The 70:20:10 expert as business partner
Is L&D (Learning and Development) prepared for future challenges? Can we really afford to continue with twentieth-century roles, tasks and services when the world around us is changing so much? It’s time for L&D professionals to change too, so that instead of acting as training advisors they add value using 70:20:10. That way, L&D professionals become 70:20:10 experts and business partners.
Using 70:20:10 to become more relevant to the business
There is a great deal of interest in 70:20:10. But is it a theory for workplace learning, a way of cutting down on training costs, or a mantra to be followed slavishly? Or is it simply old wine in new bottles, given that most L&D professionals feel they have long combined learning and work? Why bother with 70:20:10 at all? And what’s the deal with this neat formula, 70, 20, 10? People are suspicious of round numbers: surely the reality of learning and performing is much too complex to be defined in terms of simple ratios.
Despite these criticisms there’s a worldwide movement of L&D professionals who acknowledge the value of 70:20:10. Not because it’s a set of rules, an ideology or an end in itself, but because many see it as a reference model. It’s not the ratios that matter but the principle that a large part of organisational learning takes place outside courses and other formal learning interventions. The ratios are shifting with the context and the organisation’s desired performance.
With 70:20:10 as a reference model, L&D is responding to the tangible need to connect better and more quickly with the organisation’s core operations and thus to support learning and performing at the speed of business. This is possible only if L&D expands its range of services to include learning by working (the 70) and learning from others (the 20), creating forms of service provision in which L&D provides real-time support in the work process and up-to-date, relevant 24/7 knowledge about working better. 70:20:10 is enabling more and more L&D professionals to co-create effective solutions with the business, and it’s this shift towards business that makes L&D more relevant to senior management.
What kind of business impact does it have?
The L&D profession has spent decades justifying its returns and business impact.
However, it cannot continue to offer a catalogue of primarily formal learning solutions such as training and eLearning alone, and needs to think about other ways of demonstrating added value for organisations.
70:20:10 requires a paradigm shift, one that no longer focuses purely on learning but is shifting towards performance. It also highlights the original role of the L&D profession which is to help people and organisations perform better. A change in mindset from learning to performance will enable it to become more connected with the business, solve quantifiable performance problems and identify improvement opportunities.
Achieving a business impact is the logical consequence of a methodical process that no longer bears any comparison with L&D’s traditional difficulty in demonstrating this impact.
How the five new roles can help L&D to achieve business impact and connection
It is not logical to keep doing things the same way and yet expect different results. The world around us is changing fast, and L&D needs to follow suit: we can no longer rely on the services we provided in the previous century, simply offering primarily formal learning interventions and insisting that L&D is only about learning. 70:20:10 facilitates this change and turns us into effective business partners instead of simply talking about it.
By defining the five new roles and the relevant critical tasks, L&D professionals are prepared for the future, and can make the transition from training advisors to 70:20:10 experts. This brings about a significant change in the whole spectrum of processes, roles and critical tasks used to support organisational performance as well as adding value as a business partner.
The five new roles of the 70:20:10 expert are
- Performance Detective: Analyses the critical problem, causes, performance deficit and critical tasks.
- Performance Architect: designs solutions from the 100 and contributes to systemic and sustainable improvement.
- Performance Master Builder: co-creates the solutions used in the organisation, starting with 70 solutions, then 20, and finally 10. This creates a chain of logically connected and mutually reinforcing solutions.
- Performance Game Changer: implements the 70:20:10 solutions in active cooperation with the client in the workplace.
- Performance Tracker: monitors the progress and results of developing and implementing the 70:20:10 solutions.
Contact us to learn how our 70:20:10 service can make L&D professionals and departments more effective.