Why Annual Reports?
I recently caught up with a good friend who I met years ago at the OECD. We got to talking about the culture of reports in today’s digital age and eventually got around to discussing LMIC’s first Annual Report. Our conversation made me reflect: Why do we have annual reports? I thought about some of the annual reports I’ve read recently. In some cases they were clearly designed to tell the world how great the organization is.
That’s not the kind of annual report we envisioned at LMIC. In fact, our report, released this week, recognizes that our goal is to help Canadians by giving them the information they need to navigate the changing world of work. Our report details that we are making progress towards that goal, though we still have a long way to go. And when we get there, we’ll celebrate the success of Canadians, not that of LMIC.
When we initially developed our Strategic Plan, we knew it was important to establish values that would guide us in achieving our goals over time. Since then, our values have underpinned our work and we continue to uphold them as we grow. In looking at our Annual Report, I realize that we’ve made serious efforts to put these values into practice, and they resonate throughout our achievements to date:
- Client-centric and demand-driven: We have worked diligently with the National Stakeholder Advisory Panel (NSAP), a group of motivated, hardworking, dedicated non-government stakeholders with substantial crosscutting and pan-Canadian expertise in labour market information. Our work with them and their extended networks has ensured our client-centric approach. Our public opinion surveys have also shown our commitment to understanding what Canadians want and need from labour market information.
- Inclusive and collaborative: During our first full year, we developed a number of partnerships and networks with the broader labour market information community. This work has helped establish our organization. Looking ahead, we intend to continue to build upon and leverage the vast knowledge of LMI that exists in Canada.
- Integrity and transparency: At the heart of any annual report lies the commitment to demonstrate transparency in what we do and how we do it. It also means releasing our full financial statements to remain accountable to the public.
- Innovative and evolutionary: Many of our projects on modelling or big data highlight how we plan to harness new technologies and approaches to improve the timeliness and relevance of labour market information for Canadians. This tactic will be particularly important this year as we work on mapping skills to occupations.
Being Accountable and Delivering on Our Mandate
After talking with my friend, I realized that, in the end, a good annual report serves the greater purpose of holding our organization accountable to Canadians for our commitment to them. This important complement to our Operational Plan lays out those commitments on an annual basis. That’s the minimum it should accomplish. I hope you will agree that LMIC’s Annual Report meets that criteria and, more importantly, demonstrates that we are making progress towards those commitments as we chart the future of labour market information in Canada.
Steven Tobin is the Executive Director of the Labour Market Information Council. Steven provides the overall strategic leadership and management to the LMIC with the guidance of the Board of Directors and two advisory panels.