So we know what our mission is about, who our customers are, and what they value. As a result we do what we do. With good intentions we meet needs. John Carver would call these “means” and would argue that we must also have what he calls “ends” or what Peter Drucker would insist is, “results.” In The Five Most Important Questions Drucker’s colleagues would expand on this by saying, “The goal is to achieve real impact; thus, measuring results is a tool for learning, for self-correcting, in order to reach intended, specified outcomes.”
Deciding what to measure in terms of results is not that easy. It is easier to measure the means, the inputs, and programs. The hard work comes in deciding what the results should be, and how we meaningfully measure them. The authors further write:
What endures from the work of nonprofits is not how hard we try or how clever we may be or even how much we care….But ultimately what is remembered is how we have been able to improve lives.”
That is what Drucker cared about. That is what he meant by results.
What are your organization’s deep, life-improving results, and how might you attempt to measure those?
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