May 11, 2016

Blog

We would all like our work to speak for itself, better still if someone else can vouch for us! One way that industries like to do this is to showcase their ratings and feedback from customers. Not only does this help improve their service, but also help build credibility and trust. In the development context, this has taken more centre-stage. Findings from a UKAID funded pilot programme in seven locations around the world, demonstrated theRead More
No longer can anyone use the excuse that it’s “too hard” or “too expensive” to refrain from collecting the kind of feedback that you will actually use to improve performance. We built the Feedback Commons to provide a platform that any organization could use to collect, analyze, and respond to feedback from the people they work with at low cost, and with minimal effort. It’s free and simple. Anyone can design a survey – using questionsRead More
Nonprofit organizations and foundations love to talk about “partnering”, “co-creating”, leverage”, and “synergy” – but do these hook-ups really yield as much value for the effort involved? Or is it just beneficial to be seen collaborating? I searched for reports on what value non-profit professionals typically get out of collaborations, but sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much research on this. One exception is Keystone’s own Partnership Survey. We measure this along dimensions of theRead More
Keystone Accountability believes that as well as harnessing feedback from the people you serve, internal feedback is essential in high-performing organizations. Here are some questions to ask yourself, to see whether you could use some support in creating a team that can ultimately be a high-performing learning organization. Is your team comfortable talking about problems and disagreeing? Do they welcome differences of opinion? Do you have a process for acknowledging them at some points and addressingRead More
– Showing up for Democracy’s Sake – Recently, US Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina cast the deciding vote* confirming Betsy Davos for Secretary of Education. I could not help but notice that Tillis ran unopposed for most of his political career. According to Wikipedia: “Tillis ran for the General Assembly in 2006. He defeated incumbent John W. Rhodes in the Republican primary, and went on to win the election, since no other candidate hadRead More
We believe that well-run organizations are also learning organizations. How do you know if you’re a learning organization? Take a diagnostic test. Answer some questions about the way your team works, and it will tell you what features your team shares with learning organizations, and what you need to work on. Here is one from the Harvard Business Review to get you started. Learning is about improving performance, not proving impact. A well-run organization thinksRead More
Musika is a non-profit organization working with private sector companies that serve the rural poor in Zambia. It provides technical advice, business model support and subsidies to its clients to reduce the initial risks of doing business with smallholder farmers. Keystone Accountability worked with Musika to help it better understand its market and customers, increase client loyalty and promote a client-driven culture. It wanted to find out how clients view the business opportunity presented byRead More
In March last year New York Times opinion writer David Brooks argued that the Republican Party was at a Kuhnian “model crisis” moment in a historical transition from the Reagan orthodoxy to something new that would be born out of the Trumpian disruption. He noted that Trump would not determine what would emerge because, “Trump has no actual ideas or policies. There is no army of Trumpists out there to carry on his legacy. HeRead More
In performance management, a team agrees on a goal and works together efficiently to accomplish that goal. There are many flavors of how teams get to be efficient, and my focus has always been on these few things: – Know what the goal is, and why. – Be able to prioritize. Do what’s most important first. Triage tasks you can’t do right now. – Maximize team cohesion. A team that can work together accomplishes moreRead More
Our House in Little Rock, Arkansas provides housing, children’s programs, career and homelessness-prevention services. And a master class in how to get your staff and your clients enthused about collecting feedback. Joy Ritchey, Grants Manger for Our House, which serves more than 1800 people a year, explained that they have a history and culture of seeking client voice in programing. Such as their mini documentary series staring their clients. But when they had an opportunityRead More