In the Centre for Executive Development, we know that to differentiate ourselves, our clients need to gain visible business value from the programmes we deliver.
With this in mind, we don’t only design and deliver our programmes in partnership with clients, agreeing up-front with the multiplicity of relevant stakeholders the metrics that a programme must achieve, we also time-table into our delivery assessment of return on investment: the extent to which we have achieved those intended results.
With the support of senior managers and sponsors as well as that of the Programme Director throughout the delivery process, we work hard to ensure that participants’ focus on the learning outcomes is real.
From the start of every programme, participants are encouraged to purposefully look for how they should apply the learning in the context of their day-jobs. As the programme unfolds, they are accountable for demonstrating application of learning at key junctions through a modular programme. Thus at the end of our programmes, a portfolio of application of learning exists, ready to be validated, celebrated and shared.
Measurement of ROI delivered by management development programmes has long been the subject of deep debate. At Aston Business School, our approach is unambiguous and practical. We identify the actual value gained for the client organisation - in terms, for example, of saved time, improved quality, reduced costs, incremental revenues won, talent retained - by participants’ application of tools, frameworks or models specifically learnt during a programme. Though this does not begin to measure the wider, arguably more valuable, cultural and relational benefits that accrue from a clearly designed, well run, high-impact development programme, it is at least a start at tangibly quantifying benefits gained. Refreshing!