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Next Steps to Improving Measurement

By Carmen Perez, Director, Data Insights

I’ve had the pleasure of listening to hundreds of companies talk about their approach to measurement for six going on seven years at CECP. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve gotten blurry eyed when the conversation takes the complex turns measurement and evaluation (M&E) can make. CECP has been known for measurement since its founding, with our dataset starting back in 2001 and Giving in Numbers almost to its 15th anniversary.

While our companies’ questions drive CECP’s work more than anything, across our team we also keep a pulse on new product offerings or studies to find opportunities to play match-maker between a company challenge and another organization’s solution (if not ours).

Overall, some companies have success in their M&E approaches but the challenges still seem to drown out the stories of satisfaction. With that in mind, CECP will test new approaches to further support our companies in their measurement efforts. Join us on the journey (which has been feedback-driven throughout) by sharing your input.

Over the course of the next few months, follow our blog to hear more about these new approaches to improving measurement. At the highest-level, CECP’s Data Insights team helps companies collect, compare, evaluate, and share their data-driven insights. Our goals are to increase the use of measurement and data and help teams figure out their next step towards continuous improvement. Operations will lead, academics will follow.

CEO View

The attention of senior-most executives is one way to ensure data is frequently used. At yesterday’s Board of Boards, CECP shared a Strategic Scorecard to our network of CEOs in the audience. At last year’s Board of Boards, Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson and Johnson, lit up the audience with his description of their Board’s use of a Strategic Scorecard.

With their insights plus much more, this year’s Strategic Scorecard shared at Board of Boards on February 26th, 2018 shared an analysis of the sector, recommendations for a company’s own Strategic Scorecard, and a template to help visualize the approach. It exhibits how the wide-range of issues and metrics can narrow to those which are most financially material for the company. To say it another way, the list of ESG metrics is long but how might we zoom in on the vital few?

CEO View Connecting to the Social Investment Team View

When a company narrows to its own most concise list of metrics, the challenge becomes that many current Environmental, Social, and Governance metrics are not comprehensive enough. Multi-billion dollar corporations have vast impacts on various issues and many metrics are understandably quite specific (e.g. Human Rights Policy (Y/N)). Furthermore, for a few years CECP has heard from its companies that they are creating a better world through business in ways that are not captured in current metrics. They are doing “good beyond giving.”

Enter a holistic metric, Total Social Investment.  We propose a common goal of companies reporting Total Social Investment using a shared definition by 2020. Join a webinar on February 28th to learn more. The paper with full details will be out this Spring at the same time as a related tool exclusively for CECP companies in our Knowledge Center (Login to MyCECP).

Social Investment Team View

A holistic metric is not intended to diminish the reach, complexity, nor the value produced by the range of socially-driven efforts companies undertake. The scorecard approach takes on new meaning here in a third component of our measurement approach, where CECP is developing a method for the community-value driven teams to determine their next step to continuously improve their measurement practice.

We call this the Guide to Social Scorecards. Driven by the goals above, it centers around asking CECP’s two critical questions and applying five core recommendations. It takes a team-based and operations-driven approach. While much of these tools while be exclusively for CECP companies, the principles and reasoning will be shared as much as we are able here on CECP Insights, stay tuned!