Hi LCD Community –

Have you ever conducted a L&D audit to narrow down the training priorities for the upcoming year, only to discover that there were are almost 80 training topics that need support?

That is just what happened with Gorilla Glue Company®. But with the help of the Learning Cluster Design model and Lisa’s coaching, the L&D team was able to look at the training topics both individually and across the whole, designing infrastructure and individual learning clusters.

The Gorilla Glue Company®, a family-owned, U.S. based company based in Cincinnati, Ohio has been selling Gorilla Glue® for over two decades. On a mission to make products that deliver impressive results, the company has expanded its catalog of offerings which has resulted in its expansion and growth. With this exciting ascension has come a need to properly train their employees – specifically onboard training for new employees and upskilling/leadership development for existing staff.

Naturally, the L&D Department at Gorilla Glue was asked to help. Upon surveying leadership at the organization on their talent development needs, the leaders narrowed down their list of demands to 78 specific training topics which they wanted to be produced with 12 months. If the word “YIKES” comes to mind as you read this, you are not alone. This was likely a similar reaction expressed by the L&D Team.

When presented with a challenge as large as this, we in L&D traditionally go to our “go-to” solutions – the ones we know best and have used in the past – to begin to tackle the mountain of work in front of us. After all, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, right?! Fortunately for Gorilla Glue’s L&D Team, and more importantly the current and future staff of the company, L&D leadership was trained on the Owens-Kadakia Learning Cluster Design Model! With the power of this methodology leading their decision-making, the L&D team was able to look at the impact the training topics would have both individually, and across the company, by designing a learning infrastructure that consisted of individual learning clusters.


In partnership with the IT Department, L&D created their own version of a learning cluster “page” housed on the company’s intranet. This showed employees the calendar of upcoming training events as well as provided them with a set of resources for building skills on the 78 topics on their own time. To streamline the selection process and highlight the individual actions the learners would be taking, L&D categorized the learning assets that were created under the titles: “Read” “Watch” “Attend” and “Do”. All assets were then hyperlinked for easy access.

One of the many solutions that were implemented was for contractors who are regularly brought in to help Gorilla Glue with peak-capacity orders. These contractors often do not possess a strong understanding of the work, specifically on the process flow, safety guidelines, performance expectations, and the departments values to the organization. The L&D Team identified the need to get these individuals upskilled, again on their own time, by creating a set of short, pre-employment videos that covered these important topics. To employ an efficient content creation process, L&D engaged the line leaders and involved them in the video scripting and recording.


Gorilla Glue® discovered that by using this approach, contractors were more eager and confident to start on their first day of work. Line leaders also felt energized because they had contributed to the learning project. Ultimately, this led to reduced turnover of frustrated line leaders who are responsible for the contractor training. Through the effective use of the LCD Model, within 12 months, 2 L&D practitioners had successfully redesigned the 78 training topics requested by leadership utilizing Learning Clusters and creating a continuous learning culture at Gorilla Glue®!

What upcoming initiatives are you leveraging the LCD model to support? I’d love to hear from you and feature your Learning Cluster success story in a Case Study.