Leadership we need

During the recent European B Corp Summit, we launched an experimental form of breakout session: using the power of collective intelligence to identify new forms of leadership. The kind of leadership that will allow adaptive and effective enterprises to address societal challenges. We turned words into action. Running a workshop with purpose-driven people energized us and allowed us to gain an insight into new best practices and ways of collaborating that shift the paradigm from from an ego-driven to an eco-driven system.

The general practice is to start any collaborative session with an ice-breaker to allow people to get comfortable and ready to engage; in this room and in the atmosphere of the B Corp Summit this was not necessary; the mood was one of active engagement recognizing the opportunity for our individual enterprises and for the wider B Movement that was offered to us.

We started by asking Christophe Barman, CEO of Loyco, to share his views on his leadership model (ownership structure, governance and organizational practices), strengthened by virtuous values where sport and openness are at the core of every action. But rather than giving a keynote, Christophe encouraged the group to address his need and that of many other virtuous leaders: identifying the best way to implement Open Book Management!

This led us to the start of the B-Learning a session where 40 people, representatives of B Corps of various sizes, sectors and countries, started to collectively share their issues, challenges and concerns.

It was a new experience for all the participants, also because this was a prototype4 Purpose Lab” academy workshop. A model that we are currently designing and constantly evolving. In this session, we received our first confirmation: individuals share the same understanding of the urgent needs to transform business as a force for good, they know intuitively how to collaborate..

The tools we used to explore the B leadership we all aim for included fish bowl, broken square and guiding Qs methodologies… then people started freely exchanging views and experiences.

The facilitating team was composed of Keen Bull co-founders, Tizianno Luccarelli and Massimo Curatella, and myself. We didn’t really need to give guidance or drive topics, the energy and drive in that room made that redundant. I therefore had the opportunity to observe, listen and a participating from time to time but definitely being inspired.


We obtained a list of challenges and contextualized issues that participants face today to move forward an inclusive economy and impact driven business. Aligned on the Benefit Impact Assessment categories, we have summarized hereafter the high level outcome of the brainstorming:

Top Highlighted Actions & topics


Generate internal consultative clusters of experts on specific topics based on actual knowledge and not on roles and hierarchy.


Increase the transparency of the information and communicate it with a comprehensive, participatory and transparency approach between the various stakeholders and shareholders.


Develop manufacturing processes designed to last longer using the power of circular economy and move from the “use-just-once consumer behaviour” to get to a functional recycling and reusing model.




Improve workarounds to collaborate with local people and resources: focus on local energies and raw materials for production, empower people with appropriate training and educational programs.

Offer to businesses a framework to measure the relation between what it puts into the community and what it gets back, using the Benefit Impact Assessment (BIA) as a starting point.

Build bridges with Venture Philanthropist to share and develop model similar as the purpose-driven business to have a more measurable impact.


Run a gap analysis to adopt SDG (UN Sustainable Development Goals) as a starting point to create business models that fully embed impact-driven models on people, health and the environment.


What’s Next?

After sharing the ”4 Purpose Lab” session feedback to Europe’s 170 Certified BCorps in plenum, we got a lot of requests to setup a B-Learning session in different regions. Today, we are already planning to run a half-day session in Amsterdam and Zurich by the end of the year. Stay tuned it’s underway.

What are the expectations of this project?

We would build a B-Knowledge catalog of practices and methodologies to make collaboration efficient everywhere by convening B Corp people, but also a wider eco-system of representatives with Next Gen students, aspiring to become B Corps and non-profit organizations to make the ”4 Purpose Lab” Academy a human-centered life experience.

We need to humanize business the way it was centuries ago and use the power of collaboration as a catalyst for the building of a powerful ecosystem that accelerates the inclusive and regenerative economy.

Author: Jonathan Normand, Founder & CEO CODETHIC

22.07.2016 – feedback from ”The leadership we need” breakout-session during BCorp EU summit 2016 in Rome.


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