Bright Ideas: Own What's in Your Closet
A moment that never ceases to bring me joy in my work is when client partners, be it through consulting, capacity building or training, have that “ah-ha” moment. It's that moment when they realize that evaluation or rather being evaluative is not something to fear, but to embrace. And in doing so, they accept that they have the power and responsibility to own it as a central part of their work and mission and that defining and documenting impact is part of their charge. That ah-ha is often followed by an "uh-oh" when they realize that a first step in embracing a commitment to being evaluative is to look at the skeletons in their organization’s closet.
This means they will have to unpack and critically assess the degree to which their efforts, no matter how well intended, are designed to actually make a sustained difference in the lives and communities of the people they serve. And then, they will have to make a decision about what to do about it. It is not easy work. It’s tough and personal to look back at a body of work and come to the conscious realization that it hasn't really changed anything.
But it seems to me, who better to name the skeletons in the closet than you?