Adapting "The E Myth" Principles To Instructional Design

Adapting "The E Myth" Principles To Instructional Design
Summary: Explore the adaptation of Michael Gerber's "The E Myth" principles to Instructional Design, unveiling a pathway for balancing creativity with efficiency, and custom solutions with scalability, to craft transformative and sustainable learning experiences.

Systematizing Innovation In Instructional Design

In the intricate world of Instructional Design, professionals are often caught in the crossfire of innovation and efficiency, creativity and systematization. Michael Gerber’s renowned book, The E Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, provides a roadmap for businesses to navigate the complex terrains of entrepreneurial innovation and systematic operation. When these insights are tailored to the context of Instructional Design, they unfold a pathway for creating educational experiences that are not only innovative but also efficient, sustainable, and impactful.

Innovation In Instructional Design: Using Principles Adapted From Gerber

1. The Technician, Manager, And Entrepreneur

Gerber’s model of the technician, manager, and entrepreneur is a cornerstone in understanding the dynamics of successful businesses. In the realm of Instructional Design, these roles translate into the content creator, the project manager, and the innovator.

The content creator is akin to Gerber’s technician, focused on the art and science of creating engaging, informative, and effective learning materials. They are masters of detail, precision, and quality, ensuring that every piece of content is a masterpiece of educational artistry.

The project manager mirrors the manager, orchestrating the various elements of Instructional Design to create a harmonious, efficient, and effective learning experience. They ensure that timelines, resources, and quality standards are meticulously managed, ensuring the seamless delivery of educational interventions.

The innovator embodies the entrepreneur, constantly envisioning the future of education. They are the visionaries who foresee emerging trends, integrate innovative technologies, and conceptualize groundbreaking methodologies, ensuring that the Instructional Design is not just current but is pioneering the future of education.

2. Working On The System

Gerber emphasizes the importance of working on the business, not just in it. For Instructional Designers, this means stepping back to evaluate and enhance the entire educational ecosystem. It involves taking a holistic view, where content creation, pedagogical strategies, technological integration, and learner engagement are seen as interconnected elements of a comprehensive educational experience.

Instructional Designers, in this context, are not just creators but also architects, meticulously designing, evaluating, and refining the educational ecosystem to ensure that it is not just functional but is optimal, innovative, and transformative.

3. The Turnkey Revolution

The concept of creating turnkey solutions is pivotal in The E Myth. In Instructional Design, this translates into creating educational interventions that are not just customized but are scalable, adaptable, and replicable. The focus shifts from creating isolated learning experiences to developing comprehensive learning systems that can be adapted, scaled, and replicated to cater to diverse learning needs, contexts, and environments.

Instructional Designers, armed with the insights of the turnkey revolution, are empowered to create educational masterpieces that are not confined by the limitations of customizability but are adorned with the virtues of scalability, adaptability, and replicability.

4. The Business Format Franchise

Gerber’s insight into the business format franchise underscores the importance of systematization and standardization. In Instructional Design, this principle unfolds as the systematic approach to content creation, pedagogical strategy, and technological integration.

Instructional Designers, as the custodians of this systematic approach, ensure that every element of the educational experience is meticulously crafted, systematically delivered, and consistently evaluated. It ensures that quality, efficiency, and effectiveness are not incidental but are integral, ingrained in the very fabric of the educational ecosystem.

5. Strategic Objective

Every successful business is guided by a strategic objective. In the world of Instructional Design, this strategic objective is the north star that illuminates the path, guiding the content, pedagogy, and technology to create learning experiences that are not just informative but are transformative.

Instructional Designers, as the navigators of this strategic objective, ensure that every educational intervention is not just aligned with but is a reflection of this overarching goal. It ensures that learning experiences are not disparate elements but are interconnected threads weaving through the tapestry of the comprehensive educational journey.

6. The Prototype

In The E Myth, the prototype is the operational model of the business. In Instructional Design, the prototype is the blueprint, the comprehensive model that outlines the content, pedagogy, technology, and assessment strategies.

Instructional Designers, as the architects of this prototype, ensure that it is not just operational but optimal. It is the blueprint that is continuously evaluated, refined, and enhanced, ensuring that the educational experience is not static but is dynamic, evolving, and transforming to meet the emerging needs of the learners, the advancements in technology, and the innovations in pedagogy.

7. Innovation, Quantification, And Orchestration

Gerber’s triad of innovation, quantification, and orchestration is the heartbeat of successful businesses. In Instructional Design, these elements translate into the continuous cycle of innovation, evaluation, and integration.

Instructional Designers are the custodians of this triad. They innovate, creating groundbreaking content, integrating emerging technologies, and conceptualizing revolutionary pedagogical strategies. They quantify, meticulously evaluating the impact, effectiveness, and efficiency of educational interventions. They orchestrate, seamlessly integrating the innovations and evaluations to create a symphony of learning that is as melodious as it is impactful.


As we navigate the intricate terrains of the twenty-first-century educational landscape, the insights from The E Myth offer a compass for Instructional Designers. They unfold a pathway where innovation and efficiency, creativity and systematization, customization and scalability dance in a harmonious ballet, creating educational experiences that are not just informative but transformative.

In the hands of adept Instructional Designers, the principles of The E Myth are not just business strategies but are the foundational pillars upon which the edifice of twenty-first-century education is meticulously crafted. They ensure that in the world of Instructional Design, we are not just creating content but are designing educational experiences that are not just meant for consumption but are destined for transformation.

  • Note:
    This article is a conceptual adaptation and not a direct application of the principles. Always refer to the original text for an in-depth understanding of Gerber’s principles.