I recently attended the David Solomon Lecture in Brisbane as part of Right to Information Day. David Solomon designed the freedom of information architecture of Qld and Anna Bligh asked him to do it and more or less implemented what he recommended. So good on her. He is a Good Guy. Anyway, the lecture was given by Don Watson and it was a fun listen – though nothing surprising if you’d dipped into his books on the subject of the mangulation of the language.
I must admit that the highlight for me was the consultants who’d been hired to diagnose why the Anglican Church had lost some umpteen hundred millions in the GFC. The consultants reported that there was an “endemic culture of forgiveness” reaching right up to top management. I laughed.
Anyway, I just sent a former colleague an email, and then realised it should be grist for Don’s mill and sent it to him. Then I thought it could become grist here as well.
I used to be confused. I used not to REALLY know what public policy was all about.
But now, with DIAGRAMS® I can go to work every day knowing what my KPIs are.
This is the diagram that did it for me.
I’m only hoping that it can do it for your organisation. God knows you people need it.
- Ensure the evaluator is independent [fair enough too – except sometimes it’s not a good idea, but we’ll leave that to one side. Ensuring that all evaluations are objective should look pretty good on your self-evaluation.]
- Align evaluation with real action and outputs [ie, not pretend. Can’t stress this one enough – pretend is never good enough. You’re in the real world now]
- Build the right team [ie – not the wrong team. Note this is not as important as 2, but it’s pretty damn important. For instance Hitler was crazy enough. He needed sound chaps to help with the war effort – not more nutters like Goebels, Goering, Hess, Himmler and something simmler]
- Obtain the right data [ie – not the wrong data. Note this is not as important as 2 but more important than 3. Remember – if you’ve got the wrong data, you’re on the wrong tram]
- Timely advice [ie, not too late. For instance, if you get advice on building some major public road after you’ve built it, it can be quite expensive to move it, or even to unbuild it – if your advice shows that it shouldn’t have been built in the first place. All this could have been avoided if your advice was timely – capiche? If not see rule 6. If you didn’t come good on rule 5, you’re unlikely to know where rule 6 is. Don’t worry you’re bound to run into it]
- (That’s rule 6). Focus on the future [ie not the past. The problem with the past is that it cannot be changed. You are a change manager. All change in the past has already been managed – unless you’re in fantasy land – see rule 2.]
- Manage risk [ie do not just sit around eating sandwiches and so on. Manage risk as in – you know managing risk – it really shouldn’t be that hard.]
- Choose the most appropriate analytical technique [ie if you are building a bridge and you need to add up all the weight that will be on the bridge, don’t use subtraction – just throw subtraction away. Same goes for multiplication and division. Stick to adding up. That’s for bridges. It’s different for inventory – when people are nicking stuff from your stores, subtraction comes in handy. It’s easy when you get the hang of it].
- There are not nine points in the program evaluation challenge. Please pay attention. And you’ve not followed the order – which goes clockwise (for obvious reasons – we’re moving forward here.)
- There is a blank space in the – well the ‘space’. (Clue it’s in the middle of the eight boxes). This space is handy because it’s the ‘improvise’ space. It’s the sandpit, the skunkworks. If you want to do something that’s not indicated in the eight boxes, do it. It is very important in strategic planning that anything that any of these guides say, can be ignored – pretty much any time you like. It’s important to be flexible. If you can’t think inside the first eight boxes, think inside the ninth one – which will really let you think outside the box – well inside the box really- but it’s a special ‘thinking outside the box’ box. A win win. This is different to the grey bit in the circle. This is really just, well no-one really knows what it is. It’s just filling space. That’s why it’s dark grey. Don’t write in it (that’s why it’s dark grey), and try not to think about it.
Consultant and changed man. (if it worked for me, it can work for you)