Signs from above
What if nonprofit organizations acted like gas stations?
I have long urged clients to put key metrics of achievement– or its lack– on the wall. When staff and board members come into a room, you want this to be the dominant information they see. It starts conversations that put results first. Several recent articles on gasoline prices made me realize that they do this in a similar way. Unlike the cost of food, clothing, and cards, large displays on gas station signs post the cost of petrol. The public can track both comparative prices and changes in price at the same station. We can go to work, home, or the golf course and bemoan with others the state of gas prices. We have that information in common. Indeed, we have probably been updated within several hours.
What if we had similar visual access to updated information on drug prices, the number of students below grade level reading, or the number waiting for a house after a hurricane in our area? My guess is that while these numbers would not displace interest in gas prices that they would at least bring them into public view and some discourse.
We speak in Results1st about data use. Gas stations know what customers need to see and they provide it. They provide that information within our line of sight and with no need to squint to read the numbers.
We are, of course, left to muse on the “So what?” question. Once we see the gas prices on the signs, do we pause to blame politicians or other external forces, or do we explore buying a car with better gas milage? At some level of updated and highly visible rising gas prices do we consider an electric car or a bike? This posted information lets us ask such questions.