Wednesday, May 1, 2024

is it too big?

Each year I publish an annual impact report on myself - and currently hold the world record for the most number of such, that have been created and shared consecutively (this years' marks the 18th year in a row that I've done it!).

And each year, I always share it with the invitation for people to tell me what it might leave them still wondering about, or what they might like to see added to it. This has led to it now containing case studies and more images.

But after 18 years, I'm finding myself starting to wonder - when is it 'enough'?

The first reporting I did on myself back in 2007 had only 3 numbers:

  1. what proportion of my travel was by non-car (public transport or bicycle);
  2. what proportion of my turnover had I re-invested into my ongoing CPD;
  3. what proportion of my supply chain purchases had been with the wider 'social economy' (co-ops, social enterprises, and charities).
These appeared on my website at the time, and each year I've sought to expand the scope of what and how I report. 

In 2014, I started to publish the report as a stand-alone document as part of my marketing materials for my business. It was 2 pages long.

In 2018, I expanded the framework to consider my impact against the UN's Global Sustainable Development Goals (something that didn't exist when I started doing this in 2007) - and it took the report to 6 pages.

This years report is now 25 pages! And if you look at any of them, you'll see that in most instances there's only 1 page that isn't crammed with information (the title page - and even then it's sometimes shared with starting to tell the stories of that year...). So it's not getting bigger because I'm getting fancier with graphics and page design. The framework, what's reported, etc really are getting that expansive from those first 3 numbers nearly 20 years ago (and it doesn't yet consider the 'cascade' impacts that are created by clients I support because of the work I do with them...). 

So my question now is - when is it 'enough'? As a sole trader. I don't have the dedicated resources that larger organisations do (salaried employees, department budgets, etc) to track and report on my impact, like they do - but at 25 pages, am I peaking? Or can/ should I take it further still?

At what point do we start to over report on our impact?

No comments:

Post a Comment