A FEW YEARS AGO, ROI INSTITUTE served as expert advisers for a benchmarking project with the American Productivity and Quality Center. The project focused on measuring the impact of a corporate university and was organized at a time when traditional learning functions were being converted to corporate universities with new titles and functions. The project involved about 25 well-known and respected organizations, all very interested in learning more about how to measure the success of their corporate university.

Over the two to three months of the project, much to our surprise, two of the organizations in the study dropped out because their companies disbanded their learning function. This was particularly disturbing because these organizations ...

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