Make the face to face stronger

A couple of weeks ago I was at an LPI event for vendors and they had Charles Jennings speaking. For those not in the know, Jennings is better known for his work in promoting the 70:20:10 model of learning. And to ensure we’re all singing from the same hymns sheet, here’s a quick run down of what that means.

Charles explains that through researching how people learn work based skills, only 10% of what they know is learned in a formal learning environment – traditional classroom training or e-learning. 20% of what they’ve learned comes through social learning – learning from others through coaching, mentoring, regular conversations. 70% of how people learn at work is through on the job stuff, the experiential side of things – things like work based projects.

I’ve made that mistake before of thinking this is a hard and fast formula, and it’s not. Obviously context matters, and those numbers can and do change accordingly. Also, it doesn’t discount the importance of the training course, it just helps identify that there are additional things we can put into practice which build on the 10%.

That’s something which Charles picked up on that I’d like to share a bit more. Some organisations aren’t ready to fully explore how to integrate a 70:20:10 approach to learning delivery. What they can do is build around the 10% and make it 10+. 

What does that mean? It means taking the traditional training course and building around it resources and content that people can access independently. It means providing additional opportunities to discuss the content and learn from each other/others in the business on the same topic. 

What this allows for is that it strengthens the quality of that training course. People value spending that face to face time more because they’re given ample other opportunities to engage with the content and their own learning.

Plenty of people in my network are averse to the 70:20:10 model because they have a (mis)belief that writers about modern learning are claiming to ditch the face to face stuff. On the contrary, what we’re understanding better is that there are stronger ways to make the face to face training even better.


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Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

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