Close Search
Sponsored  |  InnovationSocial innovation

Four things you need to do to create an innovative and impactful organisation

8 February 2022 at 8:19 am
We sit down with Dan Bentley and Tracey Newman from Impacto Consulting to find out how organisations can rethink the way they work to create lasting and effective impact.

Contributor | 8 February 2022 at 8:19 am


Four things you need to do to create an innovative and impactful organisation
8 February 2022 at 8:19 am

We sit down with Dan Bentley and Tracey Newman from Impacto Consulting to find out how organisations can rethink the way they work to create lasting and effective impact.

After seeing more and more organisations struggle with the pace of change in the sector, Dan Bentley and Tracey Newman, the founders of social impact consultancy Impacto Consulting, realised they needed to re-think the way they were working with their clients.

Dan Bentley

For the past four years, Impacto Consulting has worked with not-for-profit, social enterprise, and government organisations using human-centred approaches such as co-design to create collaborative solutions that work for the people they are made for.

But the changes to funding models, royal commission outcomes, and new service providers entering the market meant organisations that were traditionally successful were now finding it difficult to adapt and survive.  

Historically, consultancies like Impacto Consulting were hired by organisations to run projects on their behalf to solve big problems. But the team behind Impacto Consulting came to realise, after working alongside leaders, that this approach was a bit of a band-aid solution.

What leaders really wanted was to change the way their organisation worked, making them more human-centred and imprinting collaboration and innovation into their DNA.

With that in mind, Impacto Consulting has created the Innovate for Impact program to transform a “just surviving” organisation into an innovative and impactful one.

Tracey Newman

The program turning “surviving” organisations into innovative and impactful organisations 

The Innovate for Impact program, which can be tailored to the specific needs of the client, is based on the four qualities that Bentley and Newman say all the impactful and innovative organisations they have worked with have in common.

So what are these four qualities? 

1. Mission focused

This is about having a unified and aligned strategic direction that runs through the core of an organisation – a mission that is embedded in the everyday workings of an organisation, from top to bottom.  

Whether it be the board, the staff, or the stakeholders, Bentley says it’s critical that every part of the organisation is united, inspired and genuinely believes in the goals they are working towards. 

“By getting them to buy in, really winning over their hearts and minds and having a strategy that’s ambitious and is really going to deliver on what they care about, they’re more likely to want to see change happen,” he says.   

He added that clients and stakeholders must also be involved in the development of this strategy. 

“If you don’t have the needs of your clients at the centre of what you’re doing, it’s not going to be aligned to the overall strategy and mission of your organisation,” he said. 

2. Creative leadership

To keep up with the rapidly changing world that for-purpose organisations are now operating in, investing time and money into building a team of creative leaders that are flexible and adaptive is really important.  

Newman notes that there are three things to look for in creative leadership; being able to create an environment that fosters creativity; being able to bring mission to life; and being adaptive to change. 

“The organisations that embrace creative leadership are the ones that are able to navigate the changing world, because their leaders are really good at managing change. They’re able to give their people a reason to do things differently,” she says. 

“They’re able to demonstrate to their people that they embody the organisation’s values and bring them to work on a day-to-day basis.”

3. Client centricity and collaboration

This means you are creating an environment where your clients are at the centre of  everything you do and you are regularly collaborating with them to create better solutions at all levels of the organisation.

Bentley says this is a long-term process that everyone in the organisation needs to be working on. As well as this, it means actively involving the people with lived experience in day-to-day decision making. 

“Creating opportunities for your clients and important stakeholders to influence your decision making at all levels of the organisation, is incredibly important,” he says. 

“We’ve seen some organisations that have people with lived experience on their board, so that when they’re making decisions they’re able to ensure they can easily include that perspective in their decision making.”

And in a world where clients have more power and are demanding more from the services they receive, Bentley says this will keep you ahead of the game. 

“If a client isn’t happy with the service you provide, they just won’t use your service,” he says. 

“Which means that as a provider you’re not able to make the impact in the clients life that you want to make.”

4. Empowered people

And lastly, if you want your organisation to deliver the most impact it can, you need to give your people the resources they need to innovate, such as training and tools, and create a process that prioritises initiatives and enables changes to be made in high-impact areas.

Newman explains that everyone in the organisation should feel empowered to make a change if they think something can be done better. 

“You want to have a process where if someone wants to change a process or service for a client, they’re able to raise the issue, have it assessed, and then actually see that change take place,” she says.  

This also means ensuring you have systems and training in place that allow for these changes to happen. 

“Ensuring your systems, products and services are actually changeable, so it’s okay to have continuous improvement, is really important,” Newman says.  

“Teaching your staff to co-design or teaching them systems thinking and human-centred design, and all the different types of innovation methodologies that are out there means they are going to know what to do, and they’re going to be able to solve problems in a really good way.”

So where to now? 

If you’re feeling a little lost on how to actually get started, don’t worry, Impacto Consulting has you covered. 

This five minute online assessment has been designed to help you identify the top areas you need to focus on to improve your results and deliver even more impact.

The free tool will send a detailed report right to your inbox, outlining your strengths and opportunities for growth; practical actions you can take based on your organisation’s unique scenario; and access to free resources to improve your score such as webinars and podcasts. 

You can then get in touch with the Impacto Consulting team to co-design a program that fits your organisation’s needs and delivers more impact. 


For more information about Impacto Consulting’s Innovate for Impact program, or any of their other services, head to:

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at or download our contributor guidelines.


Webinar Value Packs

Get more stories like this



The Indigenous-led program rethinking education

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 30th March 2022 at 4:24 pm

Getting new ideas up – The three pillars

Mike Davis

Tuesday, 14th December 2021 at 8:15 am

How TACSI’s social R&D paper was inspired by biscuits

Nikki Stefanoff

Monday, 2nd August 2021 at 4:58 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook