Foo Foo About: 70-20-10

Here are some online resources about this Foo Foo/ Myth…

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From Don Clark – a.k.a.: Big Dog Little Dog:  70-20-10: Is it a Viable Learning Model? 

Some have been calling for 70-20-10 to be the new learning model for across the organization, however, since is a prescriptive remedy for developing managers to senior and executive positions, it does not mean that it is a useful model for developing skills in the daily learning and work flows that takes place within organizations because it is being applied in an entirely different context than what it was designed for.

Parts or perhaps all of 70-20-10 may be useful for developing professionals other than senior managers, but since the learning ratios vary greatly between various groups of learners (and even individual learners within a group), one has to be very careful about taking this approach.

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More from Don Clark – Lingering Doubts About the 70:20:10 Model

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From Ben Betts: The Ubiquity of Informal Learning: Beyond the 70/20/10 Model

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From Clive Shepherd: Beware who’s selling informal learning

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From Nick J Howe – Let’s kill a few learning holy cows – 70:20:10 is dead (or at least seriously ill)

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From Michael Stanford – The Curse of 70-20-10

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From: Robin Hoyle turns mythbuster for TrainingZone – We can all give up – 70:20:10 has arrived

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From Andrew Leigh: Urban Myth of the 70/20/10 rule

One thing seems certain though, the 70/20/10 rule is more akin to an urban myth. It suits an era in which investing in proper experiential learning can be conveniently attacked on cost grounds, rather than its effectiveness.

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From KELLY KAJEWSKI70:20:10: buzzword or effective learning approach?

The paper looks at the 70:20:10 model with the aim of demystifying it, addressing its origin and giving some practical examples of how it is being used in different organisations. It explores different views including the interpretations, applications, challenges and benefits of using 70:20:10 and how it can be refined to suit the needs of individual organisations.

Download the 70:20:10 White Paper

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From DDI: 70:20:10 – The Right Ratio…Or So We All Thought

Findings from the Global Leadership Forecast 2014|2015

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From Tom Gram: Everyday Experience is Not Enough

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On LinkedIn: From Rosemary Lynn • In A Discussion in the Group: Chief Learning Officer Magazine (excerpted March 29, 2012)

Nick J Howe blogs that 70-20-10 is not empirical.

Here is an excerpt from his blog:
Dr Doug Lynch asked a couple of simple questions: (a) is 70:20:10 true, and (b) if so how do we know? Everyone in the learning space seems to assume (a) is true, but we all get a bit vague about (b). The answer to (b) is almost always “because I read it in ____ (insert your favorite training magazine title here)”. Doug therefore set his post-grad students a simple challenge: find the source of the 70:20:10 concept.

The following is taken from information presented by Doug at the 2010 Global Leadership Congress organized by the Corporate University Exchange.

If you google “70:20:10″ you get 2.25m hits. That’s right, 2.25m. Hits are split between the education model, and the business resource management model of the same name
“Informal learning” gets you 402,000 hits, as of the time of writing this post.
* was the subject of the 2009 ASTD study, “Tapping the Potential of Informal Learning”

There is even a Wikipedia article

Informal learning has been covered in just about every training publication and in the mainstream media, including the Harvard Business Review –  The problem is that almost no-one, including the Wikipedia article and HBR cites the original research for 70:20:10 applied to education.

So what does the research have to say on 70:20:10?

If you step away from the mainstream, you get 46,800 hits with in Google Scholar

If you drill down to what might be called ‘authoritative sources’, things get a little narrower. There are a grand total of 46 EBSCO (Peer reviewed) Articles

If you examine the peer reviewed articles, there is not one single empirical study that validates 70:20:10

That’s right. Not one. (I hope someone out there can prove me – or rather Doug – wrong on this one)

70:20:10 was never researched; it was conceptualized by Tough in 1968 and put forward as a hypothesis.

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My Blog Posts About “Other Just as Valid Segmentations”


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Fight the Foo Foo

My book about HPT for managers without using that jargon!
Click on graphic to enlarge.
For more info about this book, please go – here.

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Please add other links – to “research” and not just “opinions” – either in agreement or in disagreement – in the comments sections below.

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One comment on “Foo Foo About: 70-20-10

  1. Pingback: Learning – It Used To Be 100% Informal – No? | EPPIC – Pursuing Performance

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