The big idea
In an online article, Richard Piper describes being at an event and asking the participants to play a word association game. He asked 50 people to write down the first thing that came into their heads. When he said the word ‘outcomes’, 48 out of the 50 wrote down something to do with assessment or measurement. It confirmed to him what he suspected, that there is more focus on the technical problem of how to measure our activities than on the strategic problem of achieving them. The big idea is not that measurement is unimportant but that making a difference to people’s lives as a result of our activities is more important.
The purpose of this tool is to consider this conundrum and look at how you develop a specific statement of the changes you want to see in the world rather than worrying about the methods you’ll use to measure them. Being clear about your outcomes should help achieve three things:
- Planning your achievements and improving them
- Monitoring and evaluating successes and failures
- Communicating your successes and failures
This tool consists of six big questions (Piper, 2010). Consider each in turn and answer them as specifically as you can. You can complete them on your own or with a group. They are suitable for any business that wants to make a change in the world. You should spend at least an hour answering the questions.