It’s difficult to deliver a new learning product that no one expects. How do you manage the change of moving to modern learning?

During ATD in May and throughout our Modern Learning Monthly Dialogues, we continue to hear the challenges you are facing in shifting your organization to modern learning.

We didn’t realize we were opening Pandora’s Box. Throughout our many conversations, there have been a number of themes that have emerged:

💡How are we in L&D perceived in the organization?

💡How do we drive awareness of learning assets?

💡How do we cut through the noise of all the other communication?

💡How do we get buy-in for the change that L&D is driving?

💡How do we create confidence that we will still meet our goals if we are doing something new?

💡What marketing are we doing after the training event?

Change management is hard and similar to effective learning programs, one-and-done won’t cut it. But how do we do it?


Tip #1: Build a Learning Cluster for Learning Clusters

During her practicum experience, Emma Strong, Learning & Development Program Manager at Veritext Legal Solutions built a learning cluster to enroll her organization to the concept of Learning Clusters rather than classes and courses.

Her goal was to shift the culture of learning in the organization. They wanted people to understand that they have multiple options to go about their learning and the autonomy to choose which learning assets they want to leverage when, where and how they want.

Watch her learning cluster presentation on YouTube.


Tip #2: Leverage Change & Marketing principles to support buy-in and drive awareness of your modern learning initiatives


I’ve been seeing the need for integrating change, marketing, and Learning Cluster Design principles to create buy-in and to drive awareness of modern learning.

Last week, during our Modern Learning monthly dialogue, the conversation was a goldmine of change management and marketing tips & tricks.


Coniqua Abdul-Malik suggested that we think about how to reach individuals. Find champions within the organization to act as influencers to highlight social proof. Change management theory, especially dialogic and complexity theory-based change models, reiterate Coniqua’s great insight.

Irwin N. Jankovic, Ph.D. recommended that we think about how we characterize what we are there to do. Focusing our efforts to help “change people’s mindset” instead of “change people.” Having and setting goals, using the Strategic Performance Objective, is a great way to narrow the focus for your marketing initiative.

Amanda Sullen shared how their team markets the benefits of learning clusters to operations by showing them how creating learning clusters makes it possible to track the effectiveness of individual parts of the cluster to provide data-driven learning metrics and ROI on training.

Andrew Tiffany reminded us of the significance of word choice. Choosing which words we use to reach engage and motivate our audience is important. He suggested we consider reaching out to our internal marketing department to get inspiration and support. Collaboration is fun and often times they will welcome a new project to tackle.

Lisa MD Owens inspired us to be more persistent (visually and verbally) by creating a visual brand for L&D to help us stand out. Marketing theory reinforces the importance of brand reputation. She also graciously offered a FREE chapter from her book on branding. The topic “Establish Your Brand to Drive Business Results and Learning” starts on page 22.

I am so grateful for the robust conversation and how the community comes together to learn and grow alongside each other. Thank you to those of you who joined the discussion.

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