A Design Thinking Tool for Learning and Development

Learning Model

In 2012 I was introduced to the Business Model Canvas at a gathering of creative design thinkers. Recently I discovered that a colleague in the corporate training community had modified the canvas slightly to be an effective for learning & development. And the Learning Model Canvas was born. The creative mind behind the LMC is John Delano, CEO of saltbox. He spent some time on skype with me recently to introduce the learning model canvas, explain how it benefits learning leaders, and share some of his professional experiences.

If you work in corporate training in any capacity I think you will find the LMC quite useful. Rest assured this is not another ADDIE model or like any other design model in existence. The learning model canvas is a solid design thinking tool that will help you think strategically about ANY training issue you may be trying to solve.

I recorded our skype conversation which you can see below. But before you watch the video you might want to download the Interactive Learning Model Canvas for free. John’s team also offers an online course and onsite workshops. But honestly, I’m not blogging about this just to promote John’s work…although I do think it’s brilliant. I would encourage you to even start with the original Business Model Canvas and read the book: Business Model Generation. This will give you a much broader sense of how many different problems can be solved through the design thinking fostered by the canvas.

After 20+ years in this industry I’ve seen tools and models come and go. I’ve succeeded and failed with most of them. There is no magic to the canvas itself. As a matter of fact there is nothing stopping you from just drawing the 9 quadrants yourself on a sheet of paper and digging in. The magic is in how you use it. At the very least you can use it as a sort of check list when creating a new training department or project. Its a gut check to make sure you haven’t missed something.

I can say with confidence that one of the greatest problems with most training professionals is their inability to “speak business”. You may never get an MBA, but simply reviewing the LMC as it relates to your course, curriculum, or training department, will get you out of your ISD head and into your business head. And that’s where you want to be. This is just another tool in the toolbox of providing business value instead of just being satisfied with “creating training”.

I hope you enjoy listening to my conversation with John. And if you find the video, and LMC, useful please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.