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Insights7 Platform Tracks Value Creation, Identifies Gaps, and Powers Sustainability Reporting

Mike HoganTiming is everything. This 12-year-old advisory and technology firm has developed a corporate sustainability software platform that can not only power almost any type of sustainability reporting, performance indicators, and other metrics but help organizations better understand the source of value creation in their organizations and how to improve it.

Designed to Support Reporting, Identify and Enhance Sources of Value Creation
The Limits of Organizational Charts
Addressing the Pressures for Auditable Reporting
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Founded in 2008 by Mike Hogan, a business management advisor, Insights7 says it has a 12-year track record of empowering teams across a company to make the right decisions to improve performance and sustainability. Now delivered as a software as a service (SAAS) platform sold mainly through advisory firms, the platform “helps leaders see, understand, and balance the value/cost/risk tradeoffs their decisions have on overall value creation. Any team can use the system on its own. The more teams using the system, the better the overall outcome for a company,” the company says.
The company believes that its platform can be used by corporations such as automotive companies or others facing labor actions by enabling them to better align compensation and gainsharing with the true sources of value creation. In this case, it means determining how much more value could be created by investing in the workforce versus risking a strike not only with huge short-term cash flow costs but with potential long-term damage to employee engagement and potentially customer satisfaction.

Designed to Support Reporting, Identify and Enhance Sources of Value Creation 

The platform is ideally suited to support reporting for the new European Union Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, as well as ISO 30414 or any sustainability standards, because it is agnostic to the metrics used, according to Mary Adams, Chief Marketing Officer. The idea is to create a structure in which the metrics are useful for decision-making. The fundamental goal of the platform is to go beyond providing a dashboard of stakeholder KPIs (key performance indicators) and OKRs (objectives and key results) to help organizations enhance value by better understanding how and where in the organization it is being created, and what gaps lay in the way of enhanced performance.
Depending on the application, the annual license begins for about $5,000 per year, she says. 
In essence, the company states, its SaaS platform enables any organization to establish all the KPIs and OKRs vital to their businesses and the stakeholders involved, including customers, employees, distribution and supply chain partners, communities, and the environment aligned with whatever standards framework is desired; continually monitor them, but, much more importantly, develop and implement changes to improve performance. 
Insights7Adams explains, “The platform is built on the multi-capital model (editor’s note--similar in many respects to the principles of stakeholder capitalism) that is foundational to integrated reporting. We see stakeholders, the environment, and an organization’s tangible or intangible assets as both resources and a source of future potential. Every company needs to create value for customers, but you also must do that in a way that preserves and protects customers for the future. You must consider the entire system. Value is created by many teams across an organization. And everyone who's creating value is also receiving value; value is flowing in a lot of different directions. People have been forever measuring business with financial and operational metrics; but now in recent years there's this third ball known as sustainability that has been thrown at everybody, and now you really must take into account all stakeholders to marry sustainability with financial goals.”

The Limits of Organizational Charts Chart

Adams asserts that most companies use organizational charts to visualize their people when a much more useful way is to look at everyone in the organization as part of a value chain who have internal and/or external customers. The platform enables every team in every organization to in essence measure the value it creates for those customers, whether inside the organization or outside. Almost all have their own KPIs and OKRs related to the purpose, goals, and objectives of the organization. If you are tracking this over time, you’ll know whether you are on target or not. If not, you can identify your gaps, and that’s what this is about: Identifying the gaps in your organization and the level of severity, not just a dashboard to monitor.”
Insights7 says that it helps organizations in three fundamental ways:
1. Sustainable Value Measurement—Reporting and control of all its key KPIs and OKRs, including sustainability and integrated reporting, cost accounting, performance measurement, all on one platform, customizable for international standards.
2. Sustainable Value Growth for Teams—Optimization of work for individual functional teams, such as production, governance, sustainability, asset management, IT (information technology),  finance, or any function.
3. Sustainable Value Growth for Organizations—Alignment and optimization of work across a major department or full corporation in to achieve sustainability transformation, strategy, performance management, agile, lean, etc.

Addressing the Pressures for Auditable Reporting

As Insights7 sees it, “Leaders of public and most private companies are under pressure to improve their sustainability performance. But sustainability can’t be improved in a vacuum—companies still need to ensure financial viability and growth. To succeed in this new environment, leaders need to be able to connect the dots between doing well and doing good. The customizable value-chain structure in our platform helps management map how the work of individual value creation teams combines to create value for the company, its stakeholders, and the environment. Having this structure helps supercharge existing systems by organizing and integrating data for better decisions. And it ensures accurate mapping of controls and policies for reliable, auditable reporting.”
The platform includes a configurable means of establishing KPIs and OKRs for every job and process, she says, the value being created, and potential shortfalls to be addressed. Each team can use the platform to configure its own performance improvement process based on the value being created for its internal or external customers.
The company asserts that “having integrated, comparable data in a single hub enables clear-headed reporting and analysis of:
  • Current health and performance
  • Improvement priorities
  • Business cases for change
  • Calculations of return on investment (ROI) and time to value (TtV).”
The company works primarily with consulting firms in the sustainability, strategy, and performance management spaces, it says. The “platform helps embed and operationalize the work you do with your clients. We recommend that you build service offerings to support an agile management cadence for your clients to help them drive continuous, sustainable value creation. The best way to get started together is to pilot a project that starts small for early wins and scale as your client sees results.”
For More Information
Mary Adams, CMO

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