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Demystifying 70:20:10 - Using the Framework to Transform your Learning Strategy: 70:20:10 Focus Series

There continues to be much discussion about the 70:20:10 framework and how, when used effectively, it can transform learning and development.

But there is often a disconnect when people begin to argue about the numbers or the percentages when in fact they are missing an opportunity to understand that 70:20:10 is an opportunity to identify and harness learning where it happens.

This engaging 23 minute webinar, hosted by Mark Britz, works to dispel the myths and fallacies around the 70:20:10 framework to instead show its effectiveness to support learning and performance within any organisation.

Through this webinar, Mark discusses:

  • How the current disrupted business environment has made many traditional L&D practices obsolete and why L&D has to change its role within organisations
  • The new strategies people already use to assist them to learn and perform
  • Why 70:20:10 is not a course, program or simply blending 'social and experiential learning' with a training session
  • How learning is already happening outside of the training function, and how and why these learning occurrences need to be harnessed
  • How the 70:20:10 framework can enable organisations to identify how and where learning occurs within their own context, and provide a model to maximise these opportunities to develop and support the performance of their workforce
  • The importance of the role of managers in adopting and implementing 70:20:10
  • How to get started and sustain your 70:20:10 implementation
  • How the 70:20:10 Forum supports the shift to 70:20:10 by building skills and capability development around how to use and apply the framework through their breadth of resources and solutions

About Mark Britz

Mark is a senior manager at the eLearning Guild with over 15 years experience in designing and managing organisational learning solutions.


Learn more about our 70:20:10 Implementation Pathway, included with Licenced Access to the 70:20:10 Forum, or the opportunity to undertake 70:20:10 Practitioner Certification. Contact us through our enquiry page, or book a call with our solutions team.

Further tools that can support you getting started with 70:20:10

Explaining the 70:20:10 numbers

Building the Future Learning Function

Communication Toolkit for Positioning 70:20:10 with Stakeholders

Organisational Readiness Assessment & Action Plan

Toolkit for Preparing a 70:20:10 Business Case

Toolkit for Establishing a Learning Governance Board - Licenced Access Only

'Developing Others' Capability Action Plan - Licenced Access Only



Copyright © 70:20:10 Forum 2016. We encourage you to share our freely accessibly Content, however we do not allow extraction, unauthorised use and/or duplication of this Content without express written permission from 70:20:10 Forum. See our terms and conditions


Thanks Mark for clarifying.  What I learnt is:

702010 is not about creating new pathways, but trying to use the natural flow of work.  “Paving the cow path”.  Using the well walked paths but making it easier and more efficient to use by providing the guidance and framework.  It enhances and allows for flexibility.

Application: Build a framework around how people currently work to support sharing of experiences, learning and wins.  Maybe use mechanisms such as a buddy system/coach where more experienced employees provide coaching or guidance to less experienced ones.  Another idea, is for the team to formally talk about wins and how they achieved these so that others learn from this experience at an existing weekly team meeting.

Another “aha moment” for me was when you spoke about guidance and this follows nicely from the above issue.  You said something to the effect that it is real work in real time …and allows the participants to contemplate and reflect on.   My take on that is that the guidance could occur not only in restrospect through a formal meeting/review.  A framework can be created where there is opportunity to discuss through job shadowing, modelling someone, opportunities to reflect/bounce off each other and a person is permitted to experiment (…and sometimes fail where as a result often the best learning occurs).

Then another thing that became clearer from your experience is that as the learner becomes more and more skilled, the more formal training becomesa smaller proportion of learning.  It is used in specific situations where there are novices in the work-force.  The more skilled/practiced/experienced the more there is a need for opportunities to learn socially i.e. communities, working out loud and by collaboration/sharing.

I'm happy you were able to pull so much from the event Vishnu. You really summarized it well.  The key word is "Framework"." L&D needs to step back from creating in a current learning/work framework and re-frame. In the current framework the focus is on outputs vs. outcomes and that needs to change... quickly.

There were so many great questions throughout the Webinar I was only able to address a few. So now I'd like to post and respond to some here that were left unanswered.  I invite you all to add your own perspective and keep the conversation alive.

What was the key thing that you did that worked really well with the team you were working with?

My L&D team was small. Me and one other. This was a blessing and a curse early on as the call was always training first but at same time most leaders knew with only 2 and pressing needs other solutions had to be entertained. We approached every request for training with a simple 30min Q&A call with the requesting manager. We dialed them back to define what the "problem really was", "how they knew it was a problem (metrics?), and "what has been tried already". Most often the issue was environmental, motivational, or informational vs. a lack of skill (where training would come in). By Environmental the issues pertained to time and work setting, motivational related to lack of purpose or connection to other relevant relationships and informational was a lack of communication and/or resources. It was foreign for managers and leaders to take this approach, but through conversation and articulating the situation they could not argue with their own data.

thinking of changing Induction to do interactive/social games and board type games to gain knowledge to try and change culture from ground up before getting others on board - is that a good approach?

There are some who will enjoy this experience and others who will find it trivial. I don't personally find it efficient/effective. I do look to socialization as particulary critical in the onboarding period as connecting with work peers is important for motivation. It also provides new employees much needed context around the work and organization as most employees find canned onboarding programs pretty scrubbed. The sad truth about onboarding is that it's typically an event vs a long-term process. Shadowing, lunches, after work events spread out without a formal agenda or if desired an agenda driven by the new hire can go a long way to acclimating them.

get asked all the time to provide examples of 70 types of design...yes they are looking for a list...

Try this:

Did your budget also transform to reflect 70:20:10?

My budget was not exclusive to L&D and I had to present yearly what my needs were to the division I was under. After staving off the push for an LMS I was able to reallocate the money towards a and ESN platform (Jive).  We put "Social at the Center" and worked with current tools like SharePoint (widely used for document management),, and WebEx to better connect people to people and people to content. 70:20:10 can be a significant cost savings over time as people are weaned off formal first approaches. This is an important conversation that catches the ear of many executives.

How do you build trust so that people feel comfortable sharing ideas and failures?

Trust takes time.  There is research happening in how to escalate trust but honestly it happens through modeling it often in our environments (physical or virtual). If people aren't sharing now, without social tools, then a tool isn't going to help. It will cast a light on your culture. If you want people to start sharing ideas and failures then begin with yourself. Show that it's safe to do so.  Also in most orgs those in the positions of power (executives and middle managers) have the greatest opportunity to show their humanity and model it for others.  Small doses over time.

Do you have ideas for instructional designers and others involved in the 10 portion that can spur people to use people and workplace experience to learn?

IDs are people too! Kidding aside, the reality is that in their work they too are learning socially and informally to improve and inform their practices.  They need to share this reality to.  There are opportunities to "add" social into formal learning (10%) of course. Take for example this Webinar I did. It was a formal learning event with a set time, place and objectives with me as the "instructor". Yet here I am answering questions AFTER the event in an open space and was promoting peer-to-peer conversation DURING the event.  This is an example of weaving social opportunities in and around formal learning to extend it and add valuable context. Another way IDs can encourage informal and social is in creating more space for reflection after formal learning, think about spaced learning that involves opportunity for cohorts to re-engage content and share ideas on application. Employees are not blank slates. Encouraging contribution to formal learning is part of openness and shared ownership of learning.

Hi Mark,

Thanks for this webinar.  I’ve now watched this twice, firstly with my team, People Development, then a second time for this exercise.  After the team watched this, we talked more about what we are doing now and what we can change.  Now we have built into our team meetings a section on what people are learning or doing more about 70:20:10, great example of learning while working and sharing with others. 

Being a keen gardener myself I loved the gardening metaphor, especially the one about needing a framework to augment the growth of the tomato plant, which my garden is missing.

Our business lines are responding well to the 70 20 10 principles that we have woven into our everyday conversations about learning, and our team decided quickly to use the alternative words, Experience, Exposure and Education after your webinar.  We felt that we were comfortable with using these and business would embrace this too.  Being a highly analytical organisation, we thought we would be best to steer clear from the numbers, as they would have wanted the ‘data’ to support it.

Small pockets of our the team struggle with the shift in mindset and that not every learning interaction has to start with a course.  Steadily, we are moving the focus on performance and what the gaps are and those causes. I’ve witnessed excited team members come back from consulting with business, with a renewed energy that they got to the bottom of issues, and were able to talk more about how training will not solve a motivational issue.  The team is evolving how learning solutions are approached.  Individuals within the team are realising that their role is no longer booking someone on a course, but more of curation, looking for learning opportunities for people inside their work, with their peers and other alternatives like Ted talks. 

People Development team has adopted a HR business partner model where we all have responsibilities for business segments, and as a result, we are now in a better position through strengthened relationships with key stakeholders to work closely with them on meaningful learning solutions.  Using the same key business stakeholders, we have been able to use them to lead the culture of learning and collaboration by forming small communities to provide a space for individuals to reflect and work out load, being leader lead.  We hope that while they are modelling this, it will flow throughout the organisation.

I have personally used the practical examples many times and I reference this regularly to the other team members when formulating the 70 and 20.  It has been invaluable.

Thanks for the feedback Megan. I'm glad the webinar has been found useful. It's interesting in that the framework is really geared towards organizational level change and L&D must be at the forefront to support the change. If this strategy is employed the call for and need for formal learning really just organically dries up as people have the avenues, support, and encouragement to learn openly in their work. By sharing these new ideas, solutions and work arounds they influence others up and down the chain so that training is relegated to the areas and individuals it is most beneficial for; when learning something for the first time (see Conrad Gottfredson's 5 Moments of Need).

Thanks Mark. It was great to listen to your webinar and reflect on your observations, as well as our progress on 702010 within our organisation at North Coast TAFE. I agree completely 702010 is not about the numbers. In fact, we initially decided not to use the numbers so we could emphasise the focus of each component and what they mean. We used the descriptors ‘mostly experience’, ‘some relationship based’ and ‘a small amount of formal education’ when we included them in a performance review system we established, simply because we did not want staff to think it was a recipe, or that you needed something from each component to ensure learning took place. We have relaxed this a little now that many understand the principle better and we have provided plenty of local examples of what 702010 look like. This is particularly helpful in reinforcing and legitimising the social and informal learning that has always taken place in our organisation – without a name up until recently.

Very handy that the recently introduced Public Sector Capability Framework in the process of being adopted by all Government departments is based on capabilities and this also supports using the 702010 principles.

We are explicit in identifying 702010 with every opportunity, both in advertising with upfront options, or as reflection on learning and this helps everyone understand what it means. As you so rightly identify Mark, reflection on learning is incredibly powerful.

Within our learning and development environment, the real key to successful implementation of 702010 has been for us to move from being staff development activities coordinators to learning and development consultants. Instead of being the solution and reacting to a client’s immediate needs, developing collaborative solutions, researching options based on client need and finding ways to experience, share and learn have helped create a shift in our heads and in our approach.



Thanks for watching the Webinar. I'm glad you found it valuable as it seems to validate the work you have done. Congratulations on the journey so far.  I believe and have stated that 70:20:10, in addition to not being about the numbers, must also not focus on learning as much as performing. If/when we successful move the conversation to one of execution then I think you can gain leadership's attention.  I am intereste in your " the real key to successful implementation of 702010 has been for us to move from being staff development activities coordinators to learning and development consultants."  comment. This is a powerful transition and one most L&D cannot for various reasons move to. What were the steps you took to achieve this? What hurdles did you have? Was it a gradual transformation or one sped up by leadership buy-in.  Thanks in advance for sharing!

Hi Mark

Actually we had leadership buy-in from the very start. This made a huge difference, enabling us to design the L&D budget around a number of key capability development priorities identified by our leadership Executive. We also got in early and developed a team of 702010 'ambassadors' through our Leadership & Management Initiative project who helped us to promote and implement the principles of 702010. Probably the challenge was spreading the word about our performance development system which incorporated 702010. The uptake was slow and took a while to gain momentum. This has improved a great deal and will help drive improvements in performance over time.

Our move to becoming L&D Consultants was based on the factors many other organisations have faced: rapid change in our industry and in what customers want, improved technology and increased competition. Falling attendances at traditional face-to-face training (10), the need for capability development which reflected much of the learning that was taking place anyway - 70 & 20 and increasing reliance on social networking also contributed to us changing the way we supported capbility development.

I thought this webinar was really thought provoking. What I took from this was:

 - the 702010 framework is not a tool or a programme that staff must go through, it is a series of events focussed on our people, our practices and our activities, our peers and leaders

 - 702010 should be built around practices that already exist

 - 702010 emphasis should be on work and performance outputs, not learning for learning sake


I particularly liked the 'iceberg' effigy - that what you see on the surface is the visible classroom, e-learning and formal training, and this represents the 10%. What you don't see if the other 90% that happens everyday in the form of conversations, communities of practise, knowledge exchange/sharing through 1:1s, team meetings and our interactions with others

A key point for me was the realisation that L&D can't simply go out into the business and tell everyone to learn in a 702010 way. The key is through line managers and getting them to understand and appreciate that most learning happens on the job and that the focus is not on providing learning but on enhancing performance. Line managers should be the facilitators of conversations, experiences, knowledge sharing within team and across offices and providers of opportunites for staff to undertake new tasks/experiences that will enhance performance and outputs. This is an area where i feel my organsation should put more focus and emphasis on as we support the move to 702010.

Hi Mark

 Thank you for this webinar. My team are early in our journey of practitioner certification and I personally felt the need to go back before I could move forward and listen to you once more, not unlike Megan Pittman.  I have several moments during your webinar where I had to pause it,  take time to reflect on what was said, then replay it and link to known scenarios that 70:20:10 frameworks are happening and making a change in my organization, but I am struggling little in where our teams project should move next.  Have you heard the term  a "eureka" moment when clarity of thinking discovers something you haven't thought of?  Well mine just happened! 

Last week I decided to draw mind map all the various subset activities that are being undertaken and I realized that those events where professional conversations and outputs from brainstorming  are much the 70:20 in action. These local activities that my colleagues have leading in pockets have produced shifts in understanding not only in learning but also in motivation and was very encouraging to be apart of:  Now our team's challenge is to leverage off that momentum in our next step and focus on increasing capability. Thank you