David Sayers, like many of you, works in a rapidly growing business. Cortland is a property management company that has grown from 20,000 to 78,000 units in the last few years! What does that mean as the L&D leader? Dave and his team needed to keep up with building capability for all the new teams that run the properties. Dave takes on the challenge through modern learning approaches and in the past year has discovered the LCD model. He is turning to the model as his core approach to manage change. And oh by the way, Dave and his team won the ATD Best Award this year for all their hard work on no less than 56 change management initiatives!

At ATD in Orlando, we had a chance to sit down with Dave and learn more about the impact LCD has made. You can hear the full discussion here on our YouTube channel.

Below are some highlights.


A Front Line First Focus – A Bridge Driven by L&D. 
Something that really stands out about Dave’s approach is that his team consistently asks the question, “How does innovation impact our front line?” By asking this question to stakeholders, Dave and his team are serving as the critical link between Cortland’s leaders who come up with great ideas for change and the actual front line employees carrying out the change. Dave and his team, through learning initiatives, make sure that all of Cortland’s associates live and breathe the values that Cortland holds.

LCD Took Them From Order Taker to Business-Changers
Why did he choose to use the LCD model? Like many of you, Dave and his team were order takers, struggling to keep up with creating training, sometimes even working after hours after delivering training.

It started with stepping back and realizing they have too many things going on. With the help of his CHRO, who championed Dave to become a change agent, they started asking the business and identifying initiatives that were actually business critical, rather than orders the business thought they needed. Dave and his team wanted to identify the reason for the training they needed.

The more they asked the questions the LCD model sparks, the more they found the right work to do. It started with 56 change initiatives this year, and now, for next year, they’ve got 45 more!

Not only did they learn more about the business need, but they also learned more about their learners.

The bottomline for Dave was, as he put it, “We weren’t giving them the right training they need in the right space they need it at the right time that they need it. When we saw the LCD model and up front it said, ‘Change on the job behavior’ that was it. That’s what we want to do. This is where we need to be as a department.”

Stakeholder Conversations Start by Inviting L&D
Guess what? Dave doesn’t have to ask to be at the table with stakeholders anymore.

He says, “We are actually one of the first seats at the table. [Stakeholders say] ‘Let’s contact Dave so we can have an initiative planning session so we can figure out what impact we want to make.”

For him, the strategic performance objective from the model’s Change Action was the key catalyst. When his team started asking questions for the SPO, the stakeholders started expecting these questions, which eventually transitioned to L&D being first at the table.

As he’s hearing the stakeholder, he is putting in the information in the SPO template mentally. The result is a concrete agreement for what can be done.

Wow! Doesn’t that sound great? A concrete agreement.
For an L&D initiative, that is pure gold.


Learning Assets Broke Out of the Formal L&D Cage
What about the deliverable? The LCD model definitely helped Dave and his team move away from only delivering training.
Dave shares, “A big ah-ha going through the model was seeing how much of everything they were creating was formal, formal, formal.”

For his team, it was eye-opening to learn about the three learning touchpoints and make sure they were designing social, immediate, and formal assets. This doesn’t mean they got rid of formal learning. It means they expanded – and with the help of the LCD model, did it in a way that repurposes and chunks efficiently.

To sum it up, Dave says “I’ve been through ADDIE stuff, I’ve been through SAM stuff. LCD Model is a holistic approach to what learning content development should be like.”

Don’t you think that all of the above makes Dave’s team indispensable and valuable to Cortland? I do!

Resources for Dave and his work:

  • Connect with Dave on LinkedIn
  • Dave’s Learning Cluster from the LCD Practicum
  • Register for Dave’s upcoming feature at our Modern Learning Monthly Dialogue