Social-innovation-network-australia

Welcome to module Twelve

Creating Tracks and Moving Forward With Impact. 

Methods and tools to keep entrepreneurs on track to delivering viable enterprises that create impact. Reflection and clear planning to move forward.


Contents

INTRO

THEORY OF CHANGE

OUTPUTS VERSUS OUTCOMES

IMPACT MEASUREMENT

The politics of measuring a nation’s success

Revision of your plan moving forward

RECOMMENDED books


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INTRO

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Do you remember closing your eyes in the first Elevate+ session and picturing yourself up on stage delivering a knock-out pitch to a sold out audience?

Well you did it. 20 weeks of hard work, dedication, persistence, ups and downs. How did it feel? Yet whilst ‘the pitch’ was a strong goal and motivator, the journey saw you all show huge improvement and strongly develop your projects further. For that, you should be deeply proud.

But where next? And what’s it going to take to see you take your social enterprise to the next level? After a 20 week program, finishing up can feel like an anti-climax. Suddenly the weekly structure is somewhat removed and having less support around can feel daunting.

Close your eyes. Imagine the feelings and emotions you get when kicking that next big goal. What does it look and smell like? How will you know that you’ve achieved it? What timeline are you putting on it? Who is going to hold you accountable? That’s for you to define.

Whilst life gets busy, your initiative and drive to continue meeting with the ‘fam’ can be a powerful force to keep you on track. We can all go so much further as a supportive group and your effort in ‘giving first’ will not go unnoticed. Continue to contribute, ask questions and get the support needed on the Facebook group.

Let’s go and kick some goals!


Theory of Change

Having had a few weeks to reflect, it’s important now to plan ahead, set yourself new goals and revisit some of the earlier modules.

During Tim and Amedeo’s session, you developed an ‘impact model’. Having spent considerable time developing your social enterprise further, it would be really valuable to spend some time refining your plan and strategy around this - and reflecting on your Theory of Change using the following canvas, is highly recommended. So what is a Theory of Change?

“Theory of Change (ToC) is a specific type of methodology for planning, participation, and evaluation that is used in the philanthropy, not-for-profit and government sectors to promote social change. Theory of Change defines long-term goals and then maps backward to identify necessary preconditions.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Take a look at the DIY Toolkit, Theory of Change video.

It may feel like you’re taking a step backwards, but many of you have pivoted your models and are implementing new ideas. Reflecting on your Theory of Change will then help you set out strategic goals with a timeframe attached. Give it a go and then share it on the Facebook group for feedback…

Steps needed when using the tool

This useful article, (from which the adjacent diagram is from), helps take you through some of the steps to complete your ToC.

Sustainable Development Goals offer a neat framework to help you define your domains of change (step 3).

If you fancy tinkering with a bunch of software which helps map out your ToC or develop flowcharts and understand complex systems, take a look at this article.


OUTPUTS VERSUS OUTCOMES

Key stakeholders are increasingly demanding a more rigorous evaluation of companies’ social impact. Take a quick look at the following video. Reflect on the key metrics you have set to measure you impact. Are you measuring outputs or outcomes?

Listen to this interview with William Stubbs On Defining Your Impact And How This Is Different To Your Outputs



IMPACT MEASUREMENT

Check out this interview with Lauren Shuttleworth on how to measure social impact.


Interview with Durell Coleman On How To Measure Impact & Create Positive Social Change With Human Centred Design


The following two guides will help you consider how you continue to measure your impact (The Compass was introduced in Module 5):

Key organisations and useful tools:

A great deal of work has been done globally on both outcomes measurement, and evaluating the social impact performance of enterprises and organisations. Some of the key organisations are included below.

  • SIMNA is the social impact measurement network in Australia. SIMNA runs public events and offers support to its members.

  • The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are becoming the most used common language around defining areas of intended impact

  • iPAR Impact is a tool launched in April 2016 which allows impact investors to compare social and environmental impact across their portfolios.

  • The Global Impact Investment Network (GIIN) has developed the Impact Reporting Investment Standard (IRIS) and allows funds and enterprises to adopt a standard set of performance measures, using shared vocabulary. The Global Impact Investment Reporting System (GIIRS) offers an added layer of analysis for assessing social and environmental impact.

  • The Impact Investment Exchange launched the world’s first publicly listed social stock exchange, Impact Exchange in June 2013. This includes a social enterprise listing process which will define and track social impact.

  • Impact Management Project offers a framework for considering how impact is both managed and measured

  • Over 20,000 enterprises have engaged with the B Impact Assessment to benchmark social and environmental performance, including large companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Etsy, and Patagonia. US-based Case Foundation partnered with B Lab to launch the ‘Measure What Matters’ initiative in March 2015.

  • The Results Based Accountability (RBA) approach tracks progress against population-level outcomes and baselines. RBA encourages organisations to view their work in the context of the wider system. Many local governments, particularly in the US, have adopted the framework

  • The SROI Network and Social Impact Analysts Association are now joining forces to create Social Value International. Social Return on Investment (SROI) provides an internal process for providing clarity on how effectively impact is  being created. It tends to focus on the dollar value of impact created, compared to the dollar value invested in the program (ie. a cost/benefit analysis of sorts). As an internal reference, it generally cannot be used for comparative purposes, so functions not so much as an impact measurement tool but rather as a stakeholder engagement and value attribution exercise.

Source: Social Outcomes (find our interview with Sandy Blackburn-Wright, here.)

IMPACT ASSESSMENTS

  • The B Impact Assessment is a free and confidential tool brought to you by B Lab and the Community of Certified B Corporations.

  • Social Impact Assessment (SIA) is a process for the identification, analysis, assessment, management and monitoring of the potential social impacts of a project, both positive and negative. The social impacts of a project are the direct and indirect impacts that affect people and their communities during all stages of the project lifecycle.


The politics of measuring a nation’s success

Whilst nations globally have typically measured their success on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), an index which measures the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year (economically), we are seeing some shifts in government priorities. How will this affect your social enterprise? Whilst there’s a lot of work still to be done, it’s safe to say that there is a growing understanding of social enterprise and governments are beginning to explore support mechanisms to help grow the sector.

Locally, the Queensland Government is due to release their social enterprise strategy later this year. They are currently working with a range of organisations such as Impact Boom and QSEC to seek feedback and advice on how to best implement this. Other states such as Victoria, South Australia and NSW are currently actively forming social enterprise networks. The idea is that these will all feed into a national body, with the objective of forming an Australian Social Enterprise Strategy which helps propel the sector forward as has been seen in Scotland.

The Sunshine Coast Council is also currently working on their draft Community Strategy 2019-2041 which is strongly considering social enterprise as a way to tackle local social and environmental issues.

Here’s a couple of articles to provide some further food for thought:


Revision of your plan moving forward

Take 30 minutes to put together an action plan to ensure that your momentum carries forward. Quickly answer the following questions.

What are the key steps/actions you need to take to advance forward?

Where do you need support and who could help you? If you don’t know who, then how will you try to find them?

Arrange the above action points into a list of priorities.

How will you know that you’ve achieved each action?

Put a timeline on each action which breaks down the action into smaller steps with deadlines.

Who is responsible for each of the actions?

Who is going to hold you or your team members accountable to undertake each action by the specified deadline?

Create a GANTT chart or something similar; write these out on a sheet of paper and put them on your wall or post them publicly on the Facebook page.


Recommended books


We’re stronger together!

Whilst this is the last online module, please remember that you have a support network around you and that being a social entrepreneur does not have to be lonely. Please remember to share your progress, ask for feedback and actively share opportunities that you think will benefit other Alumni on the Facebook group. We’ll see you all soon and can’t wait to support you as you advance on your journey.

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The information contained within this Elevate+ Module is intended solely for you and we kindly ask that you do not email, distribute, copy, modify or print this document.

You retain sole responsibility for actions and decisions, regardless of whether they are based on options or suggestions provided by Impact Boom. Any information contained should not be construed as legal advice.

Thank you for the fantastic energy you bring to the Elevate+ cohort.