A few years ago the L&D world was abuzz with the sound of people explaining that 70% of learning comes from experience, 20% from other people, and only 10% from formal learning events.
Thus the 70:20:10 model became the flavour of the month, and was used by Consultants everywhere to try to ram it into the stubborn heads of managers that a one-off tick-boxy training course is not a good way to help people get better at doing their jobs.
Like all things that are fashionable, it suffered the roller-coaster of fashion bias one minute, then anti-fashion bias the next, in turn exaggerating then obscuring the wisdom within the model.
Fashion Bias (noun, origin: just made it up): the tendency to overestimate the value of the latest thing because it is in fashion
Anti-Fashion Bias (noun, origin: just made this one up too): tendency to underestimate the value of the latest thing because it is in fashion
And lo, what had once been the answer to all L&D woes faded into the background to become yesterday’s news: a slightly awkward gimmicky sounding tool that people often took to mean that you should do a bit of job shadowing and watch a TED Talk once you’ve done the training course.
The problem with throwing out a model because it gets misunderstood and misused, and through familiarity ends up sounding a bit simplistic and old hat, is that one can accidentally also chuck out the good bits. I believe the metaphor to use here is the one about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but I’ve always thought that a rather dramatic and unfamiliar analogy: who hears that metaphor and thinks, “ah OK, now I understand thanks to my vast experience of accidentally throwing babies away“?Continue reading “Three ideas for making the most of 70:20:10”