Better Know a B: Sweetmans and Partners
Sweetmans and Partners’ purpose to develop professionals so that their non-technical skills are as strong, and as valued, as their technical skills. We caught up with Rosie Sweetman to find out more about the company.
Tell us a bit about the history of your company?
We launched Sweetmans and Partners in July this year. As a husband and wife team we’ve long discussed combining our skills to build a successful business that makes a positive difference. We’re both passionate about people and business development and have worked in, and with, professional services firms for over 30 years. The legal, financial and professional services sector is hugely important to our economy, particularly here in Wales. But the world is changing fast and the sector requires different skills, behaviours and values to respond and succeed. We setup Sweetmans and Partners to develop professionals for the benefit of themselves, the firm and wider society. We do this through a unique combination of training, coaching and brokering cross sector learning experiences.
Why did you become a B Corp?
We liked the simplicity of the B Corp message ‘Business as a Force for Good’, and the clear relationship made between commercial success and making a positive difference to people and planet. This balance is something we want to achieve as Sweetmans and Partners and B corp certification seemed a good way to embed this approach right from the start!
What excites you about being part of the global B Corporation movement?
It’s exciting to be part of a global movement that connects companies and individuals that share similar values and a commitment to commercial success for the benefit of all. Since the financial crises there’s been a growing perception that the needs of business and society have become misaligned. Business has a crucial role to play in addressing this perception and rebuilding trust in business as a force for good.
Can you tell us about the impact that your company is having in the world?
Our company is a tiny pebble in a huge pond but we plan to play a role in supporting and building a professional services workforce that has the skills, values and behaviours to lead and manage commercially successful firms that make a positive difference to society. We believe sustainable growth is underpinned by authentic values, clear purpose and strong relationships.
What benefits have you seen since certification?
We held a business planning session 2 days after we received certification – the timing proved a great way to ensure we sense checked our vision and objectives against our values and b corp commitment at all stages. We’re pending b corp status so we recognise we’ve still got lots of work to do!
How did your other staff react to the certification?
We are currently recruiting 3 associates and so far the response to our b corp status has been really positive! It’s certainly going to help us identify associates who are the right fit for us.
What has changed in your organisation as a result of taking the B Impact Assessment?
The assessment really drilled down into both strategic and operational considerations. We’re at an early stage so considering our impacts now will mean we’re stronger in the future. It helped us balance the short terms needs of our business with our longer term goals. In my previous role as Director of Business in the Community Cymru I’ve experience of working with hundreds of businesses to embed their responsible business commitment and I’ve seen first hand both the business and societal benefits.
What does the year ahead hold in store for your company?
The next 12 months is about growth. We have 3 key objectives:
- Winning work – our clients are ambitious, commercial firms who value their people. Our focus is building relationships and understanding their goals.
- Developing new products – we offer a unique combination of training (business and management skills), coaching (high performance and executive) and brokering cross sector learning experiences (we source relevant projects from ‘purpose-led’ businesses in order for our candidates to share their skills and embed their learning. It’s a great way to ensure mutual benefits for the individual, the purpose led partner, the firm and wider society.)
- Growing and embedding our associate pool – we’re looking for like minded individuals across the UK who have experience in the professional services sector and share our values and approach.
Who is your B Corp crush?
This is tricky! It’s got to be Patagonia for their relentless commitment to doing the right thing right from the start.
It’s 2020, 5 years since you certified as a B Corp, what does the movement look like?
We believe the movement will have grown significantly. Ideally it’ll have become truly mainstream with investors looking to B Corp status as a reassurance of quality determining shareholder and stakeholder value.
What is inspiring you at the moment?
Right now Daniel Pink’s 3 factors of motivation ‘Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose’ and ‘Clean Language’ coaching.