Work on your 70/20/10

By Kathy McKenzie, Director FIRE UP Coaching

No matter what your role is in an organisation, it is worth understanding what 70/20/10 refers to and reflecting on your conscious choices around actively learning and reflective practise in the workplace.

I don’t hear anyone in the workplaces I interact with saying that they don’t have enough to occupy their attention throughout the day.  We are all bombarded by information from so many channels that it is easy to go into sensory overload, and just go into autopilot and track through the day without thinking consciously choosing our priorities. How many times do you just get to work, turn on the computer and start mindlessly tracking down emails, many of which are junk or not relevant to your goals and priorities?

It is critical with so many interruptions by phone, email and social media that you take some time to have the presence of mind to reflect on your priorities for the day and how they align to your overall purpose and values.  Do you turn off email for extended periods to allow yourself to be fully focused?

What does 70/20/10 have to do with turning off emails you may ask?

70/20/10 is a model designed to support learning in the workplace that is directly in the flow of work.  It advocates for learning to be planned to be part of the flow of work, not a separate activity that often fails to have any link to the day to day. It ensures that there are the supports in place for people to be actively engaged in learning and improving their performance continually.  When there is no consideration given to how learning is structured in the workplace it becomes adhoc and the likelihood of individuals taking responsibility for their own improvement is less likely. If there is a habit of self-reflection as part of what you do in the workplace then it happens.  At our weekly meeting we ask each team member to reflect on what they have learned in the previous week and how their achievements link to their KPIs.   These types of routines ensure that people give some thought to their achievements before the weekly (or daily) meeting and it promotes reflective practice.

The original 70/20/10 comes from study done at the Center for Creative Leadership by Morgan McCall and his colleagues, Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger.  They reported “The odds are that development will be about 70{6eb5b285719c38b98d296534bb2d1af2b6691e599bbd1b576d3e171c55ea7707} from on the job experiences, working on the tasks and problems; about 20{6eb5b285719c38b98d296534bb2d1af2b6691e599bbd1b576d3e171c55ea7707} from feedback or working around good and bad examples of the need; and 10{6eb5b285719c38b98d296534bb2d1af2b6691e599bbd1b576d3e171c55ea7707} from courses and reading.” (Towards Maturity CIC Ltd 2016 newletter quoting the The CAREER ARCHITECT Development Planner. Lombardo and Eichinger (1996) ISBN 0-9655712-1-1)

Charles Jennings has collaborated with Towards Maturity to gather evidence in 2016 that this model helps organisations be more proactive in supporting workplace performance and with the technology available today can create learning organisations where employees are self-directed learners who actively participate in using tools to help their performance on the job, engage in social learning and communities of practice and seek out formal learning opportunities that are relevant to their roles.

As a Vocational Education Provider one of the greatest challenges we face is embracing new models of learning that put the accountability for learning back to the learner to a certain point and to those who understand what learning is needed at what points for people to progress and grow.

It is also important to thoroughly investigate that the training need you think you have is actually addressing the root cause.  Over the past 2 years we have had an exponential increase in the requests for training related to dealing with conflict and aggressive customers. When I spend time with the teams there is definitely a need for people to know how to deal with conflict, but the overwhelming need is for strong positive leaders in the workplace, who role model self-awareness and self-management. The 70 that relates to the learning on the job, is impacted by whether the leaders or others in the workplace are role modelling best practice and demonstrating an openness to learning themselves.

A great way to engage in informal learning is networking and we offer you the chance to engage in an opportunity to meet a diverse group of our alumni and clients at our Breakfast.

Corrinne Armour will share her wisdom around the de-railers of workplace performance and to support your formal learning post the breakfast her book is a great ready reckoner to have close at hand for when those inevitable workplace challenges arise.

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