Introduction to the Learning Model Canvas

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As an entrepreneur in the Learning & Development Industry, I have found that building a successful learning model is similar to developing a successful business model. In both cases, a good model requires deep understanding of things like industry trends, customer segments, unique value propositions, and desired business outcomes.

Having “pitched” to hundreds of investors, I have come to appreciate the simplicity of the Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur. The canvas distills the key areas of a business model into one simple, neat storyboard. Even the name “canvas” suggests that one should step into an artist’s shoes and let the creativity flow while drawing out the business model.


The canvas has also proven to be extremely valuable when consulting with Learning & Development leaders from around the globe. Using this as inspiration, I have created the Learning Model Canvas (LMC) for leaders within the learning industry. It is a simple and powerful tool for identifying, choosing, and implementing an effective learning model within an organization. It offers a chance to focus on the individual components of a successful learning model while building the overall big picture.

There are a few key benefits to using the canvas to build your learning model:

  • Simplify the process for planning an effective organizational learning model
  • Establish a customized learning model for an organization
  • Translate learning language into business language for executive level discussions
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization
  • Provide clarity for resource allocation and decision making

Over the next several weeks, I will be highlighting each of the nine categories of the canvas, presenting examples of the five most common business learning models we have identified, and exploring their benefits and challenges.

Follow along on twitter @johndelano and tweet your ideas & thoughts using #LearningCanvas. I encourage your feedback in the comments below and look forward to hearing your challenges and success stories.


P.S. If you want to get started on your own, feel free to download a free copy of the Learning Model Canvas.