Organizational leaders often request that we (consultants) demonstrate the effectiveness and/or impact of our work.  Kudo’s to them.  I’m glad they ask the question.

Nothing is more engaging to me than to work with an educated executive or organizational leaders.  We can demonstrate the impact of our work short- and long-term, but we need to know it at the beginning of the project.

What lessons have I learned about measuring impact over the years?

  1. The more educated the client is about the process and what they expect the better.
  2. If the client doesn’t ask the question at the beginning of the project, I should.
  3. Financial returns (ROI) will come over time, but not in year one.
  4. Predictable results come more often in projects that are planned, implemented and improved over time.
  5. The marketplace holds rich data that anyone can access.  No need to start your own research project.

Knowing this, let me provide you several examples of global studies, their source and a few of the conclusions:

  • Towers-Perrin Global Workforce Study:
    • Only 21% of workers around the world are fully engaged in their work, meaning their is a significant gap to capitalize discretionary effort.
    • Companies with the highest levels of employee engagement achieve better financial performance and better retention with their most valued employees than other companies.
  • McKinsey & Company:
    • Only 1/3 of organizational transformation & change efforts succeed.
    • Tactics that make a difference:  set clear and high aspirations for change, engage the entire company productively in the change effort, and finally, use various communciation and accountability tools to keep employees informed.
  • Hewitt’s Top Companies for Leaders 2009 Study:
    • Leadership differentitates successful companies from those who are unsuccessful.
    • Top companies have clear strategies for leadership development, and execute on those strategies.
    • Clear expectations and accountability are common in top companies.

What data do you most often use and rely on to build your strategic agenda, and shorten the critical path to your results?  Where do you find them?  How much more can you advance your work by using published research more often?  Your comments and feedback are always welcome!