Do This With Stakeholder Feedback to Improve Your Social Impact Solution

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Reevaluate Solutions

Feedback offers you this secret skill: high probability. Information from feedback helps you predict what’s next. When you receive honest and constructive feedback, you have a higher probability of achieving your aims or avoiding further mishaps. You’re likely to see the path ahead of you more clearly with the new insights you gain from feedback.

This secret skill also applies to your projects and initiatives. Anytime you gather feedback for your social impact project becomes another chance to solidify your understanding of the community, concern, and solution. You can gather feedback and zoom out to the larger concern or zoom in to the particular details relevant to your stakeholder groups. Tips to Reevaluate What You Know About Your Social Impact

Do you have your feedback ready?

Organize Data Themes

If you gathered all your feedback, you want to organize what you have now. Organizing in process is less about simply seeing how many responses you got to a survey. You have the data, so it would help to find the themes in the feedback.

What are people saying? Are there any themes that relate or reflect each other? What theme comes up the most?

There’ll be plenty of questions you ask stakeholders over time that give you patterns and themes. In fact, themes usually show up in the feedback along the lines of a Scale or Reoccurring.

Scale:

You want to know what aspects of your solution stakeholders consider as worse than expected, met expectations, or better than expected. You’d pay attention to what feedback comes in and recognize where that feedback falls. It’s a method with minimal distraction to get a good idea of which way your solution is headed.

For example, if feedback on your initiative from stakeholders expresses relief, gratitude, inspiration, positivity, or similar feelings, the solution is most likely meeting expectations or performing better than expected.

Reoccurring:

Sometimes what’s said isn’t as important as how often it’s said. If stakeholders bring up a certain point repeatedly, it’s probably something you’d want to pay attention to. They wouldn’t mention it for no reason, and it’s even more important if it keeps coming up separately.

For example, think of it as a situation where you ask friends with opposite personalities for their opinion on an issue and they somehow give you the same advice. That’s not a pattern you’d want to ignore.

What’s in the Details?

After organizing feedback themes, you can look at the answers’ context. Remember, you’re choosing whether to zoom in or zoom out based on the feedback, predicting what could happen next, then deciding who’s to move towards your desired aim:increasing positive impact.

Checking out the details means tapping into your curiosity. You consider where the feedback ties into the next steps of the solution. In one case, the solution may be doing worse than expected so you zoom in to specific details of an error mentioned by stakeholders. In another case, the solution may be doing better than expected so you zoom out to record the overall benefits shared by stakeholders.

As a social entrepreneur, you have quite a few ways to use feedback to improve your social impact solution. Prepare to make plans to do one of the following:

Run new tests or studies:

If there are complaints about a certain feature, you can replicate the process to see the error first hand and take notes (as long as the error doesn’t put people in danger). Have your team ask questions to stakeholders as the error happens or right after it to get a fresh perspective.

Another option is to bring stakeholders in like a small research study to ask specific questions that get deeper into the details of what going on and what options stakeholders might want.

Plan for a pivot:

A few stakeholders may describe problems the solution overlooked, created, or worsened. Sometimes life, even when we take care of due diligence, can throw unexpected factors that cause problematic ripples. This would be a time to reevaluate what you thought you knew about the social impact concern and course correct the initiative’s current actions.

Host campaigns or celebrations:

Let’s say you get positive feedback about how well the solution is working. You can celebrate by running some kind of special offer or hosting a celebration to acknowledge the positive results. It’s nice to give enthusiasm for what’s going well and celebrate doing a good job. On top of that, acknowledging the positive inspires everyone to keep up the good work.

Use Feedback to Challenge Your Understanding

Maybe you thought the idea was good and you got great comments on the MVP you created for trial runs. Let’s go as far to say the solution does work well. There still could be feedback of improvements to make over time, whether the feedback is positive or negative.

Stakeholders could come with feedback that relates to:

How to make the process better

“It works well, but if X, the process would be smoother.”

How the process is holding up (longevity/ durability)

“We’ve been using the solution for a while and noticed it’s starting to break down.”

How much the process helps

“I can finally get more sleep because the process helps me to X.”

No one thinks of everything to include in a solution the first time around. Match that with the fact that the world constantly changes anyway, and it’s reasonable to see why we have things like “updates.”

You get to turn feedback into updates or even pivots that increase the positive impact your initiative makes on a community. Reevaluating your initiative’s solution with stakeholder feedback opens the door to effective improvements.

Reevaluate Solutions
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