In last week’s post, Danya Pastuszek of United Way of Salt Lake referenced Mark Friedman’s book. “Trying Hard is Not Good Enough.” We at GIVE thought you may enjoy another look at this important philosophy, by ranking your organization using this self-assessment from the book. And don’t forget, applications are still open for your organization to participate in the GIVE 2016 Partner Pitch sessions. Just click on to apply.

Excerpt from “Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough” by Mark Friedman


Self Assessment Questions

1. Has your group or organization adopted a common language using the tool for choosing a common language or some other method? Does this common language allow you to clearlydistinguish population and performance accountability?

2. Has your organization identified one or more population level results or conditions of well-being stated in plain language to which your work contributes?

a. Have you identified the 3 to 5 most important indicators for each of these results?

b. Have you created a baseline with history and a forecast for each of these measures?

c. Have you analyzed the story and causes behind these baselines?

d. Do you have a written analysis of what it would take to turn these conditions around at the national, state, county, city or community level?

e. Have you articulated the role your organization plays in such a strategy?

3. Has your organization established the 3 to 5 most important performance measures for what you do, using the performance accountability categories How much did we do? How well did we do it? Is anyone better off?

a. Have you created a baseline with history and a forecast for each of these measures?

b. Do you track these measures on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis?

c. Do you periodically review how you are doing on these measures and develop action plans to do better using the performance accountability 7 questions?

d. Have you adapted your organization’s management, budget, strategic planning, grant application, and progress reporting forms and formats to reflect systematic thinking about your contribution to population conditions and your organization’s performance?

4. Are the population and performance baseline curves you are trying to turn displayed prominently as one or more charts on the wall?

5. Have you identified an in-house expert to train and coach other staff in this work?

6. Have you turned any curves?