Define impact management culture

Understand the type of culture you should be aiming for, and what you can do to achieve it

Impact management isn’t just about data collection. Without the support of everyone in the organisation, it won’t matter how good your data collection is. You need to create a culture where people are committed to using data and learning to continuously improve what they do. The page below helps you understand the kind of knowledge, attitudes and behaviours you need to have in place.

What does an impact management culture look like?

We break this down into three things: people's knowledge, attitudes and behaviour.

Knowledge Attitudes Behaviour
Have a complete understanding of your mission and how you plan to achieve this (see Planning section).

Understand how Impact Management can contribute to the project’s objectives.

Understand the service’s particular Impact Management priorities.

Understand their own role in Impact Management.

Have the right analysis and interpretation skills for their role.
Believe in—and are committed to—improving services through Impact Management.

Be willing to change and adapt how things are done in order to achieve the mission.

Be curious about what the service is achieving and whether this can be improved. Keen to imagine and innovate.

Want to share what they learn with others.

Accept failure without blame.
Always be seeking ways things could be improved.

Collect and enter good quality, impartial data.

Share results and learning honestly and transparently.

Regularly discuss results with others – contribute, learn, conclude.

Always try to see things from the perspective of intended beneficiaries and service users.

Change what they do as a result of learning.

In all of this the most important starting point is that you and other senior managers genuinely believe in the potential of impact management to improve your programmes and services. You/they should not see this as something you are obliged to do, but something with real potential.

If there is doubt then you should look again at our guidance on making the case for impact management and some of the other links accompanying our 10 tips for developing an impact management culture. Hopefully these are persuasive enough. If not, that’s fine. But we do not suggest going any further in this section.

Getting started

  1. Look at the description of impact management culture above and think about how it applies to your programme or organisation. Ask yourself, which of these is my programme doing already? Can I think of real examples from things that have happened in our organisation? Where do we still have the most work to do?
  2. Use one of your regular team meetings to discuss the elements of an impact management culture. Ask people to think about how the programme or organisation could pursue this way of working.
  3. Move on to the next page to explore our 10 tips for developing an impact management culture.

Next steps