I guess I’m in a generous mood of late, as I have more kudos to hand out. Tulsa’s Child Abuse Network sends out a weekly email to board members, staff, and other stakeholders called “Tuesday Tidbits” that summarizes some headline numbers of their week: the children they saw, age breakdowns, types of abuse, types of services, and counties served.
I look at it every week but, to be honest, don’t pay it much attention. Just look at the numbers and close it. But it occurred to me that that’s what it makes it work – in less than 10 seconds I know what kind of week the staff of CAN and their partners had. And so does everyone else. On weeks with unusually high numbers, everyone knows how hard the staff has worked. And, I suspect, everyone devotes at least a small amount of thought as to why the number spiked.
One of the keys to becoming an effective outcome-oriented organization is to get your staff to buy into the numbers. It’s hard to get people to care about the data they enter (and thus, to care about its accuracy) when they never see how that data is used. At CAN, they see every week acknowledgement of their efforts and the usefulness of their data.
Do you have something like CAN’s Tuesday Tidbits? What data do you include? If not, what data would you include if you had a Tuesday Tidbits?
(Full disclosure: I’m a member of CAN’s Planning Committee.)