Risk and Revenue might just be the biggest drivers of organisations out there. Risk to future existence and is revenue growing? In most social sector organisations you’d expect ‘impact’ to be present, but it rarely is. And if it is, ‘impact’ tends to be assumed to occur as long as money is spent on programmes. So it’s about money again.
Financial metrics are ‘easy’ to measure. But this is true because we’ve spent huge amounts of resources over time developing and creating systems and processes to make it easy. Just ask a historian about life before double entry accounting. We have audit and countless other systems and processes to track and report on our financials. And almost all senior leaders will have revenue targets in their annual plans. Few have impact, defined by number of people reached or quality of the interventions.
Future risk is the ability to live to see another day. So once again it is partially tied to revenue. Financial risk and brand risk are likely the two most monitored. They are closely tied, but slightly different. The interesting thing is that if someone we are seeking to serve complains about the aid received (service or physical items) this is not considered part of brand risk. Brand risk is oriented to the revenue sources and streams.
We may not this R&R but a version of it is present in most organisations. Change makers need to understand existing cultures and work within them. Change them of course, but change tends to require working within. No matter how much we dislike it.
The choice is up to us.