Outcomes Awareness

Beyond Tangible Outcomes

Outcomes awareness is the understanding that meeting outcomes that go beyond products, services, and graphic visuals.

Example outcomes can include: new internal processes, new workflows, new business model designs, restructuring assets and talents, new revenue streams, new branding campaigns, multi-facted strategies, tactics, and decisions.


The blowback with mainstream design thinking and creativity for nonprofits, NGOs, and charities is the assumption towards tangible solutions.

This is exacerbated by the "service delivery only" mentality that can be prevalent in the sector. In the beginning of collaboration, you just don't know what you need exactly yet. And you don't know if you need innovation, or an improvement, or something else. We call these situations fuzzy problems, fuzzy goals, or sometimes foggy problems.

An awareness of outcomes doesn't mean that you're required to explicitly create the outcomes yourself. Nonprofits just need to understand that whatever they create from a workshop or strategy session that solutions go beyond tangible things.

Tangible vs. Intangible

This is a very loose framework in the way skylance.org classifies meeting outcomes and not intended to be an official taxonomy. However, skilled facilitators will acknolwedge that products and services are only a part of the of the solution spectrum. Here are some other ones to consider:

  • New strategy (branding, audience engagement etc.)
  • New business model
  • New internal process
  • New way of conducting affairs with your audiences
  • New policy
  • Various improvements

Innovation vs. Improvements

Make sure you have a process that includes some essential activities:

  • Problem Definition
  • Framing/Reframing
  • Fact Finding

Fast Action Tips

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