Most months the news has been marginal. Non-profits are frequently no profits, and because giving to churches and other non-profits is usually highest in December and spending is highest in other months, I have often had to do some explaining.
I am an explainer. It is what I do. However, I have a confession. It wasn’t until this week that I realized that my explaining would benefit from pictures. I always do pictures to help people understand, whether with photographs or words. Except when it has come to these reports.
I spent yesterday making graphs that would give perspective, that would give context, that would help us understand the numbers.
It sort of worked.
As I talked about it this morning, trying to figure out what to do better, a colleague said, “with all the differences in learning styles, how do you make the information understandable to everyone?”
It was a great question.
But, I said, there are only 10 people. It wouldn’t be that hard to spend the 30 days between meetings thinking about the audience and considering how to express numbers as trends, as relationships, as investments, as changed lives.
That would take all your time, she said.
After the first time, it wouldn’t. I would know what I was doing. And they would help each other understand in their own styles. And they, these other leaders, would feel like they owned the information.
And isn’t understanding some of the key indicators of your organization, whatever they are, pretty important?
On one hand, I feel annoyed with myself. Eight years and I just figured it out. On the other hand, I find myself still learning. And that is a key indicator itself.