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Bola Owoade

Jewish Care

Senior Learning and Development Advisor

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If your L&D team was a business


Be honest if your L&D team was a business would it be profitable or a loss making entity? Don't bother answering, but at least think of your team from that perspective. Whether your team is a profit or loss making entity depends on how much value it adds to the business. Adding value is only really possible if the L&D function is aligned in the first place. But let's go back to the business issue. How about if we assessed your L&D function as a business, what would we see? One way to do that is to use the Business Generation Model developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. The model has nine components which focuses on the core parts of any business. It can be used to write models for new start ups, assess equisting businesses and even create new products and services within an existing business. The nine components are outlined below followed by a question for L&D teams.

1 - Customer Segments(CS): defines the different groups of people or organisations that a business aims to reach and serve - Who are the customers of your L&D team?

2 - Value Propositions(VP): describes the bundle of products and services that create value for your customers - What products and services do you provide to your customers as an L&D team and how do they add value to the customers?

3 - Channels(CH): describes how a company communicates with, and reaches their customers to deliver their value proposition - How do you communicate with your L&D customers and how effective is your communication? Also how do you deliver your products and services to your customers? How effective and efficient is your delivery mode?

4 - Customer Relationships(CR): defines the types of relationships a company establishes with its customers - What types of relationships does L&D have with customers? How well are those relationships working?

5 - Revenue Streams(R$): represents the cash a company generates from each customer segment - How do you know the value L&D is adding to each of your customer segment and does the value exceed the cost expended on providing your products and services?

6 - Key Resources(KR): describes the most important assets required to make the business model work - What resources does L&D need to successfully deliver your products and services to the business?

7 - Key Activities(KA): describes the most important things a company must do to make the business model work - What are the most important actions L&D needs to take successfully, to support the business with their products and services?

8 - Key Partnerships(KP): describes the network of suppliers and partners that make the business model work - What kind of partnerships does L&D need inside and outside the organisation to provide products and services successfully?

9 - Cost Structure(CS): describes all costs incurred to operate a business model - What costs does L&D incurr to support the business with their products and services?

These are some key questions that can help us look at our L&D functions from a business perspective. For some of us they might be difficult to answer. What we should always remember is that, as L&D practitioners we are first business people before anything else. We are business people who use learning to support the organisation to achieve its strategic objectives.

To learn more about the Business Generation Model go to:

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Bola Owoade

Senior Learning and Development Advisor

Read more from Bola Owoade

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