Indicators of Mission Success: September 2016 Board/Community Meeting

Creating the Future’s “Indicators of Mission Success” Board / Community Meeting was held right here on Monday, September 12,  from 1pm-3pm ET (US).  Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch and add to the discussion.

At our September meeting, we discussed indicators of success.

• If Creating the Future’s 10 year plan is successful and we accomplish our mission, what would that look like in the day-to-day lives of people around the world?

• What might indicate that we have been successful in ensuring that day-to-day systems bring out the best in people? And which people?

• Given that we intend to accomplish our mission by the end of 2026, how will we know if we’ve done so?

“How will we know?” is a common question in the world of social change. It is a question most groups lament as being “hard,” and therefore tend to avoid asking. As a result, social change groups often settle for measuring what is easy to measure, rather than determining how to measure the things that matter most – counting what’s easy to count vs. counting what counts.

Like other social change groups, Creating the Future has a mission, and a plan for accomplishing that mission. We have programs in place. You can find our mission, plans and programs at the link here.

We are beginning to scale those programs to ensure we meet our 2026 goal. You can learn about our 10 year mission at this link.

And we are in the process of restructuring the whole organization, to best ensure we accomplish that goal. You can read about that restructuring here. 

The looming questions remain:

  • What will success actually look like?
  • How will we know?
  • What will be different at the end of 2026 than it is now?

What Indicators for Success Make Possible
We will start the discussion where Catalytic Thinking guides us to begin – determining the end result we want from the conversation.

What will having indicators of success make possible? For whom?

Once we know what we want those indicators to accomplish, we’ll be able to discuss what sorts of indicators might do the trick!

What this conversation will make possible for YOU
As with all our board’s discussions, we invite you to be part of the conversation – to sit inside the meeting with us if you’d like, or to watch and tweet in real time.

Because so many organizational leaders lament not knowing how to measure the things that matter most to them, we hope that listening to this conversation (and hopefully participating!) will give you confidence to have this conversation with your own organization’s leaders.

And just imagine what THAT will make possible!

Please let us know right here in the comments…
• What is the best evaluation conversation you were ever in? What kinds of questions were being asked?
• What do YOU think indicators of mission success make possible? For whom?

Watch the meeting that was held on September 12th:

Or listen to the Audio of the meeting 

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(To download to your hard drive, right-click {or click and hold on a Mac} on the link above and select “Save Target As”.. or “Save Link as”… depending on your browser)

4 thoughts on “Indicators of Mission Success: September 2016 Board/Community Meeting”

  1. 1. I have never been in a satisfactory evaluation session primarily because the only questions asked were data measurements. I was looking for evidence of systemic and personal change and still ask, what questions can tell us that is happening?

    2.Indicators of mission success make two things immediately possible — they help me tell the story to people who want tangibles and they help the people I am speaking to understand better how this mission helps them.

  2. Stories are essential and there is a lot of work that could (and needs to) be done to capture and harness them in the ways you all discussed. However, I think it will be relatively easier than capturing data that demonstrates the velocity of this movement. To that end, it seems to me that something could be done around language, i.e., reduced jargon/acronyms (as suggested) but also other indicators of inclusionary and catalytic thinking. One could imagine a study that analyzes language used in news media? business publications? nonprofit annual reports? and compares to future years…. Could be too expensive and unwieldy to do, but it would create the firmament in which the stories fly…. Just a thought….

    One more: I think it is great that folks acknowledge that this movement is already happening and there are others we know and don’t know who are moving it forward. Is there a way to work with them on this question?


    • Tony,
      Yes re: the questions re: “how will we know?” beyond stories. And I love the list of ideas you’ve begun here.

      Re: finding others and working with them on this question, we’ve always been seeking out / connecting with others doing similar work. I love the idea of specifically connecting with them around this question, because as we all acknowledged – and as Ann Vermel notes above – everyone seems to be searching for the magic bullet answer to this question.

      So happy that you’re part of this conversation!!


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