What Does Impact Mean?
A respected colleague and member of The Jinks Perspective Advisory Board reminded me this past week that the term “impact” was overused in the social sector. I was actually considering using the term in naming one of my leadership coaching products.
I am glad she caught me. She is so right. It has become nearly meaningless to many, because the public has become numb to the term. It’s a buzz word.
It’s a shame, really, because it is a legitimate word with real meaning. But if we think about it for a moment, we should be able to understand that it is also somewhat ambiguous, and if we are going to use it, we need to make sure we have the compelling story to go with it, and that the story becomes as much a part of our brand as the term.
Collective Impact is all the rage. I for one love the model, and believe in it. It’s a great model if not a great term. I get its meaning. But does the public? Is it actually more meaningful internally than it is externally?
It truly is just a question, but an important one. Pick a word to place in front of “impact”: collective, social, community, sustainable, etc. Do people know what they mean? Do WE?
I think we do, but let’s get our teams together and make sure we do — that we are not merely using the most popular labels in order to feel like we are current in our sector!
That’s The Jinks Perspective.
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