A few weeks ago I participated in a panel discussion arranged by the network Swedish Learning Association. The subject for the discussion was Competence Development and we who was in the panel came from two furniture dealer companies from Sweden, IKEA and Kinnarps. It was really interesting to learn from another company working in the same field.
But what really caught my interest was a discussion that started way too close to the end of the gathering. One participant started asking us questions about how we proved that our competence development initiatives were successful. Did we prove it with showing the ROI? My response was that I have never calculated ROI in my life. But the participant wasn't happy with that answer, because how can I prove the right for an L&D department, if I don't show the management that they get something for the money they invest.
On the way home I reflected on my views on ROI and came to some conclusions. So here they are: