Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Method, Eileen Fisher, and Dr. Bronner’s are among over 3,000 certified B Corporations across 71 countries and 150 industries. This means they’ve made a commitment to providing jobs, products, and services with dignity and purpose. Behind Certified B Corporations is B Lab, the nonprofit that certifies and supports B Corps and the broader B Corp community. They’re called a “lab” because they run experiments, test hypotheses, and strive to make improvements that help their community. B Lab not only certifies companies, they produce events and content to support their community, and strive to be an example for the organizations they’re certifying.
Neha Ghosh, Marielle Martin, and Shani Tucker are three members of the team working to bring B Lab’s mission to life. Neha serves as the IT Admin, and Product and Tech lead, overseeing B Lab’s tools and technology ecosystem to help the organization operate more efficiently. Marielle is B Lab’s Events Planner, producing events for B Corp certified companies, internal teams, and companies interested in learning more about becoming certified. And Shani, the designer on the marketing team, manages creative and brand standards for the United States and Canada market.
When Neha joined B Lab, they noticed that teams were using multiple tools across the organization. Without a central place where team members could track work, nobody had an understanding of what was actually being done. As a result, workloads across teams weren’t balanced, employees were overloaded or frustrated, and processes were increasingly inefficient. For example, marketing campaigns took Shani weeks longer to produce assets for and Marielle’s team was unable to support more events. In their role as IT Admin, Neha decided that B Lab needed to simplify and adopt one central tool to manage their work.
When looking for a tool, Neha focused on three primary needs:
To select a tool, Neha and their team took a true lab-like approach: user-testing groups. After testing various products, the groups chose Asana because it provided multiple views, clear team structure, templates to streamline workflows, an online library of training resources, and special pricing for nonprofits.
B Lab created an entire mini-culture around adoption and rolling out Asana by developing several training sessions based on workflows and roles and identifying champions within each team to drive best practices. Coupled with videos and tutorials, champions at B Lab helped spread usage across the organization.
“The key to helping people see the value of Asana was finding integration points between the different tools they use—once they could link workflow-specific software to Asana, they just got it.”- Neha Ghosh, Customer Support and IT Admin - Product & Tech
For cross-functional projects like marketing launches, Shani’s team manages sprints and requests for the creative and marketing teams with Asana. This lets people see the status of work, understand cross-functional teams’ workloads, and submit their requests through various channels, like Slack or Google Forms. When they’re able to work on sprints more effectively together, marketing and design produce campaigns and brand creative faster.
“Using Asana to respond to requests helps me be completely transparent with cross-functional stakeholders about team bandwidth and deadlines.”- Shani Tucker, Graphic Designer
Managing a huge events calendar using Asana lets Marielle streamline her processes for all events using templates. It also provides visibility for cross-functional teams into which events Marielle and her team are producing and how much work they’re able to take on. In fact, using Asana has helped Marielle increase the number of events her team produces twelvefold, from one annual event to over twelve events now produced for employees, certified B Corps, and the community at large.
“We’ve gone from producing one annual event to having over twelve on our schedule throughout the year with Asana. It’s been exciting to increase our ability to support engagement with our certified corporations, community, and staff.”- Marielle Martin, Events Planner
Onboarding new hires using Asana allows Neha and the entire B Lab organization to help all employees get on the same page from the day they join the team. New hires feel more welcome, included, and using Asana provides them with an overall positive experience. For Neha and B Lab’s new hires, “the whole process feels more professional and polished with Asana,” they said.
As a nonprofit, B Lab is pulled in many directions and wants to solve a large range of problems. With Asana, they can better organize their thoughts, focus on the most leveraged work, and complete it efficiently. And with their 2020 goals in mind—to become a more inclusive, global organization—they’re set up to focus on the most important work they can do.
“Using Asana empowers us to focus on the big systems and broad strokes of change we want to impact—instead of trying to solve every tiny issue.”- Shani Tucker, Graphic Designer
Using Asana wall-to-wall has been crucial in helping Hack Reactor scale. As Hack Reactor CEO Tony Phillips puts it, ”We’ve cut our operations costs in half because we’re able to execute more efficiently with the processes we’ve set up in Asana.“ And as costs go down, the quality class experience—and the post graduation experience— goes up. Graduates from Hack Reactor are hired at a 98% rate.