Monday 24 September 2018

Moving Higher: From Outcomes To Returns

The first time I participated in a national level contest to validate our startup idea I think I took close to two months to answer just six questions. I felt a sense of accomplishment after that though, because I finally got the key elements right:

What problem we are addressing?
What is the magnitude of the problem?
What is the scope of impact across the globe?
What features the App must have?
What is our marketing strategy?
What numbers do we currently have?
What is proof of concept to support the idea?
How we will monetize?
What is the financial projection?
What kind of client traction do we have?

It is strange how a simple training program became an idea for an App. All I wanted to have a few years back - a training module that is outcome driven and can lead to measurable outcomes.

In the last organization I worked - I have facilitated training to front level managers when L&D team sent me invites for those. This was in addition to my primary role to migrate new business.  I was also part of an Action Learning Program that worked on a framework to measure returns for training intervention. 

Measuring outcomes is one thing
     Measure returns on investment is a lot more complicated.

A facilitator will find the function futile if there is no measurable outcome. The only thing that I pondered on for a very long time was to build a training program that will guarantee outcomes. I wanted a learning program or mechanism in place where outcomes can be measured. That can be the program differentiator too.

The general practice was to highlight how many people attended the program and automatically assume that many people were impacted – That was something that I could not quite accept. I wanted level 4 outcomes based on Kirk Patrick’s measurement model for the training program I wanted to design

That is how BECKON Methodology was conceptualized.

Till this point, I must have shared in many of my blogs before. What comes after this was how BECKON App came into being as an apt solution

The surest way to ensure return on investment is to deliver outcomes for which you are trained and then quantify based on cost incurred and financial returns received.

Who measures outcomes?Who measures return on investments?

Even if we identify stakeholders with ownership, what methodology should we follow?

None of this is easy. When large corporations invest crores in training - L&D Team, content designers, fees for online courses, external trainers, mentors, revenue loss due to learning time, calculating the financial component to measure returns post training is a Herculean task. 

Who is qualified to tell you if the approach to measure is perfect or has scope for improvement?

The challenge:

A recent fellowship application asked me this question – How did we adapt when someone challenged our approach to our work

The fact is no one really challenged our startup solution. We did a reality check ourselves and challenged our own belief system. We believed there are many qualified coaches, mentors, experts, companies ready to recommend solutions for measurable results.

When we approached experienced professionals who made lofty claims about past achievements and asked if they were ready to offer their services and own outcomes – they were more than ready. 

Our key differentiator is if the BECKON Coach cannot support a project till outcomes are achieved or if their association/ recommendation/ consultation/ coaching did not bring the desired results - they have to refund the fees. We did not find anyone ready for this. 

That is when we worked on 500 Model for a pilot run to have only 500 BECKON coaches on board first whose case studies will be approved by a panel. When anyone works with a BECKON coach they can be sure of outcomes. 

When we conducted a quick survey with a small sample size how many are willing to invest in learning, if they know they have a chance to recover the money back by working live projects, almost everyone were ready.

Out of 15000 applications, our idea was selected for the next round which is a powerful validation of the work we are doing. 

Who is a BECKON Coach - X or Y?

X has a skill who taught Y. Y is using that skill for a living and is getting paid for that skill or is teaching someone else. 

X is the BECKON Coach here because he has Y as his case study
Any coach that can provide a case study with measurable outcomes due to their recommendations/ consulting intervention is a BECKON Coach.

Do you have a case study to share?