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Five Pillars of ROTI

Five Pillars of ROTI

Return On Time Invested (ROTI) can be multiplied through an awareness of the elements in your ecosystem that decide how much you gain out of any of your efforts.


The Return on Time Invested (ROTI) is commonly understood to be the money value (or return in monetary terms) of the time invested in a particular endeavour. It is related to yet another concept or tool that is used to arrive at the value of one’s time – Hourly Worth (HW), which is calculated by dividing the money earned during a year by the number of hours spent earning the said money (Money earned in a year/ Number of hours spent earning that money). This simple formula helps us to arrive at our earnings in a professionally productive hour, or what is referred to as Hourly Worth (HW). While both these concepts are useful, they have their limitations.


What happens when we invest time with friends and family, or we spend in the rejuvenating lap of nature? The return here is not measurable in monetary terms but can be felt through emotion. Such values may be inexpressible in monetary terms, but they are vital in any discussion on human capital or the people aspect of any enterprise. The value here is related to emotions as well as significance. ROTI experienced as the psychological wellbeing by an individual or by teams or organisations can be the natural outcome of an ecosystem created by the culture of the company, its values, vision, and mission. It is therefore imperative that the intangible, the unmeasured, and the unmeasurable elements of ROTI are made to be a part of every discussion that pertains to the utilisation or investment of time as it relates to human capital.


So, ROTI may also be experienced as a psychological high or as a knowing of having received the value that one cannot calculate in monetary terms. In instances like the free one-on-one Time Mastery session worth Rs 50,000 that I give as a reward to CEOs for the business their companies bring to me, the beneficiary finds it easy to ascribe a monetary value to my gift. However, the pleasure I derive during the one hour of playtime with my grandson is something of a handsome reward, which cannot be evaluated in monetary terms. Both these situations represent high ROTI scenarios. Quantifiable or not, it is the job of the leader to ensure that the members of his or her team get the highest ROTI possible. While meta-changes take time, effort, energy and money, it is possible for you as an individual to understand and influence factors that impact ROTI for your people in many small ways.


Here are the pillars that influence ROTI in any workplace ecosystem:


Talent: When I say talent, I mean abilities with which one is born, that presents one with a natural advantage or inclination. Children often display talents early in their lives. The earliest manifestation of such talents is in the form of inclinations or predispositions like fondness for music, or above-average social intelligence manifested as an ability to get along with a variety of people, or emotional intelligence witnessed as an ability to postpone gratification if higher returns are expected in the future. (Something as simple as foregoing a chocolate at that instant if the future promises two). The talent could also be problem-solving ability, language skills, or logical reasoning. To identify talent and invest time in activities that build on existing talent leads to a higher ROTI. A musically gifted child would obviously pick more from a music class than one who is average.


Invest time in activities that you possess talent in to gain a higher ROTI. 

Skills: It has been said that it is not enough to have talent alone. You should have a talent for displaying your talent. Acquiring new skills helps us manifest our talents better, and also help create new skills. In either case, skilled individuals get higher ROTI than those with lower skills.

Undertake constant upskilling and cross-skilling to gain higher ROTI.


Efficiency: You have the talent and you have acquired the skills that allow you to manifest the said talent, but this is not enough. Undertaking micro improvements in your approach, technique, and processes, and through constant repetition, we gain higher ROTI from our time investment opportunities.

Progressive micro-improvement to develop our talents by acquiring skills that help us manifest those talents help us gain higher ROTI. 

Positioning: After identifying and acquiring talent, it must be manifested and efficiencies introduced in your skills. One needs to position themselves in a space that allows easy access to institutions, experts, and learning resources that can help you to get more out of your time investments. Positioning here implies the manner in which you differentiate yourself in a crowded market place where others sell similar products. Positioning also implies your geographical location and your presence in your target psychographic space online. E.g. Mumbai, India’s financial capital, is a good place for locating a financial business. It is also among the top choices for operating a business in entertainment. Obviously, positioning, which decides how close you are to the ecosystem that provides you with vital solutions.

Proximity to your natural ecosystem provides higher ROTI. Distance from it reduces the ROTI. 


Human network matrices: R.L. Stevenson has said, “No man is an island” , and J. Krishnamurti has stated, “All life is a relationship”. Synergy is everything. With other things constant, a person who is connected to the others operating in the ecosystem, has a better opportunity for using/investing/utilising time in a manner that brings maximum returns or higher ROTI. Our connections with human network matrices (the maze of relationships in an ecosystem) help us to grow our talents, upgrade skills, improve efficiencies, and develop closeness with our natural ecosystem.

Deeper people-to-people connections facilitate in higher ROTI. 


Higher ROTI is the result of a healthy ecosystem in the workplace, which facilitates delight, productivity, and personal growth for all its stakeholders. Is the workplace led by you such a space? Are you a ROTI Positive (R+) company?


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