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  • Writer's pictureStuart Woolmington

Content is king, in a people development strategy.

Updated: Jun 8, 2021

Many business leaders believe that McDonald’s primary business is focused on the successful management of food. While food management is critical to any McDonald's franchise, the McDonald's Corporation’s primary business is based on successful property management. McDonald's corporation is the largest restaurant chain in the world, owning the land and buildings for each of their approximately 380 000 outlets worldwide

So, if McDonald's Corporation has its primary foundation based on successful property development, what are the top 3 priorities of a property development company? The top 3 priorities of any successful property development business are:

  1. Great Location

  2. Great Location

  3. Great Location

Without the right location, there is no successful McDonald's restaurant chain, no successful brand and no successful fast food delivery to its 69 million daily customers.

So what’s this got to do with our people development strategy?

Many business leaders believe that the primary foundation for their 'people development strategy', in this agile world, should be the successful management of training. While training may be beneficial to some departments (franchisee’s), it is not the primary foundation for a successful people strategy. Like McDonald’s, its business model has its foundation in property, not food, so our people strategy should have its foundation in learning, not training. Good learning design has very little to do with training.

Semantics you say - we disagree and that is why many companies have tried to beat McDonald's and failed - their foundation was wrong. Especially when we are trying to build an agile people development strategy in our digitally impacted organisations, our focus must be based on learning, not training!

So, if in this modern digital world, our people development strategies should be founded on good learning design and, we as L&D professionals should get out of the training business, what then are the top priorities of great learning design?

The top 3 priorities of any successful learning design business are:

  1. Great Content

  2. Great Content

  3. Great Content

In the words of Bill Gates - “Content is King”. Without the right content framework, there is no learning design, there is no people development strategy and there are poor results for our 50 million learners, staff, suppliers and customers in companies across our continent.

Without the right content framework, we are working on the wrong foundations when it comes to our people development strategy.

So what are the elements of a successful content framework in this modern world?

The first element we need to understand is why content has become king in this modern digital world, especially when content seems to be so accessible?

Secondly, we need to understand how to use a content framework as a foundation for learning design. I am amazed at how many organisations are being sold LMS’s (Learning management systems), e-learning solutions and many other training technologies without a solid content framework, only to find that their digital learning is not working or it is not producing the desired outcomes.

For your reference, here is the Win-Win International content development framework - called “The 4 Views Approach” to content development. Win-Win International has used this to develop entire ILL’s (Immersive learning libraries) for clients such as ABInBev throughout Africa and many other clients.




Good learning design is the manner in which organisations build, distribute, measure and guide content into ongoing learning paths for their key stakeholders


A content framework gives a balance between the organisation and learner in the design and creation of content. The need, cost, focus, graphic design and multimedia tools within the framework assist to make the content as relevant and customised to the learner as possible.


• Desired impact on learner and business.

• Strategic Storytelling requirements

• Required interactivity and actions

• The need and benefits for immersive tools required.

• The relevance regards Hyper-customised and Hyper-relevant

• Alignment of key business measure - investment, ROI and Reduced costs

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