Organizational self-confidence is seen as a very positive trait and is often embraced by new start-ups and nonprofits. The concept of self-skepticism is arguably as important but is often neglected. Self-skepticism cautions us to clearly measure our impact before declaring ourselves effective or expanding our organization. We believe that if a healthy dose of this was applied to the charity sector, it would make the world a much better place much faster.
Below is an outline of our organizational self-skepticism checklist. It breaks down into two main categories: (1) do not assume a priori that the organization is better than the evidence suggests, and (2) constantly seek and use critical feedback.
Organization does not assume that they are better than the evidence suggests
Organization seeks and uses critical feedback
We feel as though one of the largest realizations that has made us far more effective was when we started applying a much stronger self-skepticism to our own ideas. Often, we can be harsh and critical when it comes to others’ ideas, but have a much harder time seriously evaluating our own impact.
First published at Charityscience.com in 2014
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