Using Imperfect Metrics To Evaluate Organizations & The CEO


Using Imperfect Metrics to Evaluate Organization and the CEO.

BY: Eugene Fram

At the beginning of the year, the directors conducting the evaluation and the chief executives agree on jointly developed goals and outcome expectations. The full board must ratify the goals, which should be achievable but challenging. Some goals are clearly quantifiable (e.g. membership data, revenues) and readily available.

But some, like “community impact,” in the case of a human services group, are important, but they only can be developed within an imperfect format  –  that is , they are developed from small samples, or are anecdotal, subjective, interpretative or qualitative.  Most nonprofits can’t spend thousands for hundreds or thousands of dollars to have an outside consultant provide statically solid data.

In these cases, the chief executive and the board must agree on subjective outcomes and the imperfect methods by which they will be developed.   The chief executive has to have trust that the board members are fair people and doing the best they can to evaluate outcomes.   When done over a number of years, the board and the CEO become more comfortable with the process.  

Source: Policy vs. Paper Clips, Third Edition, 2011. PP.67-68

For more details see: Jerry Tally  & Eugene Fram (2010) Using Imperfect Measures Well: Tracking Progress & Driving Change, Leader to Leader Journal, January. 52-58.

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