How We Learn

Since using Google Analytics and sitemeter to get an idea of why people are visiting my blog, I've detected a strong interest in the learning concept of "70/20/10."

The idea (which originated with Morgan McCall, Robert Eichinger and Michael Lombardo back in the 1980's when they were all with the Center for Creative Leadership) says that to understand how leaders develop, you need to look beyond formal training classes. The reality of how leaders learn to be leaders is that:

~ 70% of the learning is in the doing (learning by experience)

~ 20% of the learning is in relationship with coaches and mentors (learning from others)

~ 10% of the learning is in formal settings like seminars, classes, and training programs (learning in formal learning environments)

As a concept, this has always seemed "right" to me. It provides a good dose of reality to those of us in the 10% zone learning business, reminding us that no matter how good our seminars are, most of the learning takes place elsewhere.

It also points to areas of opportunity for anyone in the learning business; for example:

- in the 20% zone, in training people how to coach effectively;

- in the 70% zone, in training people how to develop and use experiential learning tools such as journals for critical reflection on experience.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, September 28, 2008

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