I named my business Strong Outcomes because I believe that focusing on what you want to achieve will lead to more effective presentations, programs, and organizations.
When I was on my local comprehensive plan committee and we were seeking public input on the draft, I had volunteered to gather comments. I was assigned to a local supermarket the weekend before Thanksgiving.
You can imagine what happened when we asked busy shoppers if they'd heard of Albany 2030. After an hour of people avoiding eye contact, I decided my partner and I needed a new approach. I realized it didn't matter if anyone knew what Albany 2030 was. What we really wanted to know was what they thought about Albany. So that's what we started asking, and everything changed. Many more people came to talk to us, and even those that didn't smiled instead of scowled.
That's outcome-based thinking. Instead of focusing on what our job was (tell about Albany 2030), we thought about how busy Thanksgiving shoppers might respond. And once we told people what we wanted them to do in a way that resonated with them, they were eager to share their opinions.
Outcomes are the changes you want to see in the world as a result of your work, and they are important for directing program resources effectively, evaluating success, and communicating your results with your stakeholders. Focusing on outcomes rather than activities keeps you focused on what you are trying to accomplish rather than what you want to do.
I use outcome-based thinking to keep myself on track---I even used it to rewrite this blog post. I'd love to talk with you about how outcomes could help your organization focus your work and use resources more effectively.