Your Goal: To Achieve Greater Impact
While the world demands greater impact, the meaning of impact has become diluted with short-term activities versus long-term solutions and outcomes. While short-term goals and stopgap measures will always be needed to address immediate needs, they must not sap the time and resources necessary to address larger social issues and achieve true impact.
At Newdea, we understand that achieving greater impact is not easy. It requires alignment of all stakeholders around a big idea, the right solutions, the grace to fail, and a never-ending drive to learn and innovate. Success also requires a systematic approach, and we believe this principle applies equally to the social sector as it does to other industries. The DIKW (Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom) continuum is one such approach. It has been shown that companies and organizations outside of the social sector became more impactful as they advanced up the DIKW continuum (See DIKW for the Social Sector below). We believe that as the social sector also matures through this continuum, it too will become more innovative, cost effective and ultimately more impactful. Newdea’s solutions can greatly accelerate the process for organizations of all types and sizes.
Outcome based methodologies
To achieve the greatest impact, we believe that the social sector needs to be transformed through better information and collaboration. While there are several outcome-based models and tools to help organizations consider their theory of change, logic models, or results-based frameworks, these models are limited without the right information and knowledge systems to manage and learn from. Newdea’s products are easily configurable to manage even your complex models in the way you are used to and turn your data into useful information. It also allows you to structure your data to roll up and report at various levels and roles to get a true picture of the impact you are making.
DIKW for the social sector
We believe that understanding the power and need of the DIKW continuum in the social sector is a great starting point on the journey to achieving the greatest impact. Why do we feel this is important? Because only as you move up the continuum can you begin to truly innovate and collaborate. You will become an organization that learns, improves, and understands where the barriers to success are.
While the “Big Data” information technology trend is making a great impact in extracting value from the mountains of raw data locked in business and government filing cabinets and databases, it is not as powerful as having the right information and knowledge systems and methodologies in place from the start – i.e., keeping the value of the data you collect from getting locked away in the first place.
- Data are unstructured pieces of raw observations and measurements. In the social sector, we are often driven by raising funds or marketing stories and focus on collecting pieces of data to get the next funding in place. Rather than systematically collecting relevant data that illuminates the extent of our impact, we often share the emotional stories to show the data points on the success of our activities. Multiple stakeholders responsible for the program often make the data even more disparate and often hide where improvements, progress, or failures are.
- Information is created by carefully structuring the data so it can be analyzed to understand the relationships and connections between the data. Information should inform us and have an (implied) audience and a purpose. It needs to be structured properly to have the greatest value, which means that having an outcome-based theory of change or other process helps to drive understanding of how to structure the needed data. Having the right information and knowledge technology is critical to managing programs over a shared network. This is when transparency and accountability can begin to take place and lead to real change. Unfortunately, too few social sector organizations effectively harness the power of the data they have because it remains essentially in the state of a raw material forever awaiting its transformation into information.
- Knowledge is created by using the information to make better decisions. In an outcome-based process, you can innovate and learn by focusing on the right long-term outcomes and should have a 20% - 30% failure rate in your activities and some outputs. Adjusting and learning from those failures through analysis and collaboration is critical in achieving the greatest impact and is only possible when knowledge is present and applied.
- Wisdom is created through the use of knowledge by knowing how, with whom, and when to utilize that knowledge. Wisdom considers the future, by learning from the implications and lagged effects of knowledge and how to use good judgment. It builds TRUST! When trust is established, collaboration and ultimately convergence begins to take root in powerful ways. This is the type of Impact that funders are looking for.
Our View of the Future
Global Convergence – We believe that multi-stakeholder collaboration in achieving social return is a significant and growing trend in the social sector. Accenture ADP and others agree, and have clearly documented the trend in terms of the convergence of issues, interest, and solutions toward global development. It is being driven by business, and includes funders, governments and nonprofits working together to solve global issues. In our view, the key requirements for convergence are the players that are working in the knowledge stage of DIKW with relationships based on performance and trust.
Thinking Globally but Acting Locally – We believe that convergence will start more readily at the grassroots level where individuals and small groups within organizations begin to work together on small projects that can establish trust and achieve successes that can be expanded upon.
Convergence Needs an Ecosystem – Effective convergence will grow when all stakeholders can work together on a single platform, and share information and the knowledge learned. That is what Newdea has built and is continuously improving – the gathering place to collaborate, learn, and achieve the greatest impact. We invite you to join us.
Work with us to achieve greater impact
Newdea has been a leader in outcome-based solutions for more than 13 years and we are currently working in over 135 Countries. We want to work with great people and organizations who seek to make a lasting impact in this world. We work closely with our clients and partners to continue to advance, innovate, and provide the solutions the industry needs to achieve greater impact. If you care about impact as much as we do, then sign up and use our tools to get started on your own mastery of the creating outcomes and the DIKW continuum or contact us to know more about how we can work together.