L&D: Don’t Always Settle For the “As Is” State


Yet Sometimes That Is The Right Thing To Do

In any event – It’s a Business Decision – not an L&D Decision.

All Learning Started As Informal

Yes – You may have come into a situation where a lot of Informal has been turned to Formal. And some of it may even be quite good – Task Oriented vs Topic Oriented. And having impact back-on-the job (the only place that it matters).


The 70-20-10 Reference Model

Reflects the “As Is” State – for some audiences at some locations. The numbers, of course, vary. But don’t confuse some “As Is” State for the Ideal “To Be” State. Oh no.


Sometimes the “As Is” State is just fine – especially when compared to other Opportunities to invest Shareholder Equity for “returns” that increase Shareholder Equity.

You would do that if it were all your money. If you could take $100 and invest it in an improvement for $10,000 or invest it for a return of $150, or for a return of $90 – the choice is obvious.


Sometimes the CS – the Current State – the “As Is” State – isn’t cutting it. By that I mean the CS is costing someone some bucks – significant bucks. And the promise of a feasible FS – Future State – can save some bucks – significant bucks.

BTW – a buck saved falls straight to the bottom line.


Continuous Improvement Is Sometimes a Bad Business Decision

Maybe it was a good idea initially – when the Improvement returns were worthy. But the Law of Diminishing Returns may have suggested (or dictated) that now, more investments for less and less returns has run its course and the race is over – and investments for improvements should be stopped.

As always it depends. But those are Business Decisions – not Quality Decisions or L&D Decisions.


The Training In the Mix Often Isn’t the Primary Solution

But Training/Learning is often in the Solution-Set – as a Secondary Solution – needed to support the Primary Solution or Solutions.

THAT can confuse some into thinking that it’s all about Learning Solutions.








The Job Aids of Olde Are Now Performance Supports

What’s old is new again, as the saying goes.




Sometimes What’s Needed To Support the Primary Solution Isn’t L&D Content of Any Type

And BTW – Performance Supports can “sometimes” be more quickly and effectively and efficiently created by the group that needs it – IF they’ll Pilot Test it before Roll Out and have reliance on it – as SMEs/Experts operate on mostly non-conscious knowledge – and can miss up to 70% of what a Novice Performer needs.

That can be our Value Add.


Dr. Dale (Dale Brethower) has been quoted to say:

“If you aren’t adding Value you are subtracting Value.”

Because – your mere presence – comes at a cost.


Dale Brethower and Geary Rummler were great friends back at the U of Michigan in the 1960s, and worked/collaborated on this thing some now call “Performance Improvement” – and together they created what Geary called The General Systems Model which is a process model with “Inputs-Process-Outputs” and measures and feedback and a stimulus (Trigger) that was the signal to start the Process.

Dale called his version the Total Performance System.

Of course I am over-simplifying them both.


When I asked Geary, in the late 1990s, about the two versions – and who created it initially – he told me that Dale was holding the pen at the flip chart at the time.


The story in the graphic is a True Story – that Bill Wiggenhorn communicated to me and the rest of his staff at Motorola – about two guys and a truck – in Phoenix. At the time (1981/82) Motorola was the number one employer in the state of Arizona.

The take away for me at the time – and since – is that size matters – but not the size of the Target Audience – but of the size of the Positive and/or Negative (Rewards and/or Risks) of the Potential Impact.



It’s Not All About Learning – It’s All About Performance.

PowerPoint Show

Of these slides: 70-20-10 Is The As Is State

Just for fun.

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