This time of year marks the wrapping up of one set of accounts and commencement of a new set. It's a time when we reflect and report on the activities and progress made over the previous 12 months. A time where historically, the focus on the end of financial year may weigh more heavily on the health of the balance sheet than valuable non-financial outcomes.
Upon reflecting over the past 12-18 months, we might find ourselves asking new questions. Questions like:
- How has the pandemic given us a different perspective?
- Has the greater noise around climate change and social movements started to weigh in?
- Has our experience in survival mode caused a reshuffling of priorities?
So what might annual reports look like this year? We all know the realities we’ve endured throughout the year so does this time also mark the opportunity to transition to more upfront and transparent reporting?
If so, what are the metrics and/or indicators? What value is your organisation truly delivering?
Preparing such a report may take some different thinking to connect with your stakeholders and community.
Traditional metrics are often about quantitative achievements for the investment made however perhaps there's opportunity to increasingly consider more qualitative achievements?
In asking a few new questions, you may find you can gain different insights to those previously. At the very least, this year's reporting process allows the chance to review value delivery in a different light.
After the year that's been, there will be plans that weren't delivered. Whilst it may be hard to admit, it's part of the reality! Value may be down and more could have been achieved but in terms of non-financial benefits, is it case of 'something is better than nothing'?
If ever there’s been a time to crack the transparency nut, perhaps now is it? This approach may feel uncomfortable but you may be surprised at the response from your community. You may even receive open arms in support of your efforts and openness!