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Trends Driving 70:20:10 -Reflection & Discussion Activity


Much of the interest in integrative models such as 70:20:10 is driven by an increasing need for organisations to operate at ‘the speed of business’.

Speed of business poses a significant challenge for the learning function. There is an inherent inertia associated with creating and managing formal development solutions and our traditional (ADDIE) approach is no longer a fit.

Training Needs Analaysis and formal programs more and more, are being recognised as too cumbersome and slow. Quite simply, the approach is out of touch with the needs of our stakeholders, who want responsive and flexible solutions that deliver impact.

The below table is a simple representation of the transition we seek to make. The ‘From’ column represents the traditional paradigm, characterised by defined (formal) events and a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

The ‘To’ column represents the new paradigm, defined by the flexibility of solutions and their emphasis on individual needs, a ‘pull’ approach and continuous learning at the point of need.

(c) 2013 70:20:10 Forum Pty Ltd​

Considerations and Next Steps

The above table is a very simple means for capturing the culture change we seek to achieve as a result of a 70:20:10 strategy. The table also helps to position guiding principles for the specific solutions we create.

Consider adapting and using this table/visual within your stakeholder and employee communications, as it is such a simple means for conveying key messages about what we are trying to achieve.

You might also use the table as a trigger for rich conversations, especially with your HR and learning function and other stakeholders. Use it to challenge their thinking, to conceptualise the desired future state and to create a shared commitment to taking action.

Consider reflection, discussion, and/or debrief questions you can pose to your audience:

  • Do our current solutions fill people up with knowledge ‘just in case’ or are we equipping them to find what they need?
  • How much time do our employees currently waste looking for information to help them get their jobs done?
  • How will equipping them to ‘find knowledge’ and learn continuously impact their performance?
  • What are the implications for effective performance support?
  • How do we support our people to have positive workplace learning experiences?
  • How do we ensure experiential learning is intentional, rather than left to chance?
  • How do we move away from ‘one size fits all’ to ‘individual’ solutions without creating additional resource requirements?
  • How do we re-focus formal development solutions to enable continuous and individual learning?
  • What is our role in supporting and enabling workplace learning?
  • What do we need to let go or do less of to support a transition to the new paradigm?
  • What do we need to start doing or do more of to support a transition to the new paradigm?
  • How will we get started and what are our next steps?

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2 comments

Learning is surely in its next evolutionary phase...and the pace at which this change is happening is quite a big shift than the previous phases. Positive and impactful!

Changing people’s perceptions of the learning process, what learning is, how learning should happen and when learning should happen is not an easy task. For years, centuries infact, schools, colleges and universities have adapted a “Chalk and talk” approach where learners will listen and teachers will talk. This approach (As stated in the article) to learning for many years made learning become almost a culture of storing knowledge rather than using and understanding knowledge.

It’s easy to agree that this habit and culture is not the most efficient way of teaching and learning, and with less emphasis on one training course fits all and more emphasis on creating training programs for the individual the teaching and learning process becomes more efficient and satisfactory to the audience and stake holders.  

One of the challenges found in our department in implementing the 70:20:10 principle is the overall stake holders understanding of what the principle is, what it means and how it would benefit them and their staff. For this reason movement of staff into different departments to learn on the job does not always happen and so the complete 70:20:10 process is far from completed.

For this reason our department intends to hold a 70:20:10 day where stake holders higher and middle management will attend workshops and have the opportunity to learn about the principle and its benefits to them. It will also give them chance to ask questions and suggest ways they feel implementation would be smoothest and quickest. For this reason this article was very useful as it gave examples of reflection, discussion and questions we could pose to our audience, and get them questioning the principle, the process of how to implement it themselves. The main focus of the workshops would be to educate the stake holder on how traditional learning methods are out dated and how, there are better ways of learning and retaining knowledge which is by experience.