Archives

Diversity / Complexity in Focus

  As cities and regions worldwide celebrate Pride the role of diversity, understanding and unity has been brought to mind just as it has contemplating the British public’s choice to leave the EU with Brexit. Both events offer lessons in dealing with complexity and why diversity isn’t about either/or, but more both and neither and […]

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(Re) Making our World

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union is a nod to the future and the past and both perspectives illustrate how citizens everywhere are struggling with how to best make their world – and to what extent that’s possible. These are design choices with systems implications that will be felt far beyond those who are […]

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Reflections said, not done

  Reflective practice is the cornerstone of developmental evaluation and organizational learning and yet is one of the least discussed (and poorly supported) aspects of these processes. It’s time to reflect a little on reflection itself.  The term reflective practice was popularized by the work of Donald Schön in his book The Reflective Practitioner, although […]

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The hidden cost of learning & innovation

The costs of books, materials, tuition, or conference fees often distort the perception of how much learning costs, creating larger distortions in how we perceive knowledge to benefit us. By looking at what price we pay for integrating knowledge and experience we might re-valuate what we need, what we have and what we pay attention to […]

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Developmental Evaluation: Questions and Qualities

Developmental evaluation, a form of real-time evaluation focused on innovation and complexity, is gaining interest and attention with funders, program developers, and social innovators. Yet, it’s popularity is revealing fundamental misunderstandings and misuse of the term that, if left unquestioned, may threaten the advancement of this important approach as a tool to support innovation and […]

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Developmental Evaluation and Design

  Innovation is about channeling new ideas into useful products and services, which is really about design. Thus, if developmental evaluation is about innovation, then it is also fundamental that those engaging in such work — on both evaluator and program ends — understand design. In this final post in this first series of Developmental […]

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Developmental Evaluation and Sensemaking

Developmental evaluation is only as good as the sense that can be made from the data that is received. To assume that program staff and evaluators know how to do this might be one of the reasons developmental evaluations end up as something less than they promise.  Developmental Evaluation (DE) is becoming a popular subject […]

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Developmental Evaluation and Complexity

Developmental evaluation is an approach (much like design thinking) to program assessment and valuation in domains of high complexity, change, and innovation. These three terms are used often, but poorly understood in real terms for evaluators to make much use of. This first in a series looks at the term complexity and what it means […]

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Bringing Design into Developmental Evaluation

Developmental evaluation is an approach to understanding and shaping programs in service of those who wish to grow and evolve what is done in congruence with complexity rather than ignoring it. This requires not only feedback (evaluation), but skills in using that feedback to shape the program (design) for without both, we may end up […]

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The Organizational Zombie Resistance Kit

Zombies — unaware, semi-conscious, distracted individuals — are all around us and running many of the organizations we work in or with. And just like combatting real zombies there is a need to target the head. There is much musing about what a zombie apocalypse might look like, but anyone paying attention to what is […]

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