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  • Writer's pictureStuart Williams

What's Your Personal Impact Quadrant?

Having a cadre of brilliant Impact scholars who are passionate about effecting positive change, is a true asset. The Rebecca and Stuart Williams Impact Scholars  are a group of truly remarkable people who are already leaving their mark on the world.

Lately, we had been reading about a great deal of contention between people involved at various levels within the Impact genre. We read about accusations of personal "greenwashing", intellectual "arrogance", having an "in-crowd" mentality, etc., etc. So, we did some research to try to codify who actually has the most impact and why.

In the image above, people falling in the top right quadrant have the most impact. They are "in" i.e. they are connected, they have access to capital, they collaborate, and they transform. The deeper they are "in", the more access to capital they have, and the more they collaborate and transform, the more impact they have. The higher and further right you are, the more impact you have.

People in the bottom left quadrant have the highest negative impact. Even though they are "in" and have access to capital, because they compete instead of collaborate, and transact instead of transform, they actually make things worse.

People in the bottom right quadrant do have some positive impact, and again, the more they are "in", the better their access to capital, the more impact they can have.

People in the top left quadrant have none, to negative impact. Those that are "in", have access to capital, but show up and do nothing, have a negative impact due the resources used to do exactly that, nothing.

From the image, it is quite evident to see what people in each quadrant need to do to move up in the impact scale.

Showing up just to be seen is not providing impact. Showing up only to compete and transact, or to be elitist, actually produces negative impact. Only you will truly know where in which quadrant you fall, but then again, that means being brutally honest with yourself if you are going to land in the right quadrant.

The acid test is outcomes. Way to many conferences/gatherings that attract the same people each year, fail to mandate an inclusion of outcomes for anyone wishing to speak. Far too many are full of people "mentally masturbating" over some esoteric item that will never be grounded in reality.

In summary, our research has concluded that people having the most impact have migrated from whole system thinking to whole systems doing, from compete to collaborate, and from transact to transform. They have access to capital (either their own or through collaboration), and they are cheerleaders for others working on initiatives purposed to help people and planet. They are never jealous, they embrace bottom-up as much as they do top-down, and they often work in the middle-out space. Finally, they are "in" because they have outcomes that substantiate their work, and not because of their bank account.

What's your personal impact quadrant?

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