Welcome to the Summer Camp Leadership blog. For those of us who lead summer camps, making a positive difference in the lives of young people is our passion. Turning that passion into a reality, however, takes more than the ability to lead songs, teach archery or plan craft projects. Creating camp experiences that truly transform lives takes leadership. Leadership that creates a vision for the future, leadership that inspires and engages others, leadership that remains focused and stays the course. My hope is through this blog you'll find ideas, inspiration and tools to help you be a great summer camp leader.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dashboards as a Leadership Tool

Increasingly businesses and not-for-profits agencies are developing and using organizational dashboards. Like an automobile dashboard, organizational dashboards provide real time data on the status of critical aspects of the organization's operation. They let leadership (staff and board members) know what's working as expected and where there might be a problem. They give leaders instant data on which to base decisions and solve problems.

Dashboards use already collected information to measures key metrics that reflect the health of the organization. The dashboard then displays the current status of these metrics and historical trends. They often will also have an alerting mechanism, such as a color, to let leaders know when a metric is not where it should be. This lets leaders know there may be potential trouble and allows them to act early on to address issues.

Dashboards can be developed using sophisticated dashboard software or with more readily available tools such as Excel or Access. A camp dashboard might measure attributes such as registrations, camper return rates, revenue, results from evaluations, staff retention or even Facebook page likes. Anything that can be measured with data could be included in a dashboard. The key is to find the measurements that best tell the story of the camp's current health.

Shown below are several examples of organizational dashboards.