10. Using Evidence to Grow Impact /

10.4 Changing course when necessary


We correct our course based on what we have learned.

To meet the standard in full, you regularly revisit assumptions about your work (perhaps once a year) to see if your evidence supports them. You then review your targets, strategies, and practices. You agree any new directions with your team and other stakeholders.

Take time to think about the bigger or longer-term changes that your impact findings suggest might be necessary.

Sometimes you will identify a quite major change – one that will really change the approach of your social enterprise or require significant resources to see through.

Before committing to a major change in approach, you could ask yourself a number of questions:

  • Is the proposed approach potentially better than the current one?
  • Is it possible to test on a small scale and adapt accordingly?
  • Can any implementation risks be dealt with?
  • Can the results of the new approach be quickly observed?
  • Is there a commitment from within the organization to the change?
  • Have adequate staff, time and money been devoted to it?

Whatever scale of change you are considering, be prepared to respond to internal challenges and resistance to change.

Try to ensure you present your messages in terms that make sense to others in the organization and that take account of constraints. Focus on the benefits for others.

It can be helpful to make it clear that the new approach is informed by the high-quality, reliable evidence.