Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thinking outcomes

Trawling the net looking for things about organisational development and I found this by Richard Piper who is the Head of Strategy and Impact at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.  Here's a part of what he writes

In 10 years of supporting organisations on ‘outcomes’, I have found it helpful every single time to clarify the three main things you can ‘do’ with outcomes:
  • plan your achievements, including improving them (plan and grow
  • monitor and evaluate your achievements and failures (know
  • communicate your achievements and failures (show).
Organisations, time and again, get by far the most benefit out of the planning and growing task. Asking and discussing the 'big six' questions never fails to propel an organisation forwards, perhaps not always smoothly, but always significantly:
  • Who/what in the world will change as a result of our work?
  • What changes do we want to make happen?
  • Why are those changes important?
  • What are the best ways to make those changes happen?
  • What other organisations are working with these people or on this cause or topic, and how do we fit with them?
  • How can we make more change happen within our existing resources?
 And he goes on the write

So the single most important piece of advice I can offer about outcomes is: don’t leap to worrying about measurement, it’s not primarily about measurement, it’s about discussing and agreeing, as an organisation, what change you want to see in the world and what role your organisation will play in achieving this.

For many Unitarian communities it is about having the debate about change, about development.  Not just about how are we going to keep doing what we have always done but what we are dreaming about and how can we make this real. And as the last bullet point above says - this is not about more money but doing different things within the same budget.

So let's set about changing the world - even if we start with our own.

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