Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Is our social value our legacy?

Earlier this month, I was invited by those nice people at Social Value UK to speak at their annual members conference about the promise and perils of how we approach creating a financial value to represent the good stuff we deliver and create through the work we do - suffice to say, not everyone participated in the customary applause when I was ushered off the stage, but others came up to me throughout the rest of the event to thank me...

However, a couple of questions were put to me by the audience in the room, and those watching along on-line, that I wanted to reflect on here.

The first of which went along the lines of "is the social value we create and report our legacy?".

My initial response to this is that I tend to try to not think about how people in future years will remember me (after all, chances are that 50 years from now, no one will even remember my name, let alone what I did or didn't do) - my interest is therefore in the relationships I have today; and my interest in understanding the social value and impact I'm creating in different ways, is in how this helps me to develop these relationships to realise their full potential.

But I realise that that's a very blinkered response, and very biased on my part - after all, as a business, I'm not trying to influence or lead systemic change (get laws reviewed etc), but other people are. And in their cases, then absolutely, their identifying and reporting their social value is a crucial way of helping them to make sure that they're achieving this as part of helping them manage how they work in pursing this goal.

So on balance, social value isn't our legacy, but it can be a critical element of helping us make sure we create the legacy we may be striving to leave to the world after our time is up.

As for what the other question was... you'll have to check back in with this blog later! 

(kudos to Natasha Jolob for snapping this pic of me unawares, hence the lack of usual dramatic posing!

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