Originally published at: https://bcorporation.com.au/blog/new-bcorp-the-lab/
Founded in 2006, The Lab is an independent cultural insights and strategy agency. Their team of curious and creative minds are scattered throughout the country, with home bases in Melbourne/Naarm, Sydney/Warrane, and Brisbane/Meeanjin.
The Lab combines the powerful forces of cultural insight, behavioural science, and technology to gain a deeper understanding of us humans. They help brands create powerful strategies, by cultivating a deep understanding of our rapidly changing society. Basically, when brands wonder, “What truly matters to our customers today and what will matter to them tomorrow!?” The Lab is there to seek out the answer.
The Lab collaborates with Australian organisations across a range of industries including business from the not-for-profit and NGO sectors. Their enduring ‘Australia Project’ continuously provides valuable insights into what makes us, ‘us’. This study has been the springboard for research like ‘Forces for Good’ – a look into how local consumers perceive “good” and how businesses can use this information to build better brands.
As professionals in all things people and culture, it’s not surprising that The Lab places a strong emphasis on creating an authentic, human-centered, and well-being-oriented workplace where inclusivity and diversity are at the core. They have completed their Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan and have also worked collaboratively with their team to develop a progressive wellness program that caters to individual needs.
To celebrate their recent certification, we chatted to The Lab about their multidisciplinary approach to unlocking understanding, cultivating meaningful workplace connections, and embracing the B Impact Assessment journey.
Image: The Lab
Can you tell us a little about what The Lab does?
The Lab is an independent insight and strategy agency. Our hope is to be the world’s most creative human understanding practice – where ambitious brands come to make brilliant leaps.
We work at the intersection of cultural insight, behavioural science, data and disruptive tech, enabling brands to cultivate a deep human-centred understanding of our rapidly changing society and translate this into powerful strategies and customer experiences that drive positive behaviour change.
It’s clear you love people at The Lab – your business is about understanding people after all! Why was it important to you to pursue B Corp Certification as a mark of your commitment to people and the planet too?
We are proud to be an independent, purpose driven, values-based company. We’ve had a longstanding commitment toward prioritising the wellbeing of our people, our place, and the planet. We acknowledge our duty to play a positive and proactive role in cultivating a society that is more equitable, open minded and sustainable.
We wanted to become a Certified B Corporation to formalise our ongoing commitment toward broader positive environmental and social impact.
We also really wanted to be part of a community of businesses that share these same values so that we can support and inspire each other to continue to do better.
What are some areas of impact at The Lab you are most proud of?
The B Impact Assessment (BIA) process prompted us to really think about the things that matter most to us. It helped inform and guide the areas where we could have the most impact, as well as opportunities for growth.
Prioritising the wellbeing of our team has always been an intrinsic part of The Lab’s DNA, but one of the biggest leaps we made during this process was reimagining our wellness program.
We wanted to co-create a program that honours the different preferences and needs of each individual within our team. Taking inspiration from the company’s core values, our whole team worked together to collaboratively develop a wellness program centred around the pillars of ‘our heart’, ‘our mind’ and ‘our tribe’ and ‘our place’.
This process culminated in our first annual Lab Luminosity event, a three-day collection of curated experiences for our whole team, designed to inspire, expand thinking and foster a sense of connection.
We launched our ‘LabFlex’ program to provide our team with various initiatives to promote rest and balance. We are now a fully flexible (not hybrid) workplace, which allows our team to work at the time and place that suits them best. We also offer an additional six paid long weekends annually and four quarterly balance leave days throughout the year.
We also took steps forward with our enhanced Parental Leave policy. Designed to promote a greater level of inclusivity and equality, we now proudly offer up to 16 weeks paid parental leave with a primary carer switch option.
Image: The Lab
Some of your research, such as the ‘Forces For Good’ report, are based around making insights surrounding ‘good’ business practice easily accessible. What do you hope businesses will take from this, and what do you hope to see become the ‘norm’ for future business practice?
We really believe that business can be used as a force for good. We hope that we can use our voice and spheres of influence to encourage more businesses to join the B Corp community and commit to the triple bottom line, where it becomes the norm to not just prioritise financial success but social and environmental impact as well.
Having just gone through the certification process, do you have any tips for aspiring B Corps?
The BIA framework is such a valuable tool. Use it to identify the specific areas of focus for your business, as well as opportunities for improvement.
Get organised, engage leadership early in the process and assemble a team. Becoming a B Corporation is a collective effort that requires contribution from many different parts of the business.
Tap into the knowledge of other B Corps and B Lab. There are so many incredible resources out there to help inspire and guide the process.
Finally, make sure that you embrace the journey. While certification is a process that requires patience and perseverance, don’t forget to constantly reflect on the valuable learnings that you make throughout the process. Official certification is an incredible milestone, but the progress you make along the way is just as important.
A big thank you to The Lab for taking the time to share its journey with us. To find out more and explore their offering visit: thelabstrategy.com