Press Release

Human-Centric CLICS Framework Helps Organizations Determine Best Learning Solution


(Alexandria, VA) June 7, 2022—In Learning That CLICS: Using Behavioral Science for Effective Design (ATD Press, 2022), learning experts Janet N. Ahn, Mary F. Slaughter, and Jon C. Thompson introduce CLICS™, a new science-based framework that can be used to maximize the likelihood of sustained individual learning in an organizational context, thus contributing to higher performance and better business results in the workplace.

In the last decade, there have been significant developments in technology, and in learning technology specifically, that have revolutionized how people work. The authors contend that the next revolution in learning is and will be turning inward towards human biology—the preferences, needs, and constraints of the human brain. To achieve lasting and impactful learning, the authors believe it starts with understanding human psychology—how people process, retain, and apply learning in their everyday work environments. Without factoring in these realities, behavioral change at scale will remain unnecessarily difficult. Within this context, the authors created the CLICS framework: the acronym stands for Capacity, Layering, Intrinsic Enablers, Coherence, and Social Connections.

“CLICS is intended to help learning professionals and stakeholders analyze the essential elements that impact how learning occurs in the brain and is reinforced (or not) in the environment—long before executing the design, development, and delivery of a potential learning solution,” states Slaughter. “The domains are based on five science concepts crucial for learning. Our goal is to share new tools that practitioners can immediately apply, building on their existing skill sets and methods. We have intentionally designed CLICS to complement traditional methods of instructional design, be that ADDIE, SAM, or any other approach that you may use.”

The goal is to define the root causes of issues at hand and understand what the desired outcomes truly are. The starting point is a robust understanding of the learners’ needs and business demands felt by stakeholders. The strong analysis creates clarity about what should be included in any recommended solution, whom it is intended for, and why they need it.

While the book focuses on the front-end analysis and definition of need, the CLICS framework is equally applicable when making decisions about the design, development, and delivery of learning solutions. Once in the delivery phase, organizations then have an opportunity to measure efficacy and impact, ultimately guiding modifications or confirming that they’ve created a solution that CLICS.

About ATD and ATD Press


The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in organizations. ATD’s members come from more than 120 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD Press publications are written by industry thought leaders and offer anyone who works with adult learners the best practices, academic theory, and guidance necessary to move the profession forward. For more information, visit

About the Authors

Dr. Janet Ahn is an experimental social psychologist preparing some of the world’s biggest organizations for the challenges of tomorrow and believes in the power of behavioral science to transform lives and companies. As a global organizational leader, she leads product innovation, research and development, and digital solutions.


Mary Slaughter is a seasoned corporate executive, human capital consultant, and pub­lished author whose global enterprise roles have included chief learning officer, chief talent officer, global head of employ­ee experience, chief diversity and inclusion officer, and chief human resources officer.

Jon Thompson has spent more than 25 years serving clients, stakeholders, and learners in the talent development space. He serves as director of learning experience and innovation at the Coca-Cola Company.

Learning That CLICS: Using Behavioral Science for Effective Learning Design
ISBN: 9781953946324 | 168 Pages | Paperback
To order books from ATD Press, call 800.628.2783.

To schedule an interview with the authors, please contact Kay Hechler, ATD Press senior marketing manager, at [email protected] or 703.683.8178.

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