Experiences that Develop


Authors: Charles Jennings and Joachim Nisgaard

This paper provides an insight into the way leaders and managers learn and develop in a leading-edge, global company. It examines the importance of learning through experience, and the types of experiences that have the most lasting impact. A leading European energy company undertook the study to validate its changed strategy to employee development. The company had taken the decision to adopt the 70:20:10 approach in order to improve both the effectiveness and the efficiency of workforce development in a sector that is both highly dynamic and driven by the need to innovate. Based on empirical data gathered from the company’s own leaders and managers, the study provides clear evidence that some development experiences have more lasting impact than others, and that development linked to challenges in the daily flow of work have the greatest, and most lasting, impact of all. The study also identifies the major barriers to development, including lack of time, lack of development opportunities, and development often seen as not being business critical. It also correlates performance levels across the range of experiences that are reported as being most impactful.


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