A facilitated group process developed by Yellow Wood Associates in St. Albans, Vermont that integrates systems thinking into strategic planning, identifies key leverage indicators and aligns actions to achieve goals. You Get What You Measure® is an inclusive, values-based process.
You Get What You Measure® is featured in The Nonprofit Outcomes Toolbox: A Complete Guide to Program Effectiveness, Performance Measurement, and Results by Robert M. Penna, published by Wiley. The You Get What You Measure® process is also presented in Shanna Ratner's article "You Get What You Measure®: A Process to Determine and Measure Progress in Community Development" in Issue 18 of CD Practice.
You can download the You Get What You Measure® brochure here
- April 10-12, 2013, in St. Albans, VT: Becoming a Measurement Guide training. You can download an information sheet and registration form for the April 2013 training here.
Learn more about You Get What You Measure®
"What we measure is what we get. If we turn measures into goals,
we lose sight of the big picture."
-Shanna Ratner, Yellow Wood Associates
"As a facilitator, I have done a lot of strategic planning with
groups. I wish I could go back and redo every plan with You Get What You Measure®."
- Lori Higgins, University of Idaho, Dept. of Ag. Economics & Rural Sociology
"Your methodology from You Get What You Measure® was elegant in helping us respond
to the challenge before us. The process was clear and simple in its logic and presentation yet powerful
in terms of the systems analysis imbedded within it. This combination really contributed to the positive
engagement of our employees and partners in the process of deriving our measures."
-Steve Marshall, Assistant Director, Cooperative Forestry, US Forest Service
- Are you working with diverse groups that share a common goal?
- Are you interested in harnessing the energy of the people in your organization to work productively toward a common goal?
- Are you interested in learning how to improve your productivity in real time?
- Are you looking for better ways to measure the impact of your work?
- Would you like to be able to tell a compelling story about your work to the public, your board of directors, or a funder?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, consider You Get What You Measure®.
You can help to ensure the vitality and resilience of your community or organization
by developing your capacity to determine where you are and focus your energy on
actions that will take you where you want to go.
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the many workshops we have presented with You Get What You Measure.
- Fuels continuous learning through reflection
- Creates new information and new patterns of information flow
- Captures results of risk and experimentation
- Supports constructive self-organizing behavior
- Allows us to test our assumptions about the way the world works
- Can lead to new and unprecedented conversations, particularly with information gatekeepers
- Helps us tell our stories
"I found the workshop to be excellent in every aspect. Shanna prepared for the session thoughtfully and comprehensively. The materials were
appropriate to the task. She was on time and engaged throughout the process. She responded to each request and
adjustment to the session, and gracefully adapted to scheduling challenges that prevented staff
from attending the entire workshop. The substance of the workshop was excellent, and the concepts
explained clearly. The subject matter is difficult, which made the assistance that Shanna provided during
exercises of great value. The process and content were excellent, and I plan on using this work and building
on it in multiple ways."
- Andrea Levere, CFED Workshop, February 21-23, 2005
was not just another 'listen, take notes, etc.' workshop. It was a
truly enjoyable, informative, hands-on experience. The
facilitator's participation, get acquainted activities, workshop
overview, and time-management played a major part in the positive
response from not only our group, but others we met. We were
pleased the Draft Summary reflects the integrity of participant's views,
not overshadowed by the facilitator's opinions."
-Participant, Navajo County Forest Health Strategic Planning Workshop (AZ), June 12, 2003
Click here to check out our next Becoming a Measurement Guide training!
What is You Get What You Measure®?
Yellow Wood Associates’ You Get What You Measure® begins with the formulation
of goals. A goal is not an action; it is the condition you wish to achieve in
the world. Powerful goals are formulated as though they had already been
achieved. So, instead of a goal like “creating assets for low income people,” we would develop a goal like,
“low income people have financial assets recognized by
lending institutions.” If that is the condition you wish to achieve, what
would have to change in the world as you know it for you to be able to claim
real progress toward the goal? As each person answers this question, a variety
of “indicators” of progress emerge.
You Get What You Measure® uses systems analysis to understand the
relationship between these indicators as well as the assumptions behind
those relationships. The systems analysis results in the identification of key leverage
indicators that, if changed in a positive direction, will drive change
throughout the system. There are usually no more than two, three or four
key leverage indicators in a system. Once identified, they need
to be clearly defined so that changes can be measured using specific measures.
At the same time, the key assumptions governing their role
in the system are identified. Part of developing measures is considering how
the information will be used once it is available. The next step is creating
a plan for collecting baseline and ongoing measurements. Finally, the
question becomes, “if these are the important measures that are strongly
connected to the key leverage indicators and our goals, what is it we need
to do to move these measures in the right direction?” In other words, what
are the priority actions? Measures can also be used to test the validity of
228 N. Main Street
St. Albans, VT 05478
The You Get What You Measure® process has been provided to a variety of clients, including the United
States Forest Service, the United States Department of Agriculture, the
Missouri Department of Economic Development, Rural Action of Ohio, and
the Massachusetts Rural Development Council.