Evaluation of Formal Learning Programs is a marketing activity

One should not evaluate a formal learning program to justify that the money and time were well spent. One should evaluate a formal learning program to get resources for the next program. If there is a “level 6” evaluation of a training program, it is, “did it lead to growth of the training program/growth of the training group/promotion of the sponsor?” If not, all other metrics are irrelevant. Of course lessons learned should make the next program (the X+1 program) better. But the driver of those improvements is to get an even better evaluation of X+1 than of X, so that selling the X+2 program is easier. There are those who view marketing as selective truth telling at best and lying at worst. That is too bad, because ultimately marketing is evolving the premise for a sustainable vendor relationship. It involves as much listening as talking. Credibility is hugely important, therefore. Honesty is a sine que non of any sustainable brand. But the culture of the group has to be growth through success, not just introspection. Evaluations should be done looking forward and outward, not backwards and inward.

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