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.
Surveys are a double-edged sword. It is useful, irresistibly so, to be able to assert something that is supported by survey results. Most of us are enthralled by this sirens’ call – I certainly am! But at the same time, surveys are riddled with two kinds of distortions. These have various technical names but boil down to two simple things – accuracy and representativeness. First, in surveys we tend not to give “honest” responses. It[…]
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[…]
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 thinks[…]
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[…]