One afternoon, almost 5 years ago, two extraordinary women joined forces to launch Exact Change Strategies, LLC (ECS). This company was founded on the notion that success is a step-by-step process available to anyone with a clear vision, the correct tools and systems, and the right type of support and guidance. Ananda Moss-Byas and Jill Nilson have a combined 35 years of experience in performance management, including extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. They are passionate about the fact that organizations can succeed – whether that’s by using cost effective strategies, ensuring measurable impacts on their communities, or building a proficient staff team – if they take a strategic approach that includes data collection, analysis, and continuous quality improvement as well as the skills to support effective teamwork.
Read more about ECS leadership in an interview with Ananda:
What professional experience and specialties do you both bring to ECS?
Jill and I have both worked for nonprofits and in the social services field – for a total of 46 years between the two of us! That gives us a first-hand understanding of our customers’ experiences when they are collecting data and using data systems. Additionally, as a licensed social worker and licensed child care administrator for many years, I understand the requirements in the field – the licensing standards, the monitoring visits, and the day-to-day struggles to juggle everything.
We both also have the technical knowledge and expertise in performance and evaluation. Jill brings over 5 years of experience serving on the Social Solutions National Advisory Board. I bring extensive knowledge of evaluation and quality assurance. And, of course, we are both have the highest level of certifications possible in the ETO and CaseWorthy systems.
Our work is about more than setting up a database, it’s about helping our customers tell the story of the good work they’re doing and go after the outcomes they want to achieve. We want them to have high-quality data and reports that they can be proud of. That’s a passion of mine, helping people get credit for their strengths and taking a holistic approach to this work.
Why is performance management so important? What do you like best about this field?
It’s an innate part of who we are. I’m someone who really loves to make things clean, clear, and set people and organizations up for success. You might know in your gut that something is on target, like a service or product you’re offering to the community, but how do you prove it? Credibility is really a big part of it for us. A good story is not always enough.
Performance management is a way to build credibility for nonprofits – or really for anyone, any business that wants to measure something and achieve a goal. It’s about everyone becoming more responsible and working more efficiently.
This quote from nonprofit leader Molly Baldwin in Saving Philanthropy always really strikes me: “You’re taking somebody else’s money to get in somebody else’s life to try to make a difference. You better be showing you can make a difference.”
At ECS, we help people understand the tangible ways that they are being effective. Data can drive decision-making, inform programming and funding, identify gaps in services, and replicate successes. The goal really is for your organization or company to become a living organism that you’re taking care of – getting statistics, collecting outcomes, and making informed decisions. It’s a health and wellness check, the same way you’d plan an exercise program or go to the doctor.
Who or what inspires you in your work?
There’s a book by Douglass Hubbard called “How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business. It echoes everything I’ve been discussing here –organizing information, ensuring it is accurate, and giving credit to those doing good work. We recently published an article in Texas CEO Magazine with our take on his fundamental concepts.
To learn more about Ananda, Jill, and the rest of the ECS team, see our About Us page.