Do you know the impact you are making and how to measure success? If you are interested in this discovery, Steven Covey gives us a perspective, “Start with the end in mind.” I attended a workshop by John Lazar, who provides a roadmap to understanding and measuring your impact. He emphasizes that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth finding out what impact you have had and if you’ve been successful. Success depends on what it means to the observer and requires planning, flexibility, conversations and commitment to produce alignment, coordination, re-calibration and accountability. He starts with five questions:
1. Success according to whom? Start by asking your clients, customers, and stakeholders. What does success look like? Be sure to engage all the relevant stakeholders by asking: Whose opinion, in addition to yours, should I solicit about what success looks like?
2. Success as defined by what? Ask your clients, customers and stakeholders. What are the expected change in behaviors, work output and impact on the organization?
3. What’s the measurement? Explore appropriate measures, which can range from new knowledge and skills, improved productivity and efficiency, increased return on investment, increased customer retention, improved teamwork or others.
4. How will the data be collected? A good, agreed-upon data collection plan is required including how to do it, when to do it, and who will do it.
5. How and to whom do you communicate the results? Based on stakeholders you have agreed to serve, create a communications plan to enable you to discuss, align and share your progress and results. What communications is needed for each stakeholder group?
For more information on measuring your impact, check out The ROI Field Book by Phillips, Phillips, Stone and Burkett or The Leadership Scorecard by Phillips and Schmidt.