitment to ethical sourcing of their coffee and score very high on Community. Counter Culture embraced The Great Game of Business as a way to become more transparent and promote understanding and ownership at every level of their company.

The clear structure and roadmaps of both Great Game of Business implementation and B Corp certification are appealing to both Diego Castro, Counter Culture's Technical Services Manager, and Bryan Duggan, Counter Culture's Director of Sales Operations. "For me, it comes down to just how tangible the steps become," says Castro. "It's great to have an overarching purpose in using business for good, but B Corp and The Great Game of Business add structure and areas of focus. Sharing financials, implementing charters for the B Teams – that's not structure we would have found on our own."

"It's refreshing for me because it takes the guessing game out," adds Duggan. "B Corp certification doesn't allow you to chase trends or not be genuine – you have to take next steps that are internationally vetted and recognized." He appreciates the opportunities Counter Culture provides for employees to pursue goals and shared values. "You can go to any business and put your head down and work, but here, employees are charting the path towards things like financial literacy and waste reduction."

pull quote

B Corporations are deeply involved in their local communities and goals around volunteer work. They screen their vendors and suppliers for good practices and look to minimize their environmental impacts. They are committed to JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion). There are many resources available in the B Corp community to help businesses improve in every way — most of which wouldn't be accessible to the average employee in a non-B Corp environment, says Elizabeth Stillwell, Counter Culture's Vice President of People and Culture.

"For me it is about community and engagement, since both The Great Game of Business and B Corp allow our team members to crowdsource and share ideas," says Stillwell. "They allow access to research, resources and connections that otherwise would be hard to reach for the individual contributor in our company. This increases stakeholder involvement in our organizational goals related to social, fiscal and environmental sustainability and supports our effort to be a learning organization."

It's not easy to qualify for B Corp certification (or recertification), but it can be very rewarding to be part of an international community committed to continuous improvement and using business as a force for good. Since employees increasingly value being part of a business that is committed to a higher purpose, Great Game™ practitioners might consider whether or not B Corp certification is a good fit as they seek to attract and retain their workforce. It has been very beneficial for Broughton Consulting, and we look forward to being part of both The Great Game of Business and B Corp communities for years to come.


Looking to start implementing The Great Game of Business? See if a Great Game of Business Certified Coach is right for you.

See if a business coach is right for you (1)



Other articles you might like: 


Topics: Open-Book Management, Employee Recruitment and Retention, Benefits, B Corp

Anne-Claire Broughton

Anne-Claire Broughton is Principal of Broughton Consulting, LLC, a firm which helps organizations engage employees at all levels for business success through open-book management, employee ownership, and healthy organizational cultures. Broughton is active in educating retiring business owners about the possibility of exiting via an ESOP or co-op. Publications include The Hitachi Foundation's Human Capital Advantage: A Curriculum for Early Stage Ventures, The Hitachi Foundation’s Business Action Guides to Innovative Employee Engagement Strategies, Employees Matter: Maximizing Company Value Through Workforce Engagement, and Embracing Open-Book Management to Fuel Employee Engagement and Corporate Sustainability. Broughton previously spent more than 13 years advising early stage business as co-founder and senior director of SJF Institute (a business accelerator affiliated with SJF Ventures and Investors Circle). She brings all of her unique experience with her into her role as business coach at The Great Game of Business.

More than 376,500 Times the GGOB Blog Has Been a Trusted Source for Information on OBM

Lists by Topic

see all

About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.