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  • AutorenbildJennifer Victoria Withelm

#Folge 8 - 70 20 10 Modell with Charles Jennings


Jennifer Withelm: Hello everybody, my name is Jennifer Withelm from Munich in Germany. I'm a learning and development professional, and the maker and the founder of this blog, which I call "Lernen in geil" in German, and that translate that with learn smack in English. The 70 20 10 learning model is already a few decades old, but due to the corona crisis, it is currently being constantly discussed by HR and learning development professionals all over the world. The numbers are not to be understood, it's fixed, they are like a metaphor. The numbers stand for three different forms of learning, which often overlap about 70% stand for learning through work. This includes experience stretch assignments, practice and reflection 20%. And for learning from it with others. That means social learning with colleagues, superiors, top performers, members of community use, or the partner and the kids. Only 10% are formal learning, which include courses elearning, and books. And my feeling was well, as we currently ask ourselves how learning and development professionals could be helpful in the area of the 90% of informal learning. Why don't we ask the eminent authority and the pioneer of the model himself, Charles Jennings is co founder at the 70 20 10 Institute and has led learning and performance improvement projects for more than 35 years, he is considered to be the pioneer who first used a model in the practice their child's it is a huge honor for me to get the chance to talk with you. Thank you, once again, a lot of companies, as you know, are affected by the corona crisis right now. And it hit my career as well, as you know, so I'm looking for a new employer. But in terms of people development, every company I talked with mainly discussed curricula. No one was interested in how learning and development could support informal learning, though, is it just my feeling that most learning and development departments are mainly still engaged in the 10% field?


Charles Jennings: Well, Jennifer, first, first of all, thanks very much for the invitation to talk to you today. I think your experiences are very common. I think that people find it very difficult, or great difficulty in separating learning for schooling. So we've all been through school, and college, university, and so on. And when we get into work, everyone tends to think that learning is linked to schooling. In other words, formal learning is the only sort of sort of learning that there is, whereas actually, we know, the research tells us that most learning actually occurs as part of the daily workflow. And in fact, researchers at the European, the Research Center for Education in the labor market, found in a Dutch study that the worker spent an average of 35% of their working time on activities in which they, they learn. And if you compare this to the time in which workers spend informal learning, it's far far greater. You know, it's actually an order of magnitude greater is probably 10, or 20 times greater than the time people spend in formal training. And also the Research Center for Education in the labor market, who are economists looking at learning and education from a perspective of building organizational capability in the labor market, they found that actually informal learning accounts for about 90% 96%, I'm sorry, at the time in which workers are actually engaged in learning activities. So from one side, it's, it's not surprising to me that people tend to focus on formal learning, because that's what we've always done. Learning and Development, in the minds of managers in the minds of learning and development leaders is always been around programs around building courses, learning paths, structuring things in that way. And yet, we know that that only touches a very tiny bit of the learning time that all of us are spending in terms of learning. And so informal learning, as it were, is under the radar. So it's a challenge. And we need to it's something we need to change, actually.


Jennifer Withelm: Actually, you told us for years that you should focus more on the 90% or even 96% of informal learning. And I think it's almost 20 years ago that you start to use the 70 20 10 model as a chief learning officer at Reuters. How exactly did you use it back then? And what has changed in your approach compared to today?


Charles Jennings: Well, last changed in those 20 years. Jennifer, I think, you know, the point that the figures I gave you earlier around around 96% of working time is spent. Learning time is spent informally. I think that highlights the fact that not to get hung up on these numbers of 70 2010 Why I introduced 7020 10 as a strategic approach, when I was brought into Reuters, the big information company, the Global Information company, as chief learning officer in 2001. And I was aware that the amount of time effort resource and money that was being spent on developing capability, both at individual team and organizational level that that was probably not being spent very well, in terms of almost all of it was focused on formal, formal learning. So my introduction to 70 20 10 came from that, and came from the fact that I'd seen actually, in Goldman Sachs, the big international investment banking company, had been using 70 20 10 as a framework for accelerated leadership development, and where they were really drawing on, on learning from working and learning from others, as well as formal structured learning. And I think that one of the challenges we have with 70 20 10 is that people take the numbers literally. Whereas even the original research where the numbers emerge from the original research, the numbers weren't no nice, round numbers. So what we found at Reuters is that when you start to extend this scope, and the focus of learning and development, and don't just focus on that, that 10, which is important that formal learning is important, but it's not everything. And in fact, my colleague, yas Eretz, who has written and worked in this area for years, says that, you know, formal learning, and I absolutely agree with him. Formal learning will help people become competent. But formal learning alone will never produce expertise. And we know that we only need to think about that, in our own lives, you know, we were not getting our university, certifications, qualifications, degrees, didn't make us experts in any area, it gave us a good grounding, and gave us the basics. And so I think that's why I've always found the 70 20 10 approach is really powerful. However, one of the one of the constraints is that people tend to think of 70 20 10 in terms of the 10. And in fact, we often talk about 10 Plus and 20. Plus, I often have conversations with people, and they say, Yes, we use 70 20 10. And our programs, well, actually, that's not quite right, what you're doing, if you've got a maybe a leadership program, or some sort of program that you're running, and you've introduced some social aspects to it, and maybe some experiential learning to it, what you're doing there, it's just building really, really good formal programs. It's what we call 10. Plus, it's not 70 20 10 plus 10. Plus, and I think my thinking, the way my thinking has changed in the last 10 years, is initially, I was focused on and when we were when I started at Reuters, we were focused on really building learning into the workflow. And I think we were more focused on building formal learning into the workflow, then, then really extracting learning from work, and helping people learn as teams. Of course, we did some of this, but we didn't do it as fully as we do now. Whereas our 7020 10 methodology is based around how do you build in helping organizations build capability to really understand what the fundamentals of the business problems we're trying to solve? And how we can help l&d can build solutions to help solve those problems. Sometimes, formal learning is involved. Sometimes formal learning is not involved. It just depends on on the requirement.


Jennifer Withelm: So what can I as a learning and development professionals offer concretely regarding learning on and near the job? Because originally, I thought, and usually you're quoted, or that model is quoted that way in Germany as well that the 20% are as an example for floor workings, mentoring, coaching, but it seems as if these kinds of solutions are not the stuff that you define as informal learning, it just gave the book hint, that's very beneficial as well. But what exactly can I do? Maybe you have one or two examples in the area of the 20 to 70% field that makes it a little bit more concrete.


Charles Jennings: Sure. And in fact, Jennifer, all of those things you mentioned are really part of that 20 learning we learn through it might be having informal support in some way. It might be having a floor someone floor walking, or it might be having brown bag lunches, or it might be having all sorts of ways in which we're sharing, sharing our expertise. To give you some examples, teams of people spend time together simply reflecting on the experiences they've had, where they've had successes, where they challenges which they're finding great difficulty overcoming, and actually sharing that sitting around in a group, maybe in a team or it might be sitting with your manager. And, and thinking about what what I've done in the last couple of weeks. The successes I've had the challenges I've still got, what I do differently to address those to be more successful, and then reflecting on okay, what have I learned from that? Because, of course, you know, we learn from we learn from experiences and again, thinking back at the economists, some of the greatest economists of our era, Nobel Prize winning economists have studied this, and Kenneth Arrow who ran his when his Nobel Prize back in the 1970s, he studied the way in which capability is built in the way in which productivity is built, an arrow came to the view that learning only occurs through activity, one of arrows, students, a man called Joseph Stiglitz, who also won his Nobel Prize in the early part of this century, Stiglitz again, reiterates that and says, we get better by doing things, we do something, we carry out an activity, we work on a project, we reflect, we improve the next time we do it, we reflect we improve the next time we do it. And that's the way that we build high performance. And in fact, next week, I'm talking to a group of high performing sports people and managers, so managers of people like Juergen Klopp, and managers or football, football teams, and so on. And if you said to anyone who was involved, for example, in sport, that practice and reflection weren't terribly important in terms of learning, and that all they needed to do is you just needed to help help your players develop the skills, then they can get out on the pitch and they can perform. And once they performed, oh, that's fine. Okay, well, maybe they can go back to doing a bit of skills work is if they if you suggested that they didn't think about reflection, they didn't understand that they needed to identify the areas where practice is required. I think you were crazy. You know, of course, that's the way if you're going to be a world class performer on the sporting field. It's all about experience, practice, sharing with your teammates, getting that dynamic together in terms of knowing what others will do and where that others have their strengths and weaknesses and how you how you fit with this. And of course, that reflection is really key. And the example I often give Jennifer, is this if you think of Rafa Nadal is an absolutely perfect example of learning in the workplace and how someone can outperform their talent. And in fact, I know a man called Santiago Alvarez, the man who's a professor at the AC business school in Barcelona, who's worked with Rafa Nadal since Nadal was a young man in his teens, and San Diego has said that Rafa Nadal has never been one of the top five tennis players on pure talent Ever. Which is crazy, really, because of course, Nadella has been not just one of the greatest tennis players now he's probably one of the greatest tennis players of all time. But what Nadal does, if you think about how Nadal performs, if ever you've seen him, have you seen him on the tennis court, he has a set of routines, which allow him time extra time to reflect. So Nadal, for example, has lost more points for time wasting on serving than any other player in the Open Era, and what he's doing, and I've seen video of Santiago and Rafa Nadal talking about this, and whilst Nadal is bouncing the ball before he serves, he's thinking, what happened last time? What was it that led to a good outcome or a bad outcome? What do I need to change? Okay, what have I got to do next? So, Nadal is what you call a, an obsessive reflector. And we don't think about that in knowledge work, we often don't think about it in our work in our own work, that actually, reflection is really, really critical, and reflecting either individually or with other people. And I've seen this occur, I've seen performance go up significantly, by simply using that technique of just reflecting with others. I've seen it with, with groups of senior managers where when they have their quarterly meetings, they spend maybe an hour over two days, just put away their laptops and everything and just talk about ask those three questions. What's been going on for me since we last met? What would I do differently if I had my time over? What have I learned from that? And that just simple little techniques like that have really really powerful outcomes.


Jennifer Withelm: So what you say is, should say goodbye to the term coaching when it comes to informal learning the bird reflecting time what Be a better word for that. Yeah, well,


Charles Jennings: yes, to a point, I think, you know, coaching is coaching is really helpful. I mean, again, with a sporting analogy, very, very few top sports people get to the top without a coach. But again, we tend to think, in our knowledge work of coaching, being something which is formal, we're assigned a coach, we have to meet at a certain time, we go through this structured process, there are all sorts of coaching methodologies, and so on CO coaching, peer coaching, with your peers spending a bit of time, even just over a coffee coaching, your colleagues listening to, to them talk about where they think their strengths are, where their challenges are, it also opens up, opens us up, we need, sometimes it makes us quite vulnerable. Because we have to admit that, you know, we're not gonna admit the reality that we're not all great at everything. And so, so that coaching piece is very important. So the role of l&d the way that thinking of the world from, from a performance paradigm, rather than a learning paradigm, what that does in terms of changing the role of LMD is that if you take coaching, for example, it's not simply thinking of coaching as a process. And we need to get a professional coach, or we need to train our managers to be coaches or whatever. It's thinking about the outcomes, saying, What are we trying to do? So how can we utilize these conversations in some way in which will help people to perform better? And so it's not coaching conversations, I would never recommend to a manager to have coaching conversations with with their reports. But I would certainly recommend to managers to say, look, next time you sit down with your team, individually or as a team, just ask those questions, you know, what's been working for you, since we last met? What successes have you had, what failures? What would you do next time? What have you learned from that sort of build that? That culture of continuous development, questioning and reflection?


Jennifer Withelm: You just mentioned, managers and leaders? I think it's been 2014, when McKinsey found out that the most leadership trainings do not work because the context is missing. So how can leaders attain the competencies they need for future roles in a more effective way when we want to focus on informal learning?


Charles Jennings: Yes, yes. The McKinsey study, looking that found that that overlooking context, and also they found four things, in fact that McKinsey study, they found that the first thing was that leadership is contextual. But many leadership development initiatives actually assume that there's one size fits all. So it overlooks that context. And that's a problem. The second issue that that McKinsey study found was that if you decouple reflection, from real work, you have a problem. So we need to make sure that any, any leadership development is actually tied in to real work, real issues, real challenges, and so on. And this is where the Harvard case model has become, a lot of people have become very critical of the Harvard case model, because it really puts people into artificial situations to, you know, solve complex problems in a few hours or overnight or whatever. And actually, that's not that's not real situation. The third issue that the McKinsey study found was that an underestimation of mindsets. In other words, we're looking to change behaviors, and underlying mindsets. And that can't be done just through a course. You know, a formal program Leadership Program is not going to change mindsets alone. It's a long process that requires a lot of work beyond the formal leadership development program. And the last element that was a key factor that the McKinsey study found was a failure to measure results. And that's a general issue with learning and development. Overall, in that we are very bad at measuring very poor at measuring business results, because we try to, we try to link learning outcomes with business results. And that is extremely difficult, if not impossible. And we have all sorts of learning metrics, which we then tried to convince senior exit senior stakeholders and executives, that these learning metrics are meaningful, actually the only metrics that really matter to if you go and talk to a chief executive. The only metrics that really matter them are business metrics, thinking about measurement, I asked a group of senior HR l&d talent people in a group I was cheering Earlier on this week about how they measure results. And very few, if any, one or two said we measure the results on a few, very important of our programs, some of our senior leadership programs, we, we try and measure results. But actually, very few of them could give me any evidence of results of business results that they were measuring. I then asked them the question, in terms of how they determined or chose, did they choose their suppliers, their partners to work with, based on their ability to deliver results? No one said they did that. And when I again, when I asked, I said, Do you ask your suppliers to give demonstration in terms of how they can demonstrate or give examples, case studies of how they delivered results? Very few often did that in terms of business results. And that is a major major challenge that Randy has to has, with formal learning.


Jennifer Withelm: I read that you use screen based performance support, what exactly does that look like?


Charles Jennings: Well, yes, yes, we do. I've done a lot of work with performance support over the years. And, again, performance support, whether it's screen based, or whether it's it's a simple a simple checklist or anything like that. It really doesn't matter what channel you're using, although screen based, screen based, and particularly apps now, performance support apps on mobile devices are really, really helpful. And the core principle behind using performance support rather than deep training is is a fundamental, which, again, I think is a challenge for learning and development professionals. And we talked about it in the big book we wrote, called 7020 10, towards 100% performance. And it's this, the closer you are to the point of need, that you learn something, the more effective is likely to be. Because as humans, you know, our memories aren't perfect. We forget the detail. You know, if any of us carry out a study, and maybe do the exam, we have to revise for the exam. First of all, you know, it's interesting to me, when I think about my university days, or anyone's university days, I don't think anyone would have finished their their course, and then set the exam with no revision, because we revise because we forget things. And this principle of the closer to the point of use, that learning or support occurs, the more effective it's likely to be, is basically the basis of a performance support. In other words, if we can get a quick list of the things we need to do, or the process we need to follow, at the point where we need to use it or just before the point we need need to use it, we're much like more likely to follow that correct process, or to do the work to do the work more effectively, than if we learn something we learned a year ago, or whatever. The only way that the things we've learned a year ago or two years ago, where we're going to be effective at using it is if we've had time to practice it. And we've done it again and again. And again, we all know this, we might have a quick checklist that we need to follow. And after we've done that, follow that checklist four or five times we just know, we know it because we've done it. So performance support is based around that. performance support is just one of the 70 type solutions that we can use where we can provide support. There are some very good examples. There's a man called Atul Gawande, who is a surgeon worked at at Harvard Medical School and is written a great book called The Checklist Manifesto. And Gandhi has worked with medical health organizations around the world, reducing mortality rates, particularly in surgeries, and medical surgeries or hospital surgeries are a good example of where performance support really comes into its own. Because traditionally, surgeries are very hierarchical. The senior surgeon leads the team makes the decisions drives the team. So if I'm a junior, say a junior squad nurse in a surgery, if I see that the senior surgeon isn't following the defined procedure, exactly. I am unlikely to step in and say say to them, hold on, we need to do this. But if you have a checklist that's owned by everyone, and everyone has responsibility for that checklist, that swab nurse who sees the checklist isn't being followed is much more likely to step in and go one day has in his works certainly here in the UK, has decreased mortality rates in some of the health services he was working with by 47%. So nearly 50% less deaths from result of surgery simply by using checklists. And actually, there was another very good book called black box thinking written by a man called Matthew Syed, who's an Englishman. And that looks at two industries. And it looks particularly at the issue of checklists is in that book, and sired looks at one industry where there are a lot of errors. And it's a not very, not a very safe industry, and one industry, another industry where there are very few errors, and actually is a very safe industry. The era the error strewn industry is, again, the medical world, you know, we all know we go into hospital, we have risks, not just for the treatment we're going to have, but also to other risks. And the very safe industry. In fact, the one of the safest industry is the aviation industry. It's quite interesting, our perception is that when we get into an aeroplane, you know, it's quite a risk. In fact, it's very little risk, you know, we are in more risk driving to the airport that we are flying. And, and again, back to the performance support. The aviation industry runs on performance support. So when the flight crew go into the cockpit, they have a set of checklists that they go through. As we take off, they're going through a set of checklists, as you're in the air, they're going through a set of checklists. So the whole thing is run by performance support. And yet, again, when we step back and think about working in our knowledge industries, how often to check this use? Well, they are used, of course, but not a lot. How often do learning and development professionals see checklists as being part of their armory, in terms of their solution set? Not very often, you know, we will tend to think of a course or a program before thinking, well, maybe this problem could be resolved by using a checklist.


Jennifer Withelm: Charles, what about topics that should affect the mindset of the people, I currently see a lot of formal trainings regarding unconscious bias and diversity. And in an article you wrote that psychology research and field studies have shown that it is quite difficult to train away stereotyping. And that training actually decreased diversity of behaviors rather than increase them. So what is learning and development able to do if we want a change of mindset?


Charles Jennings: Jennifer, this is a really, really challenging area. And you're right, there was a large meta study that was that was published in the Harvard Business Review, that studied some 800 Plus studies, or studies of diversity training, over I think, 29 years. And the outcome of that demonstrated that diversity training has no impact whatsoever on behaviors in terms of diversity behaviors, and in some cases, particularly with Afro American women in business in the US, it had a negative effect. even wider than diversity training. When we think about about the whole bias issue. Jeff Kaplan, who's a lawyer who's one of the leading experts on compliance training, and again, another American, Kaplan, has identified the fact that compliance training has very, very little effect on compliant behavior, unless it is absolutely targeted. Kaplan found that most of most compliance training has no impact, because it's too general. It's everyone is trained across a complaint about compliance across everything. And it's not not specific enough. And so therefore, compliance just becomes a compliance training becomes a process. It's a tick box exercise, it's a way to keep the chief executive out of prison essentially, but doesn't have any great impact on, on on behaviors. And the whole area of beyond compliance beyond diversity, the around if you're looking to change behaviors and attitudes, doing it through some form of training program is extremely difficult. We all know, the culture of an organization is created by the behaviors of the people at the top of the organization, or the people who are influential in the organization. It's, it's, you know, if you look at the if you look at a really an organization with a really good culture, it always leads back to the behaviors, not just what it said, but what they do have leaders in the organization. If you look at a team, the culture of a team always leads back to the behaviors and the attitudes of the leaders of that team. And so trying to train them that into people is extremely difficult. It can be done by example, it can be done in various ways and helped in various ways, by example, but and again, coming back the full circle, I guess, to our conversation, if you can encourage reflection and self reflection for people to step back and say, what message am I giving? Is there a way in which I can give my message in a better way? Is there a way in which I can support and help people in a better way, that's far more likely to be effective than any number of structured training programs. And that's just, you know, we need to step away and think about how we as humans, how we interact with people who we look up to, what we aspire to. And I think it comes back to Daniel Pink in his book drive about motivation, identified three key motivators. autonomy, mastery, and purpose. In other words, is my purpose aligned with the organization's purpose? Is it aligned with the way my managers purpose? Do the mastery piece is sort of natural because as humans, we have a desire to get better. And that should be encouraged. And the autonomy is really interesting, in terms of that seems to be a key driver. And in fact, I, I listened to one of the people in this event I chaired earlier in the week, was a professor at Warwick business school in the UK, and Warwick business school have done some work over the last few months in terms of the impact of organizations in the COVID crisis. And one of the one of the two key factors that came out of their research was autonomy. So with managers who gave people autonomy, but also we're there to help and support them when they needed it. They were the two major factors for individuals and teams performing well in difficult times. So those sorts of things are really critical. And, of course, we can do all sorts of things, l&d there are real opportunities for l&d to help and support these, but not necessarily through the formal part. And that's where the informal learning really comes to play. And to be honest, Jennifer, I don't think that l&d has really stepped into this yet into this informal area yet. And in fact, one of the things we've done this week, the 7020 10 Institute as is launched a new initiative, and basically rebranding ourselves into a, an organization called Tulsa, which is the reverse of result on the basis that we're looking at, at really helping build this whole new approach to helping people do their jobs and helping organizations perform better become high performing, by exploiting not just formal learning, but informal learning and organizational learning, not just thinking of individuals, thinking about teams thinking about organizational development, you know, how agile, how responsive is an organization because that's going to lead to success. If any, our organizations aren't, don't respond to change, don't develop new business models. If l&d doesn't develop new business models, you know, we're going to have real struggles. So I'm very positive. I think there are a lot of opportunities here. But we need to change our focus, we need to move beyond the formal learning. Beyond developing leadership programs beyond the program mindset. And even beyond the learning mindset we need to move into the performance mindset.


Jennifer Withelm: Thank you so much, Charles Jennings from the UK. And then the next episode, I talked to Professor Dr. Nele Graf from Germany. She is learning and leadership expert and we will discuss the future role of l&d and classroom trainers. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and get in contact with me via LinkedIn. My name is Jennifer Withelm.


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