Learning Strategy

Why You Don’t Need New Ideas: How Activision-Blizzard Turned Old Content into a $3 Billion Goldmine

Content everywhere, all at once

In a world drowning in content, from endless Netflix series to an avalanche of apps, the question arises: do we really need more?

Learning Strategy

The Simple 6 Step Guide For a High-Performing Talent Strategy

I don’t care what anyone says.

Building a talent strategy is tough. I have a few war stories. I’m sure you do too.

Smart companies are reshaping their talent strategies

Bain & Company provides some useful pointers to future-proof your talent strategies in their working futures report.

I’ve summed them up here with a sprinkle of my own thoughts:

1/ From Talent Taker to Talent Maker

In the cutthroat world of business, companies have often acted as “talent takers,” looking externally to fill skill gaps. It’s the classic ‘build vs. buy’ dilemma.

The New Way: Bain & Co. suggests a paradigm shift—become a “Talent Maker.” Focus on the goldmine of untapped potential within your existing workforce.

Something to try: Why not start an internal “Talent Marketplace” where employees can pitch their hidden skills? It’s like eBay but for talent within your company.

Tool to Consider: Check out Gloat, a talent marketplace platform that can help you unlock internal mobility.

2/ Rethink L&D Models

Traditional L&D models are as outdated as flip phones. Side note: I saw one in the wild the other day. Trippy!

The New Way: Bain recommends creating frameworks that align with individual strengths and career aspirations. Sounds simple but not so straightforward.

Something to try: Consider creating specific learning pathways that match skills and roles in your organisation.

Tool to Consider: Degreed offers skill-building pathways tailored to individual needs.

3/ Think Laterally About Career Journeys

Vertical career ladders are so last decade.

The New Way: Embrace lateral career paths to cater to diverse strengths and interests. That means more than your typical ‘traditional’ skills.

Something to try: Encourage career maps instead of a ladder, offering multiple directions for growth. Check this article for more inspo.

Tool to Consider: Progression is great for building modern-day career maps. I’ve used the tool with two previous companies and it worked well.

4/ Create Better Visibility on Evolving Talent Needs

Companies often struggle to articulate their future talent needs, leaving employees in the dark about their career paths.

Future skills discussions often end up as opinion circuses rather than data-driven dialogues.

The New Way: Be transparent about the skills needed for future business goals. Chase real data not ad-hoc opinions from conversations.

Something to try: Use data analytics to forecast skill needs—no more guessing games. Your HR and L&D systems should help with this. If they don’t, lose them.

Tool to Consider: TechWolf is a platform I like the more I read about it. Check it out for yourself to learn more.

5/ Support Career Development

While each of us is ultimately responsible for our career development, companies can play a supportive role too.

Provide the right tools, better visibility, and an open environment for career discussions. People don’t want to feel like cogs in a machine but rather active participants in shaping their career paths.

The New Way: Empower them as active participants in their career paths.

Something to try: Regular Career Health Check-ups can go a long way. Yes, it’s simple but always effective.

Tool to Consider: Quite a few in this space. Progression can help with their career check-in support tools. As can Culture Amp. Always do your own research!

6/ Diverse Skill Sets

Skills pay the bills!

They’re the currency we use to play in the career marketplace.

The New Way: Bain encourages investment in a diverse and adaptable set of skills to keep pace with global shifts.

Something to try: Run a quarterly skills health check to identify gaps and opportunities. This is probably one of the best tools I ever implemented in the corpo world.

Tool to Consider: You could do this manually, but that would be a pain. My advice is to see if you can leverage existing HR and L&D tech to do this. If not, investigate something like TechWolf.

Go do your thing!

Ok. Now go forth, and kick-ass with your super-amazing talent strategy.

You’re welcome 😉

Before you go… 👋

If you like my writing and think “Hey, I’d like to hear more of what this guy has to say” then you’re in luck.

You can join me every Tuesday morning for more tools, templates and insights for the modern L&D pro in my weekly newsletter.

Learning Strategy

4 Learning Design Mistakes And How To Fix Them

This will sound harsh, but it’s true.

The best learning experience doesn’t always win.

It stings. I’ve felt that sting many times before. I’m sure you have too. So how do we solve it?

Many factors come into play for success. There are factors beyond your control and others you did not foresee.

4 mistakes that derail your L&D work

→ Building in silo

Don’t spend 6 months in your monk temple building something that people no longer need. Or at the very least, can’t remember why they needed it in the first place.

Too many good and great L&D/HR projects have died behind closed doors.

You need to collaborate. We’re human after all.

🧰 The Fix: Run your work as a project. That means updates, visible Kanban boards, stakeholder progress meets etc. Bring structure.

→ Drop and hide

The old build a product and tell no one about it.

This is a classic L&D pitfall. Launch the best thing since sliced bread but tell no one about it. Only to bemoan why no one is using it.


Which can easily be avoided.

🧰 The Fix: Level up your marketing know-how.

Explore how to position your product for success with a structured pre, during and post-engagement plan. It will change your life.

→ Spray and pray

This one always makes me chuckle.

You build an experience because a senior leader says a team desperately needs this. You don’t talk to the end users because you take the leader’s words as truth.

You then build an experience based on this only to discover at launch, the end users have no idea why they need this.

This is what I call a spray and pray tactic.

You build something based on an assumption and hope it works. Only to be left with your time wasted and your experience in the graveyard.

🧰 The Fix: Performance consulting is the way friend.

Two things I want to share with you to help with this 👇

  1. The performance consulting cheatsheet for L&D pros (8 questions you need to ask)
  2. How to ask better stakeholder questions for solution design

→ Not solving a real problem

Ever built a solution and wondered WTF is this actually solving? Me too.

In this age of my career, the first question I ask without fail is “What are we solving for?”. It’s amazing how those five little words can change a conversation.

It causes the recipient to think deeply about whether they are seeking:

  1. A training solution aka an engagement event to make people feel good and tick a box. No performance improvement objective here
  2. A performance solution focused on enabling a skill and/or behaviour change that improves the team, business and individual.

70% of the time, I find it’s number 1.

Nothing wrong with that. Just be clear with your stakeholders on the outcome being sought.

🧰 The Fix: I’ve pretty much given you the answer already. Ask why and get super clear on it. Everything else means nothing without this.

L&D is no longer about design alone.

You might find these tweaks are the difference between a win and a loss.

L&D Tools Learning Strategy

The Gap Between Education and Work That Kills Performance

Key Terms 💡

Just in case = amassing reams of knowledge in multiple topics with the hope that you might need it later.

Just in time = acquiring the knowledge to serve a specific task, challenge or new skill acquisition for the now.

Learning Strategy

Decoding Disruption: The Thin Line Between Genius and Chaos

There’s an old saying that I use in partnership meetings, “Don’t be a bull in a china shop” aka taking a hard-line approach to something in an environment that isn’t built for it.

I’ve seen this approach backfire with L&D consultants and vendors countless times.

Why does it happen?