Key Performance Indicators for the Beloved Community

August 3, 2012 § 2 Comments

A Key Performance Indicator is a performance measure. It is a metric (quantitative measure) that reflects how well some goal or desired outcome is being realized. When identifying Key Performance Indicators for a desired outcome, it’s important to focus on metrics that drive desired behaviours; focusing on performance against a metric will encourage behaviours that improve that metric. So if improving the metric encourages behaviour that does not reflect or improve the overall desired outcome, it is better not to use that metric as a Key Performance Indicator.

I’m interested in Key Performance Indicators for the beloved community. I am exploring representative ways of measuring  each of these, but I’m focusing first and foremost on the defining factors of the beloved community.  I’d like to understand the factors that reflect the beloved community as I have come to understand it from the work of people like Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis.  Here are my thoughts so far on defining”factors” for the beloved community:

  1. Agape: People support each other in reaching their full human potential. They extend unconditional goodwill, compassion and understanding to each other, regardless of differences between them. People direct their compassion towards people, and their aggression towards conditions.
  2. Justice: Justice prevails.
  3. Nonviolence: Conflict does not result in violence. Nonviolent approaches are the accepted way of addressing all conflict.  Well-documented nonviolent approaches to dealing with conflict include:  Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation, Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC), William Ury’s principled negotiation, William Ury’s 10 roles of the third side.

Is this the minimum complete set? If these factors exist within a community, will the beloved community have been achieved to its fullest potential?  Is it possible to have a subset of these factors realized and still achieve the beloved community?

I suspect the fact that the beloved community encompasses everyone (and therefore is not bounded) needs to be reflected somehow.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments?  I’d love to hear them.  Send me an email:

Amy Dillon


§ 2 Responses to Key Performance Indicators for the Beloved Community

  • Robin Nelson Wildman says:

    Hi Amy,
    I love the way you are thinking! I wonder if the 6 Principles and 6 Skills are all you need. Don’t they encompass justice and agape and reconciliation? Am I thinking too simply? I feel that if you believe in and follow what they outline then what could be missing? Robin

    • Hi Robin,

      Thanks so much for thinking about this and responding. I need the thoughts of others to help me grow mine, so it REALLY HELPS. I started with the 6 principles when I first started thinking about this, and had the sense that they were necessary but not sufficient. The framework really is principles and skills, which we have to have. I do not question that, and assume it is a given. In fact, I am trying to create a pull for it. So in addition to the Kingian framework, I am interested in having *something* that enables us to know when we have succeeded and more importantly, when we are making progress towards the desired outcome when it doesn’t feel like we are (in any given movement or struggle). I am hoping to be able to help people in the struggle know they are making a difference in the things that matter, even through “the darkest night”. Facts to counter the media. And to help us manage our own perceptions. “We are succeeding. Here’s how we know” kind of thing. Actually, I am even trying to provide an approach that enables the underlying conflicting goals in the movements (e.g., integration vs. separation in the civil rights movement and beloved community vs. removal of power structure in Occupy) to be tabled and addressed up front.

      I will keep posting thoughts as I pull them together, and am happy to be challenged all along the way. So please do keep pushing back. Thank you!!

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