“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” – Margaret J. Wheatley
Building in time to pause and reflect is an essential part of evaluating results of any change effort. While a large change effort may require creating multiple feedback loops to assess its impact and establishing key metrics to assess return on investment, simpler efforts or projects can benefit from just some time set aside for reflection. Evaluating results can sometimes be as easy as asking yourself and your team:
- What went well?
- What didn’t go so well?
- What can be improved?
I’ve found that these three questions keep me focused on how well we are accomplishing our goals and any improvements that should be made to sustain a change effort. It also ensures that we don’t just continue blindly on our way, but that we achieve something useful.
What have you done recently to pause and reflect?
“One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results” – Milton Friedman
The same is true of any change effort. It’s easy to be committed to (and even fall in love with) the intent of a change effort, but it’s incumbent upon leaders to hold themselves and others accountable by evaluating actual results. What has changed or improved?
This year we have been blogging about the phases of leading change. During November, Todd, Dee Anne, and I will focus on the last phase of change: evaluate results. We’ll cover methods to evaluate results, such as measuring return on investment and assessing stakeholder satisfaction. We’ll also discuss why it is important to evaluate results and who should be involved in the process. And we’ll explore ways to communicate those results in ways that continue to reinforce the change and make it part of your organization’s DNA.
We hope you will join in the conversation this month to share some of your evaluation strategies, along with your successes and challenges.