In the following interview, LML Executive Director Joel Johnston shares the organization’s plans for increasing its impact through a significant infusion of new resources.
Q: Tell us about the new developments you’re working on at LML.
A: Over the past nine months, the advisory board and staff of Let Me Learn, Inc. (LML) have been working with the Stillman George Corporation, a well-established business development company, to create a sister entity to our non-profit organization—Let Me Learn, for-profit (LMLC).
In order to ensure a successful transition, Let Me Learn is working to secure venture capital. We have employed Stillman George to help secure that funding from outside the LML “family,” but we have also invited anyone familiar with Let Me Learn to invest in this great opportunity. So far, the response has been very positive.
Q: How will LML change as a result of having the financial support of new investors?
A: LML has met with phenomenal success over the last 17 years, considering its growth has been almost entirely by reputation and word-of-mouth. We know that to grow beyond that and to really reach our potential, we need to have marketing expertise and the financial resources to make that growth happen.
We believe the for-profit and the non-profit entities can provide an expanded array of services and products that many of our supporters have sought and/or encouraged us to develop over the past years.
We have already begun to address the following issues: each entity’s unique purpose, responsibilities, and contributions to LML’s mission; the structuring of joint staff interaction; and each organization’s plan for phased implementation. We feel both entities will provide special opportunities that neither could do alone.
Q: To what extent will the two entities collaborate?
A: Let Me Learn Corporate (LMLC) and Let Me Learn (LML) will collaborate extensively. In its current form, LML will evolve into a think-tank and a foundation. It will continue to conduct research on the LML Process®, but it will also develop curriculum, courses, products, and publications that LML Corporate will then market. LMLC will provide the business expertise, such as marketing, that LML has always lacked. In short, by having a for-profit side to Let Me Learn, the non-profit will gain financial security and reach areas we have been trying to reach for years. And the non-profit can maintain its focus on research and education policy.
Model for collaboration between the for-profit and non-profit segments of Let Me Learn.
Q: If all goes according to plan, what will the new LML be like in a few years?
A: So many people have had so many ideas for applying the LML Process®. This new incarnation will allow us to reach beyond the realm of education. In two to three years, I see LML with a broader reach for certifying educators and using distance-learning technology to help tutor students. LML might enter the home-school market.
Also, we hope to enter corporate settings both in leadership and in human resources training. I envision us in health care teaching physical therapists and dieticians how to communicate more effectively with their patients. In workforce development, we’d like to use the LML patterns to train new workers and help workers use their patterns to make well-informed career choices.
This is the kind of growth and reach that many supporters have suggested we attempt. But in the past, but we’ve never had the full array of resources to enter those markets. It is through this new arrangement and structure that we can achieve those goals.