Journeys, not just workshops. making the most of 70:20:10
It’s time to get a bit more creative with these well-known numbers.
We’ve come a long way since the days of once in a career ‘everything you need to know about leadership’ retreats, enter-trainers, and imitation leather-bound manuals (We all have them!). However many organisations are still playing lip-service to the 70:20:10 philosophy of working and learning.
(If you’re not familiar with the research, 70:20:10 is the work of Morgan McCall and the Centre for Creative Leadership. In short, they found 70% of learning comes from on the job experience and 20% from relationships with significant others. Just 10% is down to formal learning interventions such as training events and workshops.)
If anything, most organisations are adopting more of a 10:20:70 philosophy. In other words:
- Attend the workshop (The 10%)
- Have a de-brief with your line manager (The 20%)
- Hope to put your new skills and knowledge into practice through your day to day work (The 70%)
This is just lazy learning – turn up, stay awake, and ‘get developed’.
To me it leaves a lot to chance and wastes a huge opportunity. If we adopt a learning ‘journey’ mindset, maybe we can make the most of the informal learning that takes place outside the classroom, in order to maximise the formal learning in it.
They say a picture paints a thousand words, so here it is.
A learning journey starts way before the workshop. And not just through optional pre-reading or watching the odd Ted Talk. It involves real, purposeful discovery activity, linking subject matter to the individual’s role and team, and gives learners the opportunity to explore, experiment, and create stretch before they enter the room. This is learning through doing.
Imagine a world where learners arrive with a head already full of learning, eager to share insights, challenge their thinking further, and develop new ideas. Now you can really hit the ground running.
The coming together part now becomes more about sense-making than imparting new knowledge. More about sharing and collaborating than passive listening. And when leaders share their insights with peers, coaches and mentors before, during and after, the 20% comes into play in the right way, at the right time.
Now, having made sense of what we’ve learned, we can turn Insight into Action – with more purposeful, meaningful activities, initiatives, and team conversations. If planned well, these become not just the follow up activity for one learning event, but the forerunner for the next.
70:20:10 isn’t a linear thing, it’s a framework for continuous learning, a framework for a learning journey.
It takes effort yes, on the side of both the learning designer and the learner. However it also makes the vital difference between transactional and transformational learning experiences.
Think journeys, not just workshops for 2019.
Research tells us that engaging with what you read embeds learning.
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