Peter Drucker famously said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” There’s no doubt, he was right. And, for certain, we live in an age of metrics. But knowing what to measure and how to use the information gleaned remains a constant challenge, in business, sports, public policy and more.
So we were pleased to read an op-ed in today’s Seattle Times by Michael Brown, the civic architect at Civic Commons. His piece addressed the challenge o shared prosperity, an interest that drives the activity of Opportunity Washington, as well. Brown writes,
The coming weeks and months present a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revisit our region’s values and priorities, to collaborate on a vision of the “normal” we want to achieve moving forward. Shared prosperity — the idea that we all do better when we all do better — must be central to the way Greater Seattle charts its path to recovery.
One place to start: the Scorecard for Shared Prosperity. The scorecard is a Civic Commons tool that works as a data-driven economic gauge for leaders within the private, philanthropic, government and community sectors. It tracks our collective progress using measurements like food insecurity rates, postsecondary education rates and the percentage of cost-burdened households.
The goal is simple: Create a fair system in which everyone has access to the opportunity and resources they need to thrive.
We visited the group’s scorecard and recommend it to you. And we recommend reading the op-ed. Brown closes with this:
We now have the opportunity to build a region that’s stronger, more inclusive and more resilient than the one we had before. Let’s not waste our chance.
Reviewing the Scorecard for Shared Prosperity also reminded us to visit the Association of Washington Business Institute’s Washington in the Making site, which features “Washington’s Vitals, “the most current data that can be used at the state and community level to track progress.” It’s frequently updated and easy to use.
And that led us to visit again the Washington Roundtable’s valuable Benchmarks for a Better Washington.
Finally, we can’t forget to mention our own Scorecard, due for an update soon.