Seth Godin: If you can't see it, how can you make it better?

Seth Godin writes that If you can't see it, how can you make it better?.

The problem is becoming more and more clear: once we begin to doubt the messenger, we stop having a clear way to see reality. The conspiracy theories begin to multiply. If everyone is entitled to their own facts and their own narrative, then what exists other than direct emotional experience?

And if all we've got is direct emotional experience, our particular statement of reality, how can we possibly make things better?

If we don't know what's happened, if we don't know what's happening, and worst of all, if we can't figure out what's likely to happen next, how do take action?

Emphasis Mine

This is why party reports focus on:

  • Number of people who turned up to an event. This is a measure of the outreach potential. These are the ones who are willing to be seen to be supporting a cause.
  • Number of people joined to an organisation at an event. These are the people who take the step of going beyond agreement.
  • Number of speakers at an event. This is a measure of the diversity of opinions and the willingness of organisers to tolerate them.
  • Number of party papers sold. This is a measure of how acceptable the party's views are to the attendees at an event.

The first one is most suspect because it can fluctuate greatly throughout an event. But the other three (3) are more concrete as it is money in the bank.

What party reports do not focus on (because I imagined it is too depressing) are:

  • Number of inactive members (meeting financial commitments but not turning up to anything)
  • Number of members who no longer meet any financial commitments
  • Number of members who leave to join other organisations

I think these numbers are more important as they represent opportunities for improvement. The party can grow in two (2) ways:

  1. Recruiting new members through public outreach at events and through the party newspaper.
  2. Retention and activation of existing members.

If we do not reduce the second, we end up with a two-tier party: veterans; and the fly-by-nighters. We need to have a party with a clear graduation in experience. This means more mixing of experience.

Although numbers are good, too many numbers can obscure things. Numbers have to be collected with a goal in mind. We have to continually challenge the collection and the validity of the measurement.

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