How to maximise the 20 in 70:20:10


Discussions around the water cooler or coffee machine will always be an important way to share ideas and knowledge. But with the rise of technology, L&D now has even more tools to bring to the table to help power up social learning, nurture a culture of mentoring and coaching, and enable today’s self-activated learners to collaborate and share knowledge and expertise in new and exciting ways.


When we look back and reflect on workplace learning, the chances are that our most memorable and valuable lessons came from real life experiences – i.e. the mistakes we have made along the way, and the people we have worked most closely with – not necessarily from classroom training.

It’s no coincidence then that the 70:20:10 model is on the rise as the go-to framework for supporting a healthy balance of formal and informal learning in the workplace.

However, despite research highlighting that 70:20:10 can improve business agility and performance, as L&D professionals we are all too often focused on finding the best way to deliver engaging content – sometimes at the expense of supporting learners to harness the full potential of social and informal learning.

The rewards of supporting a balanced approach to learning are clear. The recently launched 2015/16 Towards Maturity benchmark report shows that Top Deck organisations are proactive at improving all three areas of the 70:20:10 model, rather than focusing on just one. These organisations (scoring in the top 10% of the Towards Maturity Index) are five times more likely to agree they are improving productivity, employee engagement and business responsiveness compared to those in the bottom quartile.

If we look specifically at social learning (the 20% of 70:20:10), we can see that 88% of Top Deck organisations use coaching and mentoring as a key part of their workplace culture compared to 40% of lower quartile companies; 43% encourage staff to solve problems together using social media (11%); and 51% encourage staff to collaborate in building knowledge resources together (12%).

So here’s the question – what can L&D do to encourage learning from others and maximise the 20%?

For many organisations, the 20% is the next most logical and attainable junction on the journey of evolving workplace learning beyond the classroom, so it’s a great place to start if you’re looking to support the non-formal learning taking place all around your organisation today. We also suggest that it is the ‘low hanging fruit’.  The 20% involves coaching and collaboration – which are still within the gift of standard L&D departments.

According to 70:20:10 expert Charles Jennings* there are a number of important actions that learning professionals can take to deliver results through the 70:20:10 model. These include: supporting coaching and mentoring; assisting personal knowledge networks and facilitating the co-creation and sharing of content.

Advert warning 

With this in mind, Skill Pill has developed ‘20% in a box’ – a cloud-based app suite to encourage learning from others which includes:

·        High impact training videos to improve coaching and mentoring skills

·        myTV video upload – a social platform which enables people to share insight and best practice

·        Live 360 – a tool to drive peer-to-peer feedback

·        Text Shortcuts to prompt and facilitate insightful reflection


Click here to request a free taster of 20% in a box and see how easy it is to satisfy today’s growing appetite for collaborative social learning.



*Working Smarter Using Informal Learning & the 70:10:10 Framework, 70:20:10 Forum, © Charles Jennings



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