Our Kinds has started the B Corp Certification process!

An interview with our B Consultant Sarita Johan! Our Kinds is getting ready for certification and we'd like to introduce you to the amazing woman helping us work towards it.

Felicity Smith

April 6, 2022

Sarita Johan is a business coach and transformation specialist with 30 years of corporate experience behind her. She is changing the way businesses operate by working with people to ensure they prosper in business and in life. Her holistic approach investigates the dynamics of business partnerships (romantic and non-romantic) and business within the community while also encapsulating the environment. One of the ways Sarita does this is by being a B Consultant.  

As a B Consultant, Sarita coaches and prepares businesses whose aim is to become B Corp certified. Businesses looking to help both the environment and the people around them. Businesses like Our Kinds.

B Corp is a business certification that is given to companies that:

• Demonstrate high social and environmental performance with a high B Impact assessment score.

• Make a legal commitment by changing or creating a governance structure to ensure accountability to stakeholders and shareholders.

• Exhibit transparency in their actions

For more information on B Corp certification visit their site here.

How long have you been a B Consultant?

A couple of years from the outside. I went to a talk, and I was like yep, that's what I'm really drawn to—but I didn't really know how to get involved because at that time I wasn't looking to become an actual B Corp. This opportunity came where they had such a big influx of people wanting to help and become B Consultants and there was an opening, and I was invited in because of my coaching experience. Last year was when I officially did the B Consultancy training.

For me, it's an extra layer that I can add onto my business that helps people. If they're interested and curious to transition to a different way of doing business as a force of good or they don't know how to do it, I can help them get ready for it.

It's about creating that alignment and providing that clarity of why are we actually doing this? Are we doing this to tick off an exercise, or are we doing it because we want to live this? There's a big difference between the two.

From your perspective, what is the main difference between the two?

There are organisations that know they need to do something, and they will do something, but they won’t embed it, or actively live it. Businesses may just see it as a marketing exercise they think "if we become a B Corp people will look at us differently". Becoming a B Corp certified company is a process, working through the 5 pillars (governance, workers, community, environment, customers) shows that you've got high standards of integrity. If you're able to run your business across within that framework and across those 5 pillars it holds quite a bit of weight. Then there are organisations that are completely wanting to live it. That's why we go in and ask questions. Like with Our Kinds it was so clear, there were no two ways about it that the entire organisation is already operating as a B Corp.

Is it hard to coach someone when they seem to be just 'going through the motions'?

As a consultant and as a coach I am selective of who I work with. I'm clear on what needs to be in alignment for me. If someone is doing it to just 'look good' it's hard, (in both B Consultant and regular coaching) I won't work with them if they don't want to do the work. I wouldn't put my name to that because the integrity of the work is super important to me. That's why I was drawn to B Corp it's one of their core ways of doing things—everything must be done with integrity.

How is team business coaching different to individual business coaching? Is there a difference?

Yes, there’s absolutely a difference between the two. So generally, the way I operate is that I work with the business owners first because they often hold the answers, so if the team is not functioning properly, it’s often not the team it’s the business owner or owners.  So, it’s important for me to understand where the pain points are and then to get them aligned so that when I work with the team there’s no disconnect. Because that’s the big thing with coaching, it’s not so much about coaching it’s about changing a certain behaviour or changing the way we do things. We need to allow the time to integrate and implement these changes. Change can be a seen as a challenge or as an opportunity. As we embark on the process of coaching it requires people shift some of their beliefs, behaviours, habits and/or mindsets These are often things that are on auto pilot.

I know one of the ways you approach your coaching is through using an assessment tool called ADVanced Innermetrix can you talk about that?

This Innermetrix ADVanced Insights Profile combines the best of three world-class profiles, authored by the Founder and CEO of Innermetrix, Jay Niblick.The Attribute Index measures how you think and make decisions. The Values Index measures your motivational style and drivers, and the DISC Index measures your preferred behavioural style. Together they create WHAT, WHY and HOW (i.e., what natural talents do you have, why are you motivated to use them and how do you prefer to use them.)

This level of self-awareness and discovery are the core to achieving peak performance in any role or endeavour, to ensure that you properly align what you do best with how you do it and why.

I was looking for something that I could give people that was tangible. I was creating great results, and people were doing amazing things, but I wanted them to be able to hold something in their hands. The assessment tool gives me an objective view as well as the team and the business owners. They can see what’s going on and can make predictions based on the results. Furthermore, it is a great opportunity to improve working relationships, communication and is a great tool when building teams. Every time I use it, people are blown away by the information that has been derived from the statements in the assessment.

What are the main elements you see businesses struggle with?

Look, I would say the main thing is a lack of clarity in terms of direction, purpose and communication. It sounds very cliché, but people need them all to keep the vision alive and continue to communicate it across the business. I do see that as an important part of not being as successful. If the message is not communicated clearly it trickles down the organisation, you lose the vision and it potentially creates misalignment.

In the Our Kinds coaching session, I noticed that the Founders were doing the same activities as everyone, and it made it feel so meaningful and intentional.

Both founders get you need to lead by example. They truly are wanting to do this work as a team, from the top down and bottom up. They understand that we need good people on the team, but we also need to allow for the development of those people. It’s not just so you guys can do a good job, it is the ripple effect that that creates. Because you will go out into your communities, and you will lead and live your lives in a certain way and then the people around you will feed off that. The impact you can make is humungous if we keep investigating those pain points and put things in place to help us all stay on track.

Sarita is a passionate business and personal coach. Sarita’s mission is to see people thrive in both business and life. If you would like to hear more of her fantastic insights, she hosts a podcast that can be found here.

Photo sourced from Alison McWhirter Photography. You can check out her amazing work out here.

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