Benchmarks for a Better Vermont (BBVT) is a collaboration of Marlboro College Graduate School, United Ways of Vermont, United Way of Chittenden County, SerVermont, Vermont Community Foundation and Common Good Vermont. BBVT aims to increase the capacity of Vermont nonprofits to manage their performance and measure their outcomes. The Performance Institute is a fifteen month long training for organizations that demonstrate a commitment and willingness to take “deep dive” into Results Based Accountability TM, a model of performance management advanced by Mark Friedman in “Trying Hard is Not Good Enough”.
From June 12-13, a group of over 60 individuals representing more than 17 distinct nonprofit organizations convened in Brattleboro, VT at Marlboro College Graduate School for a conference to kickoff the first steps of the Performance Institute. The Performance Institute is a 15-month long process highlighted here.
The conference represented the first step in the Performance Institute process and the first opportunity for the participants to meet each other. Besides meeting each other, the goals of the conference were to clarify the basic tenets of RBA and break into smaller groups by sector to determine some larger, population-level goals. Over the course of two days, the participants learned more about the RBA process, went through RBA training exercises as smaller groups, and enjoyed some excellent full group sessions.
During the group discussion sessions, one of the conference participants referenced Bruce Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development Model: “Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing”. It was a perfect phrase to remind our participants of just how long and in-depth this BBVT process will be. Although the ‘forming’ most certainly included some ‘storming’ and was not always a simple process, it’s one that will have some great payoffs down the road as the BBVT participants and facilitators continue to work through this process. We’ll look forward to many more months of ‘norming’ and have some great expectations for how these organizations will apply RBA to measure the impact of all that ‘performing’!
Special Thanks from BBVT Coordinator, Kate Jellema to :Delicious Catering: Tristan Toleno, Entera Catering Comfortable Lodging: Alice Matteson, Holiday Inn Express Luxurious Conference Dinner: Randi Ziter and Vicky, Putney Inn Non-stop Building Help & Maintenance: Kelly Fletcher and Mike Hutchins, Marlboro College Graduate School Captivating Videography: Eli Harrington and Jess Wilson, CCTV/ Common Good Vermont Timely Photography Help: Caleb Clark, Marlboro College Graduate School Completely Capable Interns: Chelsea Sargent and Deb Grennon Courteous Shuttle Drivers: Seth Harter and special helper Ellie, Kim Lier and special helper Alex Timely Water Supplier: Kate John, United Way of Windham County Curriculum Design: Kate McGowan, Monica Weeber (we miss you!), Amy Carmola, Anne Lezak Trainers & Facilitators: Dawn, Sue, Stacey, Dennis, Kate M, Anne, Amy and Diana AND FINALLY – HUGE THANKS TO KIM LIER AND ANNE LEZAK, PEERLESS COORDINATOR! UPDATE: Please enjoy this great video interview from the Performance Institute Kick-Off Conference with Caprice Hover, Executive Director of Rutland County Parent Child Center