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Nonprofit Coordinating Committee - Workshop

Posted August 20, 2009 8:21 AM by Dylan Miyake

On Tuesday of this week, I facilitated a 2.5 hour session called measuring and managing your strategy. I had a choice. I could teach to a case, and get participants from 30 organizations to all work on the same material, or I could ask them to build their own strategy map and measures. Now the challenge is that to effectively build a strategy map and measures typically takes 2-3 sessions of working with an organization's leadership team. Oh, did I mention that I also wanted to teach about using the Balanced Scorecard as a management tool, not just a measurement tool.

I chose to go with the option of having them work on their own materials rather than everyone work off of a common case. The benefit in my mind is that the participants had to think about how this material applied to them directly and not just in theoretical terms. Of course there wasn't enough time to make a perfect strategy map, but someone was nice enough to share their work, and we made good progress.

We also had some time for measures, and had a nice discussion of lead and lag measures (or driver and outcome measures). It is easy to measure activities, as most nonprofits do, but the real challenge is to measure the benefits of these activities or the change in behaviors. This is when you are able to really demonstrate an impact. Finally, we spent a little time discussing the process of actually using the measures as a way of managing, not just reporting.

I got feedback that some people would have preferred a case, but most really enjoyed working with their own materials. I guess we will have to see how many end up applying these concepts in their own organizations.