Skip to main content

How to create your impact scorecard

Most resumes and biographies list the individual's activities, outputs, or possessions like in ... I have a master's degree ... I am a VP in a large company ... I lead a 500-person team ... I've published 5 articles ... These items make the individual and his/her family proud. But how do readers react? Readers likely have one or more of these questions in their minds:
  • "So what?"
  • "What's the big deal?"
  • "What's in it for me?"
Such questions pose a challenge to the traditional resume. The test might fail even when you have measures (team size, for example) and associated numbers. India's Mahatma Gandhi fasted a certain number of times as part of his campaign. Whether the number was 5 or 50 is not as important as the outcome he is credited to have achieved.

So, I'm suggesting that we explore beyond the activity/output/possessions boundary. Try outcomes. Try impact. Outcomes and impact are already used in business through frameworks such as results based management.

Depending on what you've been doing, measures/numbers may be available at the Output (or rarely the Outcome) stage, but Impact, in most cases, will not have any associated measures/numbers at all.
When you make outcomes/impact claims, believability is a factor readers will expect you to address. And here's what you do: Make your claims verifiable in the public domain through sources like media reports, awards, articles, etc.
Develop a compelling way to articulate your outcomes and impact:
  • Consider the stakeholder-view (how did you impact your team members rather than how many people you had in your team)
  • Provide a drill-down, showing traditional info such as activities/outputs/possessions
  • Provide verifiable evidence for each outcome/impact claim
  • Provide background information that highlights the value and uniqueness of your contribution (did you innovate in an innovation-unfriendly culture?)
If you find this interesting and want to get started, great! Outcomes/impact are a long-term thing that might take 5 to 10 years or more to achieve. But your current focus on outcomes/impact will help you get your priorities right, use up your full potential, and make a positive difference in the lives and careers of others (people and organizations).

Want to see my impact scorecards? In the post below titled "Thanks to...," click the items highlighted in yellow.

And let me know what you think!


Popular posts from this blog

Explorer mentality Vs conqueror mentality

A fixation on competitors and on beating them is evidence of what Amazon's Jeff Bezos calls a conqueror mentality. In contrast, people waking up in the morning thinking how to innovate for the customer -- and having intense fun innovating -- is evidence of an explorer mentality.

The explorer mentality resulted in Amazon allowing negative reviews of its products. Reacting to this, a book publisher objected, saying "You make money when you sell things." But Bezos thought, "We don't make money when we sell things; we make money when we help customers make purchase decisions." So explorer mentality also demands a willingness to be misunderstood for long periods of time.

During his 16 years as CEO, Bezos' Amazon has delivered shareholder returns of 12,266% (industry-adjusted), and the company's value has grown by $111 billion. More in HBR Jan-Feb 2013.

M&A perspective: IT staffing Vs IT consulting

This report is a simple analysis by HT Capital -- a boutique investment banking firm in New York. It basically makes the point that being a staffing company (Vs consulting company) does not provide adequate returns to most investors, especially from an M&A perspective.

Peter Rozsa, co-author of the report, is a Senior Managing Director at HT Capital. He was also my "classmate" at a Columbia Business School executive education program. I have Peter's permission to make the report available here.

Click to download PDF report.

Corrupt media: lessons for better behavior

During the US election cycle, so-called "liberal" media outlets have been misleading the people of America and the world. They focused our attention on Trump's bad WORDS instead of on Clinton's bad ACTIONS. Even their polls and predictions were totally wrong.

Post-election, they continue to fuel division, violence, and racism.

US election reporting in India too has been hate-filled (Chidanand, for example).

In the midst of all this is a fresh, objective voice. Chetan Bhagat is not only an intellectual, but a rare truth-speaker. Here are 5 things he tells the elitist media:

You are not as smart as you thinkPeople are the keyUnfair criticism always backfiresDo not impose your views on othersGet out of the bubble.
Here's his original article.