At Keystone, we are very quick to make the argument that listening to those you aim to serve is not only the right thing to do, but also the bright thing – a way to not only better understand impact, but more importantly as a way to improve impact.
Some problems do not get solved because the human side of the issue is not at the center of the debate. Using the storytelling process can be a solution.
Keystone Accountability has found that data often falls into one of two categories; either it tells you something you had no idea about, or it confirms what you already suspected.
I have a confession to make. Despite two years of surveying thousands of respondents for our clients I still fire up Google in the hopes that it will one day tell me how to conduct surveys the right way. Now, this is mainly due to being overly ambitious: I would one day love to see a 100 percent response rate or a completely full raw dataset. In the meantime though, I’ll settle for actionable insights[…]
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 the[…]
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 addressing[…]
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 by[…]
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. He[…]
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 more[…]
Foundation leaders believe to increase their impact they need to listen to the people they are supposed to serve. There is concern among US foundation leaders that this is not currently happening. These insights come from a report by Centre for Effective Philanthropy commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to mark its 50th birthday. It makes interesting reading – particularly where CEOs highlight the need to listen and learn both from the people[…]