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Jack PhillipsBy Jack J. Phillips, Ph.D.

Learning and Development professionals often must evaluate their key learning programs, collecting several types of data—reaction, learning, application, impact, intangibles and maybe even return on investments.

What if the evaluation produces disappointing results? Suppose application and impact were less than desired, and the ROI calculation negative. This prospect causes some learning executives to steer clear of this level of accountability altogether.

For some L&D professionals, negative results are the ultimate fear. Immediately, they begin to think, "Will this reflect unfavorably on me? On the program? On the function? Will budgets disappear? Will support diminish?" These are all legitimate questions, but most of these fears are unfounded. In fact, negative results reveal the potential to improve programs. Here are 11 ways to address negative results and use them to facilitate positive transformations:

1. Recognize the Power of a Negative Study
When the study results are negative, there is always an abundance of data indicating what went wrong. Was it an adverse reaction? Was there a lack of learning? Was there a failure to implement or apply what was learned? Did major barriers prevent success? Or was there a misalignment in the beginning? These are legitimate questions about lack of success, and the answers are always obtained in a comprehensive evaluation study.

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Proving ROI in 2014It is difficult to imagine a world of learning and development without technology, and investment in technology continues to grow at astonishing rates. Its growth is inevitable and its use is predestined. But these investments attract attention from executives who often want to know if they're working properly.

Does it make a difference? How does it connect to the business? Does it really add the value that we anticipated? Is it as effective as facilitator-led learning? These are some of the questions training and education professionals must answer to show the impact learning technologies have on talent development.

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strategyBy Dr Patti Phillips

Today's business community, and particularly the talent development community, are relying more on analytics to make decisions about programs and projects than ever before. Yet many people still ask: How do we ensure the right measures are taken and that the connection between investment in our people and the results achieved is clear?

The answer is clear: through the process of business alignment.

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