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Honoring Wisconsin’s Best for the World™

Vista Global is among a group of 17 Wisconsin certified B Corps committed to being a force for good in the world. We have also been recognized as a 2022 “Best for the World” company in the Customer Category. 

The “Best For The World” designation is given to B Corps that score in the top 5% of their size category from more than 5,000 Certified B Corporations from 83 countries. We’re honored to have received this designation for 5 consecutive years.

Congratulations, Wisconsin’s Best for the World honorees!

Five certified B Corps in Wisconsin achieved “Best for the World” status in 2022. Companies are honored in the following categories of the B Impact Assessment: Community, Customers, Governance, Environment, and Workers. 

The Honorees

Vista Global Coaching & Consulting – Best for Customers

 

ZYN – Best for Community

 

Riverwater Partners Best for Customers

 

Envest Microfinance Best for Governance

 

Cream City Conservation & Consulting Best for Workers

Learn more about the Best for the World™ designation and find other B Corp honorees here.

Honoring Wisconsin’s Best for the World™

Vista Global is among a group of 17 Wisconsin certified B Corps committed to being a force for good in the world. We have also been recognized as a 2022 “Best for the World” company in the Customer Category. 

The “Best For The World” designation is given to B Corps that score in the top 5% of their size category from more than 5,000 Certified B Corporations from 83 countries. We’re honored to have received this designation for 5 consecutive years.

Congratulations, Wisconsin’s Best for the World honorees!

Five certified B Corps in Wisconsin achieved “Best for the World” status in 2022. Companies are honored in the following categories of the B Impact Assessment: Community, Customers, Governance, Environment, and Workers. 

The Honorees

Vista Global Coaching & Consulting – Best for Customers

 

ZYN – Best for Community

 

Riverwater Partners Best for Customers

 

Envest Microfinance Best for Governance

 

Cream City Conservation & Consulting Best for Workers

Learn more about the Best for the World™ designation and find other B Corp honorees here.

A Decade of B Corp Certification: Being a Business for Good

For the last 10 years, Vista Global has been a Certified B Corp, making us the longest certified B Corp in the state of Wisconsin. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. This third-party certification legally requires businesses to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, governance, community, and the environment.

In order to achieve certification, a company must complete an Impact Assessment where they are evaluated based on the five categories. The assessment is tailored to different industries and sizes of business. A minimum score of 80 points must be achieved for certification. 

Since our first certification in 2012, Vista Global has been dedicated to using business as a force for positive change in the world. I am proud to announce that Vista Global just completed its 4th recertification and received our highest score yet of 145.3 points! How have we been able to continuously grow our impact over the last 10 years? Below is a breakdown of our current score and how we got there. 

Community – 67 points

The Community category evaluates a company’s engagement with and impact on the communities in which it operates, hires from, and sources from. Topics include diversity, equity & inclusion, economic impact, civic engagement, charitable giving, and supply chain management. In addition, this section recognizes business models that are designed to address specific community-oriented problems, such as poverty alleviation through fair trade sourcing or distribution via microenterprises, producer cooperative models, locally-focused economic development, and formal charitable giving commitments.

Community is Vista Global’s highest-scoring category. From the beginning, our business model has been centered around supporting the local community. We do this by offering pro-bono services, by volunteering on nonprofit boards, and through monetary donations. 

Customers – 57.7 points

The Customers category evaluates a company’s stewardship of its customers through the quality of its products and services, ethical marketing, data privacy and security, and feedback channels. In addition, this section recognizes products or services that are designed to address a particular social problem for or through its customers, such as health or educational products, arts & media products, serving underserved customers/clients, and services that improve the social impact of other businesses or organizations.

Customers is our second-highest scoring category. The coaching and consulting services we provide to our customers are specifically designed to improve education and support underserved populations. We’re honored to have received the “Best for the World” nomination in the Customers category the last 4 years. 

Governance – 13.1 points

The Governance category evaluates a company’s overall mission, engagement around its social/environmental impact, ethics, and transparency. This section also evaluates the ability of a company to protect its mission and formally consider stakeholders in decision-making through their corporate structure (e.g. benefit corporation) or corporate governing documents.

From the beginning, Vista Global has adopted a legal framework that is intentionally designed to create a specific positive outcome for all of its stakeholders. 

Environment – 7.3 points

The Environment category evaluates a company’s overall environmental management practices as well as its impact on the air, climate, water, land, and biodiversity. This includes the direct impact of a company’s operations and, when applicable, its supply chain and distribution channels. This section also recognizes companies with environmentally innovative production processes and those that sell products or services that have a positive environmental impact. Some examples might include products and services that create renewable energy, reduce consumption or waste, conserve land or wildlife, provide less toxic alternatives to the market, or educate people about environmental problems.

Vista Global operates in a virtual office, which in turn reduces our negative impact on the environment. We have also adopted policies that prioritize supporting environmentally conscious suppliers. 

To learn more, visit our B Corp Profile.

Finding Our Way from Distrust to Connection

In the wake of multiple acts of excessive violence against humanity, including the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I know I am navigating the feelings of despair, hopelessness, fear, and emotional numbness.  

All of this is on top of more than two years of the pandemic. How do we find our way out of such darkness?

Over these past two years, I have relied on my training in Conversational Intelligence® to guide me and clients toward conversations that move from distrust to connection. 

I think about the wisdom of Judith E. Glaser, mother of Conversational Intelligence®  who sadly departed the physical world in November 2018. What would she be offering us at this time? 

Her work is based on decades of research on the neuroscience of conversation. 

“To get to our next level of greatness depends on the quality of our culture, which depends on the quality of our relationships, which depends on the quality of our conversations. Everything happens through conversations.”

Our brain is wired to determine whether the information we receive makes us feel like we are “In or Out” of a social group. In .07 seconds our amygdala makes this determination and either pumps cortisol to position ourselves for survival OR pumps oxytocin and moves us to a state of safety and connection.

 I came across this article written by Judith in 2017, offering a few steps to move from dis-ease to ease through connection.

      • Invite to connect: If you are sensing a disconnect, move toward the other person. How can you move toward them without stress to activate positive energies?
      • Mind-and Heart-Map: The heart connection is vital for relationships. It is the gateway of your emotions. If you feel excluded, judged or rejected, your neurochemistry changes. You will see reality as unfair, harsh, and critical. Conversely, when you feel included, you see reality with possibility and optimism. You look for good things to happen. When you reach out to connect, you are remapping your mind-heart connection.
      • Conversational Agility: When you sense you are moving toward stress and distrust, you can use the tools of Reframe, Refocus and Redirect to move toward a mindset of connection. Reframing takes a difficult situation and turns it into an opportunity. Moving from what was lost to what did you learn from that loss?  Refocusing allows you to move from a place of being stuck to a larger topic where there may be connections you had not seen before. Redirecting moves you from a place of being stuck to a place of new possibilities.

It only takes .07 seconds to move in either direction. With awareness and practice, you can move toward positivity and optimism. To learn more about the tools of Conversational Agility, check out this blog post or listen to this episode of Minutes with Mary.

What it Takes to be a Solopreneur: Know your Strengths

When I started my company in 2011, it was not because I had a grand vision of starting a company. It was because I wanted to continue doing what I loved doing for the previous four years in a new location.  

I would call myself an “accidental entrepreneur”. I had been working at a national management consulting firm supporting nonprofits and foundations and I decided to move to give a long-distance relationship a chance. A bold move but I knew in my heart, it was the right decision for my overall happiness.  

When the firm said that they weren’t interested in keeping me on, based in a different location, I made what I thought at the time was the most rational decision. Keep doing what I was doing under my own shingle. And Vista Global was launched. 

I was fortunate to have had the experience growing up in a family business, understanding what is required to keep operations running smoothly. I also learned a lot by being a Senior Associate in a small firm, learning what is required to bring in business, write proposals, manage projects and keep clients happy. 

In addition, I possessed the natural talents to get things done! I learned this through taking the CliftonStrengths assessment. The CliftonStrengths assessment has been used by more than 27 million people globally to identify natural talents. It provides a deep understanding of 34 themes of your natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving in four domains:

      • Executing: Help you make things happen
      • Influencing: Help you take charge, speak up and make sure others are heard
      • Relationship Building: Help you build strong relationships that hold teams together
      • Strategic Thinking: Help you absorb and analyze information that informs better decisions

I took the CliftonStrengths assessment in 2012 and learned that 5 of my top 10 themes were in the Executing domain. How does that relate to being a solopreneur?

When you start your own business, you do everything – business development, service delivery, project management, bookkeeping, administration, marketing. Unless you have start-up capital, you are bootstrapping until you can generate enough capital to contract for support services.  

Understanding where you have natural talents and where you may need additional support is important to set yourself up for success. 

If you have thought about starting your business and aren’t sure whether it is the right path for you, I would love to connect. After celebrating Vista Global’s 10 year anniversary, I know it was the right path for me. But it isn’t necessarily the right path for everyone. 

To hear more about my journey as a solopreneur, listen to this episode of Minutes With Mary.

The Great Re-evaluation as an Annual Practice

Earlier in my career, prior to starting my own business, I had a fantastic mentor/sponsor, Aaron S. Williams who shared with me his annual year-end practice of reflection to prepare for the next year of career development.  He asked himself five questions to help determine if it was time to make a change: 

    1. Am I learning at my job?
    2. Am I making a difference?
    3. Do I like the people I work with?
    4. Am I having fun?
    5. Does this current job continue to contribute to my long-term goals?

If the answer to any of these questions was “no”, he knew it was time to make a change. In addition, he shared the practice that you should always be looking for your next opportunity. Not to mean that you shouldn’t be content in your current role but to mean that you never know when your talents could be maximized in a new way.

This approach to integrating work into life has stayed with me for more than 20 years. It supported my path to make job changes and career changes. It led me to start my own business and become a certified coach. 

Arianna Huffington wrote a recent post on Life-Work integration, highlighting that what is really at the heart of the “Great Resignation” is a “Great Re-evaluation”. The pandemic has been a jolt to the previously unquestioned construct of work driving our lives in the United States. 

We see the negative consequences of this drive to work excessively in poor health indicators, including burnout and mental health crises. Half of the American Workforce report that the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health.  April is Stress Awareness Month, dedicated to raising awareness of the impact stress has on our lives and ways to manage it.

It doesn’t have to be this way. In Europe, there are significant differences in the relationship between work life and personal life. Europeans do not attach their sense of purpose as strongly to work as do Americans and are said to be happier, healthier and more productive. 

One unexpected result of the pandemic is that it has challenged assumptions about the role work plays in our lives. The pandemic forced us to blur work life and personal life through working from home, which allowed us to see that we could have more flexibility in managing our productivity. It gave us back those hours of commute time to use as we choose. It may have also raised our awareness on how happy we were in our current job because the added stress of the pandemic forced us to pause and re-evaluate all aspects of our lives.

As a coach, I support many leaders who are at a crossroad asking themselves, “What next? I know what I am doing right now isn’t right but I don’t know what to do.” Throughout the pandemic, I have supported leaders in their “Great Re-evaluation” to move toward life-work integration.

If any of these questions are surfacing right now, you are among millions. Let’s connect to chart a path to life-work integration that allows you to say yes to those five questions!

To learn more about the career journey of Aaron S. Williams, check out his recently published book, “A Life UnImagined: The Rewards of Mission-Driven Service in the Peace Corps and Beyond”.

What Can Stop the Great Resignation? Answer: Focus on women-friendly practices and purpose

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th, I wanted to call attention to the crisis being experienced by women in the workforce as a consequence of the pandemic. 

Since the pandemic started more than two years ago, we have seen the global workforce change in ways we couldn’t imagine. Many experts believe that hybrid work is here to stay and we have seen the highest resignation numbers in U.S. history. The current workforce wants more than a paycheck. This is as much an economic issue as a social issue.

We have been hearing about the Great Resignation but there is little reported on the extreme impact it is having on women. The pandemic has exacerbated existing stressors, as mostly women took on additional childcare and family responsibilities while maintaining full-time work, now working from home.  According to the U.S. Labor Department, nationally more than 2.5 million women left the workforce during the first year of the pandemic, compared to 1.8 million men. Women have returned to the workforce at a slower rate than men. According to the Center for American Progress, in an October 2020 report, if moms do not come back into the workforce, it will cost our country $64.5 billion. 

It doesn’t appear that they are coming back yet, with employment numbers continuing to plummet. In March 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 10 million mothers living with their school-age children in the United States were not actively working.

In a December 2021 report published by Milwaukee-based Kane Communications Group assessing the state of Working Women in Wisconsin, they found that employers that attract today’s working women offer benefits such as paid parental leave, family-supporting programs and flexible work schedules. Beyond flexibility, 88% of the women polled said they wanted to work for companies that are purpose-driven in addition to producing high-quality products and services.

In a December 2021 national report called, Surviving Pandemic Motherhood there were five key recommendations that employers can do to attract and retain working moms.

What must employers do to stop this workforce crisis? 

    1. Provide increased opportunities for remote work and flexible schedules
    2. Create workplace culture that supports working parents
    3. Offer childcare subsidies and/or work-based childcare solutions
    4. Provide resources to support mental health
    5. Ensure equitable opportunities for advancement combat workforce discrimination against mothers

What is your company doing to create an organizational culture that supports working women? We can and must turn the Great Resignation into the Great Transformation of the workplace.