It’s a no-brainer. It’s a feeling. Do it!

We all know it happens. When times are tough, the training and development budget gets cut first. It is discretionary spend. Or so it is viewed.

Spending is tightly controlled. Closely argued business cases are demanded. The returns have got to look good to justify any investment. And, of course, ROI on training and development is notoriously difficult to quantify.

And yet some companies seem comfortable with allowing emotion and personal experience to sit alongside numerical evidence when they make investment decisions.

“You think we need to roll out a coaching programme across our customer-facing workforce? Yes, do it. No business case. Just tell me how much. We will know when it has worked because we will all feel the difference.”

That was a reported conversation between a well known global company’s Learning & Development Director and the Board.

And there are plenty of other examples like this one coming out of the Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development conference I am attending this week.

I wonder if we now have a generation of leaders who have grown up with positive personal experiences of coaching and mentoring, and who see spend on soft development as a no brainer.

Literally a “no brainer” because this is a decision based on a feeling. A sense of knowing beyond numbers.


Dave Stewart
The Fresh Air Learning Company