By Victoria Sumner, Program Manager
Oct. 30, 2019
Evaluation. What is it? It sounds like a bunch of boring data and numbers, doesn’t it? What if I were to tell you that evaluation is actually involved in most aspects of your life and can be a tool to increase your quality of life? Merriam-Webster defines evaluation as the determination of the value, nature, character, or quality of something or someone. In regards to business, evaluation is defined as a rigorous analysis of completed or ongoing activities that determine or support management accountability, effectiveness, and efficiency.
In real-time, for a business owner, this could look like an assessment of the effectiveness of a new product through the means of collecting live feedback from customers. How do you know your product actually works? Are you afraid to ask for unbiased feedback or hear a negative review? For many organizations across the world, nonprofit and for-profit, evaluation is used to take a deeper look at their management processes and programs; the quality of their internal and external relationships (ie. stakeholders, funders, or customer); and also if the organization maximizes its efforts to ONLY do projects that are related to the mission and vision for that organization. Research professor and author of five #1 New York Times Best Sellers, Brené Brown stated, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change”. At its core, when you decide to evaluate a program, a process, or oneself, you’re deciding that you want to see it for what it is, good or bad, productive or ineffective, and now can use that information to make it more efficient at the risk of looking or feeling foolish. Vulnerability and evaluation go hand in hand in entrepreneurship, business, and in life.
If you’ve ever seen the Matrix, you’ve seen the famous red pill, blue pill scene where Morpheus offers Neo two pills. One would allow him to stay in the matrix and be blind to the corruption and dysfunctions of the world and he could potentially live a happy life, yet live in a false reality. The other pill would expose the matrix for what it is with all of the evil that it tried to cover and would give him the opportunity to be a part of changing the world for the better, which can be a daunting task. Why do I bring this up? Self-evaluation is going to be the most important tool that one can use in this crazy world. Identify what your motivations are, your hangups, root causes for your habitual unhealthy behavior, and take a moment every so often to look in the mirror and be accountable for your life. There’s no benefit to blaming your quality of life on someone else who may have hurt you, lied on you, or cheated you out of an opportunity because while they may have affected your life, it’s up to you to change it and live it the way you envisioned it. No one can do it for you.
MORTAR has committed to being the best at getting better in entrepreneurship. We are after continuous learning and growth so that we produce the best outcome at the end of each day. If you’re not moving as an individual or as an organization, if you’re not looking within to challenge yourself to grow, to prune the unhealthy things that set you back, then you are more of a detriment to your dreams, goals, and quality of life. So which will you take – the red pill or blue pill? Commit to this evaluative way of life with us and watch the world around you do the same.What is evaluation? Victoria Sumner @qweenvictoria23, MORTAR's program manager shares with us what evaluation is and why it is needed. #MORTARStaffBlog Click To Tweet