I’ve been thinking about results a lot lately. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of you who have known me for any length of time. Our consulting practice is all about doing the right development projects, aligned to the right strategic initiative, accelerating the results organizations plan to achieve, and measuring the impact of the work we collaborate on.
Having worked in the development field for more than twenty-five years, I’m used to people asking me how to measure results, and to prove that the work we perform will lead to the results we plan to achieve.
There are three things I know don’t work when measuring impact –
Doomed to Failure #1: Having a client – internal or external – ask what the financial return is for a project we just finished, after the design has been reviewed, developed and implemented. Too little, too late.
Doomed to Failure #2: Expecting significant results in too short of a time period. If an organization has been working one way for ten years, offers a two hour program without considering management involvement and policy change, and expects significant change, they are likely to be disappointed.
Doomed to Failure #3: Accepting a project where the entire project design and development is on the trainer’s shoulders. No management partner, no discussion about related policies, not much help at all. I’ve learned my lesson. We ask for targeted support, and won’t accept the project if it isn’t available.
Here’s the point – Measuring the impact of human resource or leadership development projects is possible, although we need to have the appropriate expertise, manage expectations and establish the proper design protocol from the get go.
Surprisingly, It’s interesting to me to hear how much less the request is made and how much lower clients expectations are these days. Sad. Too often they want to know that they responded, offerred a class and can check it off their growing punch list.
Since we believe strongly in our work, as well as the measurable benefits that are available to clients, we spend more time educating them, then offering them choices that will satisfy their needs at different levels of performance.
More and more, I believe that great things are possible, but only through partnership, shared expectations, appropriate design and the steadfast commitment of all players. We often don’t see results, but have every opportunity to build benefits for any of the clients we partner with.