The Return on Investment

Posted by agratas on October 1, 2009

For many years now, the learning/training industry has been struggling with trying to provide bottomline benefits, hard cash, and a tangible return on investment.

  • Clive Shepherd has consolidated very, many interesting points here.
  •  The Kirkpatrick’s model of evaluation of course is considered as the seminal work in the industry
  •  To which was added a fifth level of ROI by Dr. Jack Phillip

However, what really provides the biggest bang for the buck? Is it:

  •  Informed employees (Cognitive Understanding)
  •  Transformed Employees (Affective Change)

Merely cognitive understanding in an organizational setting will not lead to any ROI. It has to be Application and indeed Successful Application of learning that will lead to meaningful ROI. However, do learning programs emphasize on Application? Most organizations only look at training programs as a means to produce Informed Employees.

This in turn leads to another question – how many organizations today actually understand what transformations they are looking at in their employees? Is research conducted to figure this out and document them so that these in turn become the criteria for transformation?

For any measurement of training effectiveness, it is important to have first outlined what are the transformations you are looking at in your employees and organization.

Would love to hear about any work done in this area!


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Photographs, Memories

Posted by agratas on August 5, 2009

A few years back, I began noticing the visual richness in a moment, like the lushness of a field, the freshness in clear, sparkling water, the beauty of wrinkles, or the dance in someone’s gait. I met someone around that same time, a brilliant artist and photographer who shared and taught me a great deal about this richness in our everyday lives. 

Green, Green Grass of Home

Green, Green Grass of Home

As years have gone by, I tried in many ways to capture the spectacular feeling of what one sees into a camera lens. I succeeded at times, failed in many. A bigger failure (not adapting completely to the digital age I ironically belong to) was however to store them safely, store away a treasure chest of memories and moments in a perhaps forgotten, dusty album in the cupboard. 

Because when you take that dusty, forgotten album and look at an old photograph from school or one in which you are sitting atop a horse with the most hilarious expression, you are transported to that time. You become the self you were then, you sense the people around you, and everything comes back alive as if it were now.

When there is no visual catalyst, so to say, there is nothing that evokes the memory from wherever it is lost in my sub conscious. The jet-streaked skies in Amsterdam, the sizzling bullfrog that I attempted to eat in Shanghai, the Viking swords in Norway…unless I conjure up these memories while lost in thought, it remains forgotten, a part of the past, the eternal eternity.

In the learning context, how can someone remember what they saw or experienced briefly a while back at the time they need to use that learning? What is the catalyst to bring back that memory?


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So much to learn…

Posted by agratas on July 22, 2009

I want to touch upon what one might call a necessity to grow out of one’s own skin, once and maybe more. What use the daily life of peace and rustic certainty – as certain as death – when beckons the enticing arms of adventure, and learning? Each time we learn something, we grow into someone else. And it is the only way we can rally our own purposes or purposelessness.

There are times when even the most enthusiastic of us shirks away form learning something new, but if given status quo, each one of us would yearn to be free from its bind.  

And as the world unfolds into more and yet more things to learn, how will we prioritize our most precious yearnings and try to accomplish or accumulate those within a lifetime.  

This is verily, going to be the challenge of our times.

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In the beginning…

Posted by agratas on July 20, 2009

of every act is a purpose of thought. Agratas is conceived with the purpose of ideating, theorizing, conceptualizing, and in some ways exorcising the conversations that I need to have with myself and the world but perhaps never get around to.

Agratas is the beginning of expression.

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