Why did we become B Corp ?

What’s better than starting this new year in force by setting new goals? Even better when it comes to responsible goals that focus efforts on common well-being, creating a positive impact for employees, partners, the environment and social in general.

In this regard, we are proud to announce that Talsom has become the first technology consulting firm in Canada to join the B Corp community. Since doing the right thing is one of our core values, we now look forward to having a certified responsible mission that will allow the company to reconcile its desire for social impact success with a positive environmental footprint.

B Corp, what is this?
B Corp is a certification for companies that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. This certification was established by B Lab, a non-profit American organization, which aims to use the business world leadership to change practices and bring society to a new level in terms of social and environmental responsibility.

From a social perspective, the B Corp community strives to reduce inequality, reduce poverty, and create stronger communities and high-quality jobs. It puts forward good governance and transparency practices of companies. From an environmental level, community members are committed to putting in place concrete policies to meet the highest standards in this area. Their goal is to align the mission of companies with innovative corporate structures by ensuring a look at the policies and actions they undertake.

A new generation of responsible companies
The movement of corporate social responsibility has grown in recent years, so much that certifications of all kinds have emerged, sometimes leading to a lack of interest in the meaning of these.

Beyond being a responsible certification, B Corp brings together an international and global community of more than 2600 companies that follow strict and responsible behaviors to positively impact all stakeholders in their ecosystems. B Corp’s ripple effect using business power to address social and environmental problems is without a doubt the right way to lead sustainable change.

2655 certified companies  -150 industries – 60 countries

Why this drives us?

“This certification is the concrete result of what we want to embody through our mission; create a positive impact through people, technology and innovation. This is a recognition of the basic principles upon which Talsom is founded and it will guide the policies and procedures to be put in place in the coming years to ensure that Talsom becomes a model of the industry.”  – Olivier Laquinte, President of Talsom

For Talsom, the purpose of any organisations goes beyond the simple search for a profit. We believe that it is the responsibility of every company to ensure involvement beyond its daily activities. A monetary implication is always good, but we find the participative implication even more striking. An important aspect of Talsom’s business reality is not only meeting the needs of its customers, but also having a real social impact on communities and the environment. We are therefore seeking to go beyond the monetary contribution. What motivates us is to have a real impact with people and/or causes in need to improve our society. The members of the Talsom team adhere to these same values and constantly seek to make useful interventions.

“In a company like Talsom, which offers advice and therefore knowledge, we feel the need to be motivated by a cause, because we have the opportunity to create a positive impact, and to feel it. The idea behind all of this is to put all of our knowledge, skills and ways of working to help organizations and communities find solutions.” – Olivier Laquinte, President of Talsom

Becoming the first Canadian technology consulting firm to achieve the B Corp certification pushes us to surpass ourselves by adopting responsible and innovative behaviors. According to the B Lab, it is this competition to become the “best responsible” that will ensure that the business community becomes even better at sharing prosperity in a more sustainable way.

So, let’s not only be the best companies in the world, but better for the world. 

How to be certified B Corp?
This process does not happen in a few days and involves a lot of effort. It starts by making sure to meet the performance requirements that are quite demanding. It involves a global analysis of the company’s procedures and their impact on stakeholders (employees, customers, community, governance and environment). In case of non-compliance with corporate and legal requirements, work needs to be done on the redesign of these policies. The time spent on this process is well worth the work and allows you to obtain a global vision of your company, little update that is always beneficial.

Takeaways and lessons learned from the Design Thinking Jam

Weren’t able to attend the 2018 Design Thinking jam? We’ve got you covered – in this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the first of these events, as well as cover the state of affairs alongside the “L’Itinéraire” project.

Since last summer, Talsom’s innovation experts have been accompanying the community group throughout a comprehensive Design Thinking process in order to help the organization and its vendors come to terms with the reality of digital content consumption in the context of street ‘zine sales.

A human-scale ideation session
September 13th, 2018: The Faubourg Québec space was buzzing. The reality is that it’s uncommon to have a gathering of about 180 people underneath an overpass to host an outdoor Design Thinking workshop. An unusual venue, a sunny afternoon, and a strong desire to make a lasting, positive impact – all ingredients that help stimulate creative thinking. As the participants arrived and spread out across about thirty picnic tables, we got to work.

 design thinking jam takeaways

A space for unorthodox ideas

Following a detailed explanation by the event hosts coupled with a clear understanding of the worker and working environment, each team was assigned a design challenge for which they had to come up with solutions via a brainstorming session.

Identified beforehand by the project teams, these four design challenges are the results of initial research and observation conducted over the first months of the project:

  • How do we increase visibility, awareness and contributions for the L’Itinéraire organization?
  • How do we enable potential buyers to purchase L’Itinéraire products using a payment method other than cash?
  • How do we ensure that the interaction between the vendor and the public is memorable, pleasant and mutually beneficial for both parties involved?
  • How do we highlight the vendor’s best qualities through a more relevant and interesting product or service?

Quantity, broad thinking and an open mind were the keywords of the day – there aren’t any bad ideas. All told, over a thousand ideas were put to paper.

“Ideation is the funnest part of Design Thinking
– that’s when we let our craziest ideas out!” – Adil Mansouri, Tech Strategy & Innovation Consultant.

Once all the ideas are categorized, participants vote for their favourites. Out of this ideation step, every team has to narrow their choice down to one single idea in order to move forward.

Design Thinking Jam 2018 L'Itineraire Montreal

When an idea comes to life
What’s the next step after we’ve identified the right idea? We need to make it real. To accomplish this, the event participants were provided with boxes containing various tools and materials allowing them to craft a version of their idea. Each team then recorded their very own presentation of their prototype.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE VIDEO PRESENTATIONS

Following this step, known as the “imagination phase”, over 30 prototypes were developed by our participants.

“One of the interesting quirks of Design Thinking is how much deeper we dive than in what folks think of as traditional brainstorming when we’re facing a challenge. What each participant was able to accomplish within the span of 3 hours involved placing themselves in the skin of the organization’s workers, learning about their on-the-ground reality, helping find ideas and developing them.”
– Dany Jutras, Tech Strategy & Innovation Consultant.

design thinking Tech Strategy & Innovation

Three weeks later – where are we now?
Thanks to all the content coming out of the Design Thinking Jam, the team was able to collect considerable data to move the project forward. The team members learned a great deal about the organization’s workers and their environment. Furthermore, the team participated once again in a new ideation exercise based upon hundreds of ideas stemming from the last event. By adopting an iterative approach, the final proposed answer stands a greater chance of achieving success with the workers and the public.

“Upon review of all the ideas and prototypes, we chose the ones with the greatest feasbility and potential impact to push them even further. We then presented those to the team at L’itinéraire.”
– Valérie Dionne, Tech Strategy & Innovation Consultant.

Ideas are only brought to life when there’s work behind them. That’s why our teams evaluate the selected project for feasibility, impact and viability. Design Thinking considers potential solutions along a financial, social and technological axis.

Testing prototypes in the field
This past week, the team turned their focus on the next phase in Design Thinking: co-creation.

Coinciding with the release of the latest edition of L’Itinéraire magazine, our experts accompanied the vendors at the points of sale to test two carefully chosen payment options with the aid of prototypes and thorough testing, in order to determine various hypotheses for each potential solution.

Over the next two weeks, the team will continue to work with the public and with the vendors to not only validate the initial ideas which sprung out from the Design Thinking Jam, but also to foster additional innovation and potential solutions. Furthermore, L’Itinéraire can already begin envisioning what the ultimate idea will look like, a solution that has already been validated, tested and accepted by both the public and the vendors.


Live – or relive – the 2018 Design Thinking Jam experience?