The photographer, David LaChapelle, visited the Dublin Wax Museum after it had been recently vandalized. Damaged and broken wax models of famous people were sitting discarded in boxes. They were now garbage. David set the wax figure parts in different positions and photographed them. These images were later shown in Paris and New York in the exhibit “Still Life”.
David saw a situation from a different point of view – transforming broken art into a new art form.
Reinterpretation happens all the time. Music is redesigned with rap overlaying an original rock melody. Fashion blends contemporary design or fabrics with 60’s funky styles. The fusion of different cuisines can transform an ordinary dish into something creative and exciting.
Reinterpretation can also instill new life when an evaluation system is dysfunctional. Reports may not be timely or useful. Evaluation may become a political game, perhaps a blame game. It may be focused exclusively on accountability and heavy on proving results while lighter on learning and improving. Key stakeholders may be left out of the process. The process and the products themselves could be emblematic of a broken evaluation system.
Examining how pieces fit together in a systemic way can provide a new perspective. Consider more than evaluators who are conducting evaluations and the sole source of change being training. Take into account overarching structural changes. Retain the best policies and procedures. Modify, drop and adapt others. Develop new ones. Adequately fund evaluation activities. Take a fresh look at who all could be involved in evaluative activities with insights provided both inside and outside the organization.
Through leadership will and commitment, these types of changes can enhance the organizational culture and help to transform evaluation from a broken system into one that is dynamic and useful.