I heard a great question last night: “If we believe that 70:20:10 is the right ratio for work based learning does this mean that if someone in my organisation attends an average of 5 days formal training, the total training days are really 50? Are people really doing 35 days on-the-job learning?” An interesting perspective and one that the questioner and others went on to explain caused difficulties when they were in discussions with executives, particularly about budgets. Charles Jennings, who was also there, made the point that 70:20:10 is a reference model not a recipe, which is very true, but I found it even more interesting that very competent learning professionals were debating learning models with executives in this context. I think this type of conversation does not help learning as it focuses on our world and the not the performance landscape of our organisations or the priorities of our senior executives. In November’s ‘Inside Learning Technologies & SkillsKathy Morris provides a great list of things L&D need to refocus on in terms of priorities. It’s not a new list, but it is well worth repeating in this context:
  1. Talk to the business about their need – where are they now?
  2. Find out what the end result should be – how will you know when you get there?
  3. Discover what the gap is costing – what is their pain?
  4. Identify a learning solution to meet the needs of the business and users
  5. Choose the right tools for the purpose – what works best where and why?
  6. Talk to the business in their words – performance, productivity, results
  7. Show them how it is done!
I think that number four is not always about providing a learning solution, but the core of Kathy’s is spot on and that is the focus of our discussions should be about performance and not learning. And I think that should be the focus whether we are talking to line managers or other learning professionals!