Learning is most effective when it takes place ‘at work’ and within context.

The ’70:20:10′ Learning Model (McCall et al.) suggested that 10% of learning happens in a classroom (either face to face or virtual) with 20% involving others such as discussion groups and buddying. Collective drawing of conclusions leads to personal change and reinvention.

Real learning (70%) happens within contextual situations, dealing with actual issues and business challenges. These, of course, need to be managed to avoid risk whilst design-thinking frameworks, including prototyping, helps significantly.

Line Management conversations, in relation to learning, must be ongoing, alongside identifying challenging assignments. Regular dialogue, coaching, feedback, mentoring, problem-solving, and testing is also essential.

As a coaching line manager, we must embrace complexity and ambiguity in service of personal and organisational sustainability and growth. Learning and reinvention are such an important part of the personal development toolkit.

It’s an integrated process linking business results and leadership experiences, with aggregated insights to determine ongoing organisational capability needs.

Many organisations are moving from competencies to leadership brand building. They ask themselves, ‘what is the leadership we need now and over the next few years?’ They also consider how to differentiate and deliver purpose and mission through leaders at all levels.

The world continues to change at speed, and the skills needed over the next decade are probably unknown today. That’s why the ’70:20:10′ learning model is so relevant now, more than ever before.


John Moran