- if I say/do nothing, will the outcome be one I'm just as comfortable with?
- how important is it to me to be seen to be endorsing/opposing what's going on?
- can I move this discussion in any way or change this person's mind or is it a done deal and will I just be making myself feel better for trying?
- ...and all of the above can be summed up by: is it useful to the project, the company, or to me to jump in or is my time spent better elsewhere?
I recommend listening to the podcast if you have the time, but here's the summary. Stephen Dubner describes the Cambridge Sommerville Youth Study. The impact of social intervention programs in general is hard to measure and so they seldom are. This was the first attempt at measuring the impact over a long period of time.
It's a great story and there are a few good take-aways, but here's the main one: troubled or at-risk youth that received mentoring (good mentoring!) had worse life outcomes across every dimension than the kids that were left alone. Despite the recipients saying that the mentoring was incredibl…