Training and non-training solutions

by | Jul 30, 2021 | Uncategorized

I had a glorious week at a cottage earlier in July and took a stack of books to read. One of the work-related books I read was Revolutionize Learning & Development: Performance and Innovation Strategy for the Information Age by Clark Quinn. It’s from 2014, so the first part felt a bit dated because technology has changed so much since publication. But, the second half was great! Clark challenged learning and development professionals to move away from ‘training events’ where content is dumped into learners’ heads and has minimal impact on performance consulting that directly supports the organization’s business goals.


Performance Equation 

Years ago, I learned this ‘performance equation,’ which provides a great model for broadening our thinking to include non-training solutions alongside the courses we create. Think back to grade school math and treat this as a mathematical equation. If any of the functions are zero, then the sum (performance) is zero. Employees need each of these factors present in order to do their job. 

Direction and feedback  

Employees need to know what their role is and what is expected of them. Supervisors and managers need to provide direction and feedback so employees can effectively do their job.  

Tools and resources 

Tools and resources could include software applications, tips sheets, manuals or time. 

Skills and knowledge 

This is where training fits in. Courses provide employees with the knowledge they need and an opportunity to develop skills to do their jobs.  


This is quite broad and can be challenging to define. People leaders can’t motivate employees; nor, can we create programs to empower others. Instead, organizations and leaders need to focus on creating a motivating environment through policies and culture. Learning and development can work alongside organizational efforts to engage and motivate employees.  

I’ve been posting about the Performance Equation on LinkedIn. Here are some links to short video posts that explain the model further.  

  • Learning Strategy Tip #7 – Performance Equation (video post
  • Learning Strategy Tip #8 – Performance Equation: Direction & Feedback (video post
  • Learning Strategy Tip #9 – Performance Equation: Tools & Resources (video post
  • Learning Strategy Tip #10 – Performance Equation: Motivation (video post

I encourage you to think more broadly than courses or training programs and consider non-training solutions to develop employees. You may find some are broad in scope and you can’t influence them directly. Look for opportunities to impact areas within your scope of control and start conversations about the others.  

In case you missed it

I’ve shared some additional posts online. Here they are in case you missed them.

  • Participant Workbooks and Quick References for training sessions (link
  • Zoom alternative online platforms (link
  • Tips to increase comfort with technology (link
  • Tips for Online accessibility (link

Curious to learn more?

Here are some projects where I have helped clients create a learning strategy that included non-training solutions.  

I have two programs to learn about online design and delivery and learning strategy.  

  • From ‘Wing it’ to Wow: Online design and facilitation 
    6-week online program for non-designers to create a course for online delivery. Learn a process and use templates to shorten your design time. Create online activities that engage remote participants. Learn from colleagues and get support as you get real work done.  
  • Learning Strategy Masterclass 
    12-week online masterclass to create a learning strategy for your organization. Learn how to align training and development initiatives to business needs and define your learner audience.  Identify training and non-training solutions. Incorporate technology into your strategy and explore your organization’s environment to determine what training to develop in-house and what to outsource. 

Check out the other services I provide to clients to help them improve employee performance. 

Avatar photo

Hannah Brown

I help close the gap between formal training from learning and development and leaders fostering learning on their teams to embed it into their DNA.