70/20/10 and Kashkaval

While attending a leadership development conference yesterday in New York City, sponsored by the Conference Board, another attendee leaned over and asked me in a whisper, "Are all of these conferences so dry and boring?"

With a smile, I chose to answer, "Yes, they are."

I chose that answer rather than a more elaborate explanation because it would be impolite to carry on a side conversation while a speaker was on stage.

I also chose that answer because I recognize that what one attendee finds "dry and boring," the next attendee will find fascinating. That next attendee was me.

A couple of observations:

- There is not much that is new in leadership development. Much of what I heard yesterday, I heard the last time I attended a Conference Board conference on leadership development many years ago.

- One not-new idea, however, was a standout gem that several speakers alluded to: the 70/20/10 concept from Center for Creative Leadership, that says:

~ 70% of leadership development occurs on the job and in the context of challenging tasks

~ 20% occurs interpersonally, particularly with coaches and mentors

~ 10% occurs in formal training classes

There were many fine case studies presented, including Ron Meeks and Rajeev Peshawaria on Coca-Cola and Cal Wick & Larry Lennox on Oracle.

One other fine presentation was given by Robert Brinkerhoff who closed the conference with a humorous and eye-popping description of his Success Case Method for proving the ROI of leadership development.

Later, my wife Joan came into the City for a belated anniversary dinner. After a drink at the swanky Hudson Bar, we had dinner at Kashkaval - Cheese Market and Wine Bar, a terrific little Macedonian restaurant in Hell's Kitchen.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, May 12, 2007


Scott said…
Terrance, I agree with the assertion that most of these events are really boring! What I encourage delegates to do at "gigs" is to think of them as networking opportunities and go prepared to spend most of their time looking for contacts rather than seeking words of inspiration from the stage.

The next step is the most difficult – engaging in "small talk". This is easier said than done and is a key issue for many people (especially here in the UK).

Great blog!

Terrence said…
Hi Scott,
Thanks for the compliment on my blog! Much appreciated.

I agree with your points about using conferences as networking opportunities. Which is just what I did.

As the son of a highly gregarious mother, who could talk to anyone she met, I have the ability to introduce myself to strangers, make "small talk," and create a conversational climate at my table.

Mohamed Taher said…
I like your view of how conferences help in professional development with 70%, 20% and 10%.
But, my observation is number-wise, different. And, it takes care of not just leaders, rather it is about any professional:
40% attendance in conf / seminars / workshops facilitates education,
20% offers opportunity to get away from the boring routine of jobs,
20% helps sustain and build social network and
20% is good paid sponsored fun-time (golden choice for the haves) to go for a free ride (at the cost of whoever, whatever and wherever).
What do you say?

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