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Why develop people? What’s the ROI? Does L&D/OD bring any value to an organization?

I recently got feedback from a client about a few on the senior leadership team questioning the value of employee development/organization development.


Feedback like that always makes me think a lot about the many times intangible value that comes from doing “that touchy-feely shit” (as I’ve heard it referred to several times in my career). :-)


I think it boils down to this: Do you want mediocre work, or great work? Do you want a mediocre organization, or a great organization? The choice is yours.




Organizations that do great work tend to attract talented people, as well as customers and clients by building appealing brands that emotionally connect employees and customers to the brand. Organizations that do mediocre work typically don’t.


Organizations that do great work tend to attract investors, as well as donors in the not-for-profit sector. Organizations that do mediocre work typically don’t.


Organizations that do great work tend to have strong values, cultures, and leadership that prioritize an intentional employee experience that pays off in employee and customer retention, as well as institutional knowledge. Organizations that do mediocre work typically don’t.


Organizations that do great work tend to be more creative, innovative, profitable and successful. Organizations that do mediocre work typically are not.


People that do great work tend to be happier and more fulfilled. People that do mediocre work typically are not.


People that do great work tend to have higher self-esteem and self-confidence that sparks creativity and innovation. People that do mediocre work typically don’t.


People that do great work tend to look at the bigger picture, understand the vision, mission and strategy, as well as model the values that support the culture of the organization. People that do mediocre work typically don’t.


People that do great work tend to be cool (the psychological term), as well as tend to attract success around them. And we all typically like cool people. :-)


So, there you have it. Eight things to consider if you are going ask the question or have to answer the question.


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