Founded with the mission to “advance the understanding, practice, and development of leadership for the benefit of society worldwide,” the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) has served both the social and commercial sectors for over 50 years. Many of our programs across corporate, government, philanthropic, and social (e.g., NGOS, nonprofits, K-12 institutions, higher education institutions, and population health organizations) sectors have the goal of improving outcomes for individual leaders and groups, and extending those outcomes to create impact at the organizational, community, or societal level. Our clients often aspire for large and transformational impact.
Using the idea of levers as a metaphor, we present a pathway for how leadership development across contexts can lead to larger scale impact, with examples from some of our current efforts to demonstrate this impact. We also provide a typology of stories that can be useful for communicating complex impact pathways. The typology provides metaphors for understanding the variety of layers of impact that contribute to societal change. Our work in support of this framework is continuously evolving as we are learning, improving our measures, and identifying opportunities for increased evaluation efforts.