We are careful about the way we spend money and want to be able to pinpoint the value in our investment.

It’s attractive to reduce all aspects of business to pluses and minuses. To fit the world into spreadsheets. This is a fiction. Yet learning and development is not immune to these impulses.

What was once called people development has increasingly been swallowed by the business bottom line. Although Corporations have sprouted L&D and Talent divisions, these offshoots have withered to checking boxes. Keeping up appearances while neglecting the core.

The same laws that govern the business now dictate how learning should occur: faster, cheaper, more productive. Reducing people to ones and zeros.

The unquestionable reverence to ROI has become the gospel of all business decisions.

But learning is not binary. Learning is more like music than accounting; a symphony of experiences that clash, crescendo, harmonize into new mindsets and ideas. Just as music is more than notes on a sheet, ROI’s capture the measures but miss the soul.

How do you measure a soul?

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