Director’s Notes: Looking Within

Director’s Notes: Looking Within

by Jill Ryan

Protecting water resources requires continuous introspection. Because the threats to rivers, lakes and wetlands are constantly changing, so must our methods for protecting them. Although some find evaluation intimidating, I find it refreshing and invigorating both for the individuals involved and the organization. By taking the time and energy to look back every year or every few years to ask questions,we create more opportunities to find more effective methods of carrying out our projects and more efficient ways of working together.

Every group, regardless of size, can benefit from some sort of introspection, from occasionally asking a few questions of the members to undertaking a formal evaluation and planning process. If you have previously been intimidated by evaluation processes, try just asking the following questions to see if you feel you are still headed in the right direction:

  • Do we have a clear goal or mission?
  • Are all of our activities helping us achieve that goal or mission?
  • Are there other activities that would better help us achieve our goal or mission?
  • Are there ways we could work with others to be more efficient?
  • Has anything changed either inside or outside of our group that could affect our work?

“The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them.”
-Benjamin Jowett



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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.