Maturity Model

Towards a “Maturity Model” for Learning Businesses

Tagoras Learning Business Maturity Model

I have been a supporter and follower of Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele for almost a decade. I’ve interviewed them and reviewed their books for this blog.  Jeff’s book Leading the Learning Revolution is a reflective masterpiece that touches those of us who have been in educational technology since the pre-dot-com days. Not only that: it provides a pathway to creating successful adult learning businesses.

Higher ed institutions and communities of practice like state and national associations may not always want to admit it, but we are in the business of learning, and our goal is “putting butts in the seats.” Increasingly we do this through online education. Readers of this blog should take notice of Celisa and Jeff’s effort to organize adult educators around establishing a “Learning Business Maturity Model.”

I was immediately drawn to Celisa and Jeff’s model because I have long been a student of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) from MIT, which inspired it:

Tagoras Learning Business Maturity Model

Cobb and Steele’s effort to establish an LBMM was released as a document this week on the Tagoras website.

tagoras learning business maturity model

Of course the question you’ll ask yourself while reading the LBMM is “what stage is my learning organization at?” Are you stage one—static? Stage four—innovative?  Steele and Cobb provide a tool to ensure you have quantitative data to support your answer. This well written questionnaire can be used by small and large learning organizations as an exercise during strategic planning. Completing the survey should generate positive “lightbulb moments” from executives and other powerful stakeholders within your education-focused organization.

Instead of executives and eLearning managers believing that your association or college provides “a clear understanding of learner needs and learning theory consistently put into action” in your educational products, your people might realize there is room for improvement.

There are few organizations that reach level five on MIT’s CMM scale. Nonetheless, utilizing the LBMM tool will help put your learning organization on a path toward continuous improvement. Ultimately, it should be your goal to become a top brand in the learning market. Bravo, Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele, for your leadership!


For more on the Learning Business Maturity Model, register for a collaborative webinar with Jeff and Celisa on April 25, 2017. Register here

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