Is the 70/20/10 model still relevant?

Oct 2, 2018 | Todd Bynum | @toddbynum | Comments (1)

The 70/20/10 Model for Learning and Development was developed back in the 1980s by the Center for Creative Leadership.  The model suggests that 70% of learning happens from real-life work experience; 20% from mentors, coaches, colleagues and other social networks; and 10% comes from formal training programs.


In recent years, the validity of the 70/20/10 model has been challenged with some saying that a ratio closer to 50/25/25 is more realistic.  In their Global Leadership Forecast 2014/2015, Development Dimensions International (DDI) states that its findings show that the highest-quality leader development comes from a mix of 52/27/21.

While the exact percentages vary from source to source, what is consistent is that the amount of learning that happens on-the-job and from others around you in the workplace far outpaces what you pick up in the classroom.  To that end, how can you accelerate your learning?

Here are some suggestions to take your learning and performance to the next level:

  • look for stretch assignments and special projects
  • shadow someone in another department or role
  • seek out a mentor
  • participate on a cross-functional team
  • serve on an committee
  • volunteer in your community

Have other ideas you'd like to share?  Let us know in the comments.

View at TED Talk or listen to a podcast from any number of experts: Adam Grant, Dan Pink, Amy Climer, etc.

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