Tag Archives: progress

Evidence of Progress

I have the pleasure of having a group of educators as a client. Educators have a fascinating way of looking at the world. Typically, they talk and think about the same things as people in the business world do, educators just have different ways of describing those things.

Return on Investment

Take ROI (Return on Investment). In the business world, this typically refers to the expectation that you’ll receive a fair value for a service/product that you purchase. There can be positive ROI – you received equal or greater value. There can also be negative ROI – you received less value.

As marketers, we are constantly looking for ROI. To do so, we measure the analytics. How are our social channels performing? How is the website performing? How did our recent sale do? How did the [name your paid advertising campaign] do to increase sales? The analytics help us collect dots and hopefully paint a picture that defines the ROI.

Educators do the same thing with their students. They want to make sure that the time invested in their students is producing a positive result. They don’t call it ROI, however, they call it “evidence of progress.” Educators are constantly looking for evidence of progress. This is such a positive way of looking at things.

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The Path Towards Progress

Progress is typically defined by forward momentum. Is a company moving forward? Is a person moving on? Is an organization taking progressive steps? The question should really be, is growth taking place?

Progress should not be defined by the number of steps taken forward, but by the number of steps retraced for the sake of learning. Growth and progress always come with bumps and bruises. Mistakes will happen. External forces will work against us. Which means that sometimes, in order to achieve progress, reflection on those mistakes must take place. Although the goal should be to avoid as many mistakes as possible, they will happen. Progress will only take place when learning from those mistakes has occured.

Thomas Edison said it best, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” With each failed attempt, Edison couldn’t just start over. He looked at what was done, why it didn’t work, and then tried again. Progress.

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