In September the Community Sector Council NL challenged its partners to present '30-Second Pop-Ups!' throughout its networking event. Simps! I thought then 10 minutes later I realized that this task would require a great deal of thought. I hardly ever get asked the impact question. Most funders don’t even ask for impact/outcomes reporting! The majority are still at outputs reporting. How many session were held? How many clients served? The demographic of those served? And maybe just maybe – What did the individuals think about it all?
None of this gets to the outcomes/change/impact of the work.
So I said yes before I could change my mind. Not because I thought that it would make brilliant dinner conversation -no- because I simply thought of the risk of getting caught without the answer. The risk is just too high. What if I miss that brilliant opportunity to align myself with an innovative partner or unusual champion.
2 POPUP RULES:
- Timing Counts - You will literally have only 30 seconds!
- The focus is to share your impact by answering this question: What has changed/improved in our community because of your organization's work?
Given 30 seconds what do I need to say in the room of individuals hearing about the CEC for the first time?
I NARROWED IT TO THE BARE BONES.
- Have to say your name – Elayne Greeley
- New name of the collaboration – Community Employment Collaboration (formerly the Community Career & Employment Partnership Project)
- Functional philosophy – Networking and cooperating means we can do MORE, coordinating and partnering means we can do BETTER, and collaborating means we can do things DIFFERENTLY as we find innovative solutions to the challenges and opportunities we share.
- Impact the results of the activities – Learning, Mentorship, Unity, Shared Voice & Shared Opportunity
It felt like a table of contents of a book but it was all I could fit into 25 seconds. So with 5 seconds to spare I added the how.
- Centralized information hub/website www.ccepp.ca
- Career Practitioner Training
- Community of Practice for Career Practitioners
I learned a few things from this challenge: gratitude, the value of true mentorship and the gift of learning by doing.
I would consider myself a solid beginner in the evaluation world. I am so grateful for the folks who’ve so patiently mentored me over the past 9 years. They gently and respectfully steered me in the right direction encouraging me the entire time. They were brilliant models of curiosity, humility with barrels of humour. They collectively sparked the fire of proof in me, pulled me along until I could understand the why and encourage me to try harder. Thank you Gord Butler, Peggy Matchim, Liz Weaver and Mark Cabaj. They have taught me that without an outcomes focused evaluation plan I was not going to get the clarity I wanted. I was going to have to dig in, learn the language and tools and above all put the time in.
What gets measured gets managed. Peter Drucker