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Essential Facts - the '20' in 70:20:10

70:20:10 is a way of describing how learning occurs in organisations.

Research indicates that:

  • About 70% of learning and development occurs through real-life and on-the-job experiences, tasks, and problem solving.  Even with classroom programs the really important learning takes place back on the job when the knowledge or skill is applied to a real situation.
  • About 20% of learning and development comes from coaching, feedback and from observing and working with role models and colleagues.
  • About 10% of learning and development comes from formal training, whether in classrooms and workshops or through eLearning or some other structured programs.

What Types of Development Activities are in the ‘20’?

The types of ‘20’ activities that you can carry out to support your development include:


  • seek informal feedback and work debriefs
  • seek advice, ask opinions, sound out ideas
  • obtain coaching from manager/others
  • use 180° and 360° feedback tools and processes
  • use manager/report 1-to-1 meetings for reflection.

Structured mentoring and coaching

  • take on a mentoring role/get a mentor
  • engage in reverse mentoring
  • teach colleagues how to do a component of their jobs
  • establish or join online professional communities.

Communities and sharing

  • proactively learn through teams/networks
  • narrate work/maintain a blog
  • curate and share what you’re doing with colleagues
  • build internal and external personal networks/contacts
  • play active role in professional/industry associations
  • participate in facilitated group discussion
  • participate in Action Learning sets.

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1 comment

The mentoring part of 70:20:10 can be difficult to manage if the mentoring is to be done by others in the group that cannot be regularly monitored. The mentoring although not the biggest part of the principle still plays a very important part, especially in the undertaking and retention of the new skills and knowledge learnt. One of the challenges found in the task of mentoring is the lack of structured mentoring. As a learning establishment we facilitate and provide targets for OJD that should be supported by the mentor onsite. This can be difficult for a number of reasons, the mentor has no or little skills in knowledge transferal, has little or no time to mentor, and customer satisfaction could be reduced if job time is prolonged due to the learning process.
This article gave some great ideas for how to implement the mentoring into the network with suggestions of feedback and sharing information.