Who’s to blame for making “impactful” a word?

B2B“Impactful” is officially a word. Yep, it’s jumped from the Urban Dictionary to Oxford Dictionary. What the heck happened here? And who’s to blame? It couldn’t be us, could it?

We live in a culture that is obsessed with accountability. Partly influenced by the availability of data online (and maybe some disappointing politicians…sigh), people hold other people and organizations responsible for doing the things they say they will do.

As mission-driven organizations, you compete every day for the time and money you will use to change the world. So telling your story isn’t just about showing outcomes, it’s about demonstrating impact—it’s about holding ourselves accountable at scale.

You may find it difficult to tell a compelling impact story that will pull at both the headstrings and the heartstrings. It’s a delicate balance: part storytelling, part data-geek. But if you want to show just how impactful your work is, strike that balance, you will.

To see someone who has mastered that balance, check out Hans Rosling’s TED Talk. That guy makes data sing. And while few of us will be on stage sharing “ideas worth spreading” in the near future, we should all be thinking about how we can use data to show the impact we’re having…and the futures we’ll building because of it.