One of the biggest L&D obstacles is getting executive buy-in and funding for learning initiatives, tools, and experiences. One of the best skills a learning practitioner can have is to influence without authority. It is also one of the toughest to master.
âUltra-high-end retailers and restaurants donât always put a tag on their products, or prices on their menus. The attitude towards the customer is, âIf you have to ask, you canât afford it.â L&D has a similar relationship with its customers, but for a different reason: Internal customers might not ask for a price, because they assume L&D will work within whatever budget they already have. This is a problem because without understanding how much they would pay for a new learning feature or an experience, you donât really know how valuable it is to them. So ask yourself: If L&Dâs customers actually had to pay for a service or product, would they?
The Learning Model Canvas is a great tool to initiate tough conversations, but to give real weight to those conversations, you need to find That One Thing, the challenge or problem that can motivate your customer to action. You canât assume that you will simply stumble upon That One Thing; to find it, you need to be asking the right questions.
âIf youâve followed the 3G process, you should be well on your way both Getting and Giving Information. You should now have data relevant and salient to your audience, and woven a persuasive story to get them to the right conclusions. If youâve ever gotten this far with an executive or other partner, only to see the topic drop from their radar, it may be because you missed this week's topic: Gaining Commitment.
ââLast week we investigated what information you need to be armed with before presenting your case to management. But once youâve gotten your information, you have to be prepared to give it to the right people. Data doesnât always speak for itself, at least not in a language that will resonate with the intended audience. As a learning leader, you may be confident in the conclusions drawn from the data, but in the Give Information step, itâs your job to make your customers confident in the data as well.
In a previous post, I introduced the 3G's of gaining stakeholder buy-in for L&D's projects and transitions to new learning models. The first G, getting information, seems obvious, but too often, learning leaders donât fully complete the step and approach executives or key partners before having their case in order. This can be a fatal mistake to L&D's long-term plans, and I'd like to discuss how to avoid it in this post.
Last post the Golden Thread outlined a way to represent the interdependencies of the LMC to executives. But building a visual aid and using it effectively are two different things. Gaining buy-in to a new learning model, solution, or tool requires finding âThat One Thing.â This might be a major company success factor, dominant buying motive, or personal pain point. Whatever The One Thing is for your business, it's up to you to identify and offer an L&D-based solution that will satisfy management.
If you have started drafting your own Learning Model Canvas, you probably have also discovered some of the challenges through trial and error, so great job! Itâs how most of us learn.
One of the most useful benefits of the LMC is to uncover the component interdependencies (CIs), critical connections between LMC components that can help you figure out how these components act together. When components align and support each other, we call that a "Golden Thread." Each model has its own Golden Thread based on the details of the Components.