Being able to evidence and evaluate impact – what changes or results your practice creates – is key to understanding how:
- relevant your work is to others
- you can improve
- you can inspire others, including other work colleagues
- you can raise your profile
- you can attract and/or retain a whole range of resources, including financial resources
- you can contribute to knowledge about ‘what works’
Less considered, but equally important, is the impact that your practice has on you, the maker/creator and those who are close to you.
It’s not always clear how best to collect evidence of impact besides being able to quantify very obvious data such as how many people bought your product or engaged with your work because there are always qualitative impacts too, which are harder to measure.
In terms of how your work impacts on you and those who are close to you, there is lots of anecdotal evidence about how meaningful working with arts and culture can be and also how often it can lead to huge stress and burn out, but not all of us talk about these kinds of impacts, and few of us talk about the negative ones. It also doesn’t help that the language of impact and value are often used inter-changeably.
We suggest taking a pragmatic view of evidencing your impact, ensuring that you collect as many relevant facts and figures about what results or what changes from your practice. We’ve put together a simple Impact-Reporting-Framework which you can amend and develop for your own purposes.
Have a play around with it, when you’ve done that, use this journaling tool to reflect on what emerged for you from that process.
Journaling is a great way to connect to a deeper sense of self-knowing and to begin acting from that place. It can help you heighten your sense of self-knowing, enable a shift in the state of your attention to a deeper level and create new awareness and new questions about ‘who you are’ and ‘what you want to do with the rest of your life’. You’ll find opportunities to do journaling exercises throughout this web platform.