In Come the Outcomes

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by Jeff Crane, Executive Director, Colorado Watershed Assembly

On Thursday October 7th John La Rocca, the Vice President of The Rensselaerville Institute in New York, presented an Outcome Management Workshop for education and on the ground water quality improvement projects. Over a 37-year tenure, John has helped hundreds of organizations across the country, in the UK and in Canada to understand and implement tools and techniques of outcome thinking and practice. His strengths come from an ability to apply lessons and learnings from his many successful clients to all those with whom he works.

This workshop gave participants an opportunity to try out a sample of tools needed to develop and use key components of The Rensselaerville Institute’s outcome framework. Whether you use them as an investor to call for groups and organizations to accomplish results on your behalf, or as an implementor to seek resources and then manage those resources to benefits and changes for customers and/or the environment, the framework provides powerful tools for success. Everything in the framework is pointed toward performance targets, and this workshop explored that concept and helped craft ambitious targets!

The point of the framework and performance targets is to enable an organization and operating units within it to perform at the highest level possible. It does so by providing a focus, not upon activities and procedures, but on results. These results are called performance targets, precisely because they are what all eyes should follow.

There are two related benefits to this approach. One is in impact. Groups with a results focus and the freedom to reach it almost always outperform those who pledge “best efforts”. The second gain is in morale. People who are successful in reaching and helping customers and making real change in the environment generally are happier than those who are not. And in these terms morale and productivity are inseparable.

Participants in the workshop left “jazzed” with specific examples of how they could implement performance targets in their own programs that would result in measureable outcomes. Being able to better define success became the actual outcome of the workshop.