Excess Noise Knowledge Base

Definitions for those who work in communications and perception


Impact is a tricky word. In common usage, we tend to think of impact in two ways. Physically speaking impact is the moment of contact. Psychologically speaking, we think of impact as the consequence of an action. The dictionary describes both, as it should. As for the origin of the word, it adds to the confusion. The word comes from the latin impingere which means to press closely or fix firmly.

In the context of Communications and Perception Analysis, the word impact is used in its more action oriented sense. Impact is the consequence of a message. This said, we also use it two ways. Impact can be used to describe the impact on one’s own decision, in which case we call it decisional impact. Or, we use it to mean an extended consequence, such as institutional impact, social impact or even global planetary impact.

We also use impact in a more technical context in the Communications Impact Scale and the Communications Impact Value.

Lastly, we use the word ‘impact’ in the context of Impact Optimization. In this sense, we are using the word in the context of improving organizational communications and impact. This is the Excess Noise service that comes into an organization aiming to streamline or improve the communications policies and processes that ultimately result in impact.

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This glossary of definitions is not intended as an academic reference. It is an exercise in thinking on our part. We hope to grow it and welcome any suggestions you may have.