Grantee Reflections

On Documentation & Evaluation

In 2011, we asked our grantees: “How do you measure the success of the inner work your organization engages in? What indicators of progress do you use to track the impact of your transformative change work? What trends do you notice in the field—and what challenges do you face—in terms of documentation and standards of measurement?”

Two reflective papers we received speak eloquently to the process of documenting and evaluating transformative work:

ForestEthics: On Measuring the Success of Inner Work:

“The success of our inner work has always been measured in part by its manifestation in the outer world. The relationships we forge with allies and corporations, the policies we secure, the size of the marketplace we shift to sustainable practices and the acres we save all serve as benchmarks that are inextricably linked to the mindfulness we bring to those endeavors… In examining and measuring the progress of our inner work directly, we find that the past six months represent some of the most profound growth our organization has ever experienced. Our progress is most clearly evidenced – and quantified – in the number of retreats, trainings and virtual meetings we’ve had that have been specifically devoted to deepening our inner practices and expanding the capacity and range of our transformative change work…” Read more.

Generative Somatics: On Documenting Transformative Change Work:

“Concretely documenting transformative change work can sometimes feel like an impossible task. We use all of the standard methods of evaluation including written and verbal feedback and on line evaluations. While these give us great information, what exactly counts as transformation is a deeper question and one that shows up in actions and ways of being. Yet, when we stop and observe transformation, it is often the work that reveals the most powerful and stunning images, moving conversations and courageous new actions we could ever capture. One of the most significant ways we measure successful inner work at generative somatics is by watching for more and more embodiment in people and organizations. Although that can sound vague, embodiment can be measured by witnessing a personʼs (or a groupʼs) broadened emotional capacity and ability to be with a wide range of emotions; ability to hold contradictions and respond to them from a centered place rather than reaction or trigger; ability to know and articulate oneʼs wants, longings and visions whether they are attainable or not; and a demonstrated commitment to regular practice. We call this new shape and in somatics we see relationships change and deepen; connection to spirit and mystery bloom; effective, powerful action taken; and generous, compassionate moods generated. And, we literally watch bodies transform from contracted, hunched, wounded, inflated, disappeared, silenced, and caved in, to people living fully in their vertical line, taking up width, sinking into depth, and acting from their purpose. We see organizations find new ways to align, source strategy from a broader base of shared practice, and deepen trust…” Read more.