The (impact) performance mindset

Race day

Suppose you’re a 100 meter sprinter. You monitor your activities before a big race: did you buy the right shoes, eat right, train all you could? Check, check, check.

The social entrepreneurship marathon

If you’re a social entrepreneur or impact investor, you’re running a marathon, not a sprint. Nevertheless, the story of having data that doesn’t measure up — data on your performance but with nothing of relevance to compare to — surely sounds familiar.

A performance mindset

These types of questions are the hallmark of a “performance mindset,” a commitment to measuring outcomes and maximizing performance relative to peers. Such a mindset is essential for all funders, firms and foundations seeking not just to monitor and evaluate good impact, but to understand and strive for record-breaking, maximum impact.

Benchmarks bring out the best

Benchmarks drive a very interesting shift in behavior. Where one-time measures of impact feel somewhat esoteric, or obscure, the act of setting a benchmark naturally sharpens our focus and interest in the numbers.

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