Payback does not have to be tangible but it does need to have perceived value.
Too many organisations get tied up in knots trying to convert every project into a tangible benefit with clear ROI and a payback period of ‘x’ months.
Think of Payback as anything you value enough to invest your cash in.
Last month I asked a sports physio whether she would value feedback. After the explanation of my experience she promptly reduced my bill by 30% despite me insisting I was not looking for discount. Feedback has perceived value, and people pay for it.
I am actually sat in the departure lounge at an airport writing this blog and I’ve just skipped a queue of 500 people at security for a £3 Fast Track fee. For me, saving an hour in a queue has perceived value (it also allowed me to write this blog while trying to avoid the chap selling me the chance to win a sports car for £20).
My point is this. In life we instinctively make decisions based on things that we value. How much change and learning would we honestly get if we tried to put a tangible benefit around every investment decision we made? I’d still be in a queue for one thing! What queue is your organisation in?