If we reframe our KPIs as Key Purpose Indicators, we can use them to contribute to our business’ impact.
KPIs help to put responsible business high on the management agenda in a way that’s familiar and easy to integrate into traditional structures. Here are our top tips for getting started with Key Purpose Indicators.
Make the case for purpose
Firstly, be ready to explain the business value of embedding purpose. There’s a wealth of information to help you sway even the most commercially minded. The Harvard Business Review explains how purpose helps brands set themselves apart with innovation and lead growth. The Kantar Purpose 2020 study shows brands known for high positive impact have a 175% brand value growth compared to 70% for low positive impact. In rapidly changing environments, purpose can offer resilience and help to power growth.
Be clear about your impact
You need to know your ultimate destination to navigate your way there. For purpose-led businesses, this means identifying the impact you want to make and ensuring it’s aligned at every level of your business. The strength of KPIs is that they allow you to make minor adjustments to keep you on course. They provide ongoing insights so you can engage in the day-to-day without losing your bigger sense of direction.
Choose KPIs that matter to your people
Like any KPI, tangible, relevant metrics are easiest for people to relate to. You’re aiming for a set of indicators that show the bigger ‘impact’ picture at a glance. If you can count something that people can picture in their minds, that’s even better.
Consider how you can link distinctive social and environmental impact measures to revenue improvements. Reduction in paper use is a simple example of this – you’ll be helping the environment and the balance sheet.
It’s worth considering indicators that help show progress as well as success. This will help your team see how their actions make a difference, even if the journey is a long one. Capturing a baseline will help by showing your starting point.
Make data collection efficient
When you’re setting out progress trumps perfection. We all know that a principle of sustainability is to make the most of what you have, and you can apply this to data. An audit should reveal some opportunities to use information that is already being captured.
What do you already have internally?
What can you access externally?
What can key partners help with?
Are there any relevant benchmarks?
·How do you leverage digital platforms to collect data over time?
Measurement is just part of the work
Peter Drucker is often thought of as the father of Business Management and he explained that working effectively involves “accountability, a deadline and, finally, the measurement of results.” In this new era of business, such principles are still valuable, but we need to apply them in innovative ways to suit the demands of our day. KPIs – Key Purpose Indicators do exactly this. They enable us to take the right steps to make tomorrow proud.