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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Am I the dinosaur or the meteorite salesman

A lovely serendipitous collision of ideas yesterday.

Firstly, sitting next to Charles Jennings at Training Zone Live listening to Jim Kirkpatrick reprise his father's model. The new Kirkpatrick model includes the introduction of a protected term ROE (for Return on Expectation) which is preferred to ROI. I could be cynical suggest that this is because Jack Phillips's model was an addition to the original model and not owned by them (but there is nothing wrong with trying to earn a crust). However, as Charles tweeted during the session, the fact that session focused on the 10% (or thereabouts) that is classroom training, the whole argument was effectively putting lipstick on a pig.

We carried on our discussion after the session about how it is so widespread in our industry to conveniently ignore the whole cost of learning. Jim (citing Rob Brinkerhoff's research) claimed that 10% of the spend on formal L&D is wasted on incidentals and only 90% goes into actual value in the classroom.

But this figure ignores cost of sale (to outsourced providers), procurement costs, finance costs, management costs, development waste and duplication, admin costs, travel costs, cancellation fees etc. I have long been suggesting that the actual spend on intellectual property or actual learning content as a percentage of total is probably less than 5%. But to accept this you must first accept that there is a large amount of waste and duplication in our industry.

And turkeys don't vote for Christmas.

Then Jane Hart send me a delightful tweet, asking me if I had drawn this picture.


I told her that I wished that I had as it summed up some of the conversations of the day perfectly but it was another Hugh who deserved the credit (the extremely talented author is Hugh MacLeod add him to your RSS feeds). Then I laughed as the incisiveness of Jane's wit finally dawned on me...




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