Go beyond financial reporting this year

by | Dec 15, 2020 | Company, Industry

Money has been the greatest signal for success in business for decades. You earn money, you invest in capital, you make more money… and the cycle continues. The results of the multiplier effect ensured that the rest of the world feels the benefits too. Market economies have lifted billions of people out of poverty, enhanced personal opportunity, and increased life expectancy and security across the globe. For decades, where businesses made money, so did employees – and society flourished.

However recently, economic and social progress have become increasingly misaligned. Socio-economic inequality is growing; our race to make money has turned into a race against climate change; diversity continues to be an afterthought; technological disruption is creating job insecurity; and this is underpinned by the devastating social impact of Covid-19 in spite of market giants continuing to thrive.

This is no revelation, but it struck us when Robert E. Moritz, Global Chairman of PwC penned a piece for the World Economic Forum. Released on Friday 4 December, ‘It’s time to change how we measure what makes a business successful’ feels like a groundbreaking clarification that money can no longer be the sole metric of success.

He states:
…the dominant conception of value is still too often purely financial, and too often short term. As a result, capital is not flowing at sufficient scale or speed towards addressing the biggest challenges the world faces.

Moritz argues leaders must redress what it is that they really value. And this year is evidence of that. Many of the world’s biggest brands haven’t succeeded financially and end of year reports may feel woeful – but the pandemic has realigned what many of us value in business.

Perhaps one of your team found it incredibly difficult to reach their number this year but they actually united their team around the organisation’s values, and ensured that everyone felt connected. This is something you want to continue, alongside financial prosperity. But traditional financial performance reporting will not reflect the informal, behavioural, social or human wins amongst the financial fogs of 2020.

The PwC Global Chairman calls for the corporate world to therefore go beyond financial metrics, instead to consider dimensions that truly reflect how, why and where work gets done best even in the most volatile situations.

Currently, the corporate reporting system does not provide stakeholders – including investors, customers, employees, policy makers and others – with the objective, relevant and timely information needed to differentiate between companies on value contribution beyond financial performance.

So this year, go further than financial reporting. Consider the social and environmental impact of your organisation on the world, how this impacts your employees and question what you really value as a leader, a person and as a company. We should all work to get to the same level of clarity on non-financial dimensions – your organisational aptitude, attitude and connection – as your financial ones to gain a true understanding of your organisational effectiveness – and in-turn your success.

Contact us to see how Workbench can help you gain clarity on your organisation beyond the money.

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