Leadership Development Is About Creating Experiences For People. (Andrew Warren-Smith) The Forum applies the 70:20:10 lens


This article by Andrew Warren-Smith, managing director of DDI in India and published in The Economic Times examines the challenges of growing talent from within.

When the ‘war for talent’ intensifies – as it did with the mining boom in Australia – the challenge of attracting new managers and leaders from outside becomes almost insurmountable. The only way to build a strong leadership benchstrength is through ‘growing your own’.

Warren Smith argues that talent management strategy and processes tend to go through three stages; installation or ‘testing’ talent management as a process; systematisation where leadership and talent development is structured and linked across other parts of the organisation; and optimisation where leadership development is given a separate emphasis.

70:20:10 Lens

Smith recommends the 70:20:10 model for ‘good leadership development’ where:

 “..the onus of development lies in learning on the job with the balance being made up by coaching and formal training respectively”

Warren-Smith explains that good leadership development focuses on creating experiences for people ahead of the opportunity where they actually have to ‘step up and lead change’.

Doing this isn’t always easy. Senior stakeholders need to be convinced that it is worthwhile for emerging leaders to integrate development activities into their daily work. It also involves the line managers of emerging leaders to appreciate the power and impact of creating development experiences in the workplace, and understanding their role in ensuring that the maximum amount of learning is ‘extracted’ from workplace experiences.

The 70:20:10 model provides an excellent springboard and structure for experiential learning and for leadership development. 

Read: Leadership development is about creating experiences for people