Who we are, how we got started. No idea how it ends.


Talk to us any time. p. 385.498.9959  e. hello@zaglearning.com

We’re Steve and Dave, the founders of Zag. We left a giant learning company, FranklinCovey, 14 years ago to start our own giant learning company.  

We tried duplicating the giant training company formula: write a nationally published book with a major publisher (we did, twice), which becomes a massive New York Times bestseller (they didn’t), with training based on the book (check), sold by commissioned salespeople (hired), delivered by consultants and certified trainers (done), and charge a lot of money for workbooks, keynotes, travel, etc. Gigantic effort, small company.

We grew and shrunk for 14 years (mostly shrunk,) but the failure taught us something. Despite great feedback on our training, nothing stuck. At one point, while we were building a practice at FranklinCovey, Dave said, “Why do we keep doing this when one month later everyone’s back doing the same thing?” Second verse, same as the first. 

Even worse, people couldn’t afford to teach our content to everyone, so only a select few got through the training door. The workshop ratings were great, but the access and results sucked. And when smaller companies asked about our product, we politely turned them down, leaving them to go find whatever they could on a dime.

You see the problem. You’ve probably lived it: expensive training that doesn’t change anything, and that’s inaccessible to most companies, even to most employees inside of big companies, because of tight training budgets, time constraints, and complicated competency agendas. Most employees get off-loaded to an annual workshop, or relegated to a massive digital library of isolated, online training that’s embarrassingly bad. All of which keeps getting shorter and shorter in the name of “micro” waving everything.

So, we took that experience and closed our doors for 18 months to do nothing but research to see if we could find a way to break the habit loop the learning industry is stuck in. At times, we wanted to walk away. Sprint, actually. Listening to the L&D tribal language, and the mindsets they were stuck in, and even defended, was depressing. It ran counter to the science, but not to keeping their jobs. There were a few exceptions, but not enough to give us much hope.

But in the middle of the research, and the darkest part emotionally, a ray of light. Talking to leaders and their teams—the market—and not the L&D people, we started to see what they needed, the real job to be done. (Thank you, Clayton Christensen, Chan Kim, and Renée Mauborgne.)

And thus, Zag.

This is the product we hope changes decades of learning department protocol, and gives small and medium-size enterprise the leadership and career dev they deserve. We created something we immersively believe in because it’s based on a deep dive—an empathic, design-thinking dive—into the real needs of people who need business learning on the human side of work, and the learning or HR departments who know something’s not quite right with all of it, but who keep the old habits grinding on.

We called our new company Zag because it meant a new direction for us, and hopefully for everyone who wants learning to be sharply different than it’s been for decades.

If you’d like to get in touch with us, our mobile is 385.498.9959. Please text first, and we’ll get back to you within a day or two.

The land of giants.

Giant problems.


© 2017 Zag Co. p. 385.498.9959  e. hello@zaglearning.com