702010 is a popular framework for helping organisations to consider a blended approach to modernising organisational learning. There has been much debate over what the numbers actually mean with many people challenging why 70, 20 and 10.

To make sense of this, we caught up with Michelle Parry-Slater this week. Michelle runs a consultancy specialising in moving workplace learning away from what she calls the ‘injection education’ of classroom learning. She works with organisations to move them towards a fuller, more modern blend of learning, incorporating all things social and digital. Michelle works closely with Charles Jennings, facilitating his 70:20:10 Practitioner Programme in a joint venture with Corporate eLearning Consortium (CLC).


At CLC’s recent event 70:20:10 The Evidence Behind The Numbers with Laura Overton, Charles Jennings & Martin Baker, Michelle was live tweeting from the event. The hashtag for the event was #why702010? But why that? Michelle told us:

Because we need a way to change the conversation. 70:20:10 works as a framework for thinking and conversation. I really enjoyed the recent event particularly as Charles opened with a chat he had recently had with Bob Eichinger, one of the father’s of the original 70:20:10 research. Bob was clear it is not the numbers which matter. He acknowledged the original sample of 200 male executives was flawed in size, in diversity, in population. Indeed Bob later redid the study to include women which switched the numbers to 55:40:05. The numbers in and of themselves are irrelevant – don’t let a brain surgeon near my head with only 10% formal learning, thanks very much! It really is not and never was about the numbers. It is simply about the conversation, the framework for change.

Michelle supports the wider learning community to consider how to go about this blended, modern approach to learning through a Twitter campaign. Using #TheWhole100 in her tweets, she shares daily tips on how to make changes in workplace learning. We asked Michelle why she does that.

I tweet weekdays under the hashtag #TheWhole100 to remind people it is about the fuller and big picture, not about the 70, 20 and 10 buckets. I do it because people need the ‘How’. We are very good at conferences, in academia, in research, in business at saying what we SHOULD be doing and in sharing what the evidence shows, but what does that look like in the real world? At the CLC event, Towards Maturity shared their In Focus report 70+20+10=100. In getting hold of the report, no matter how brilliant the report is, just like Towards Maturity’s case study, benchmark and sector reports, I am always mindful of that sole L&Der in their corporate interpreting, contextualising and making sense of HOW they can implement the recommendation and suggestions within.

‘So for you it is more about what do we do with the evidence, with 70:20:10?’

Yes absolutely! What is the practical application in the real world. The #why702010 event was really interesting not just for the discussion and presentations in the room, but for the discussion ongoing on Twitter too. It was a perfect union of how 70:20:10 can play out in the real world. People not in the room were following the tweets and joining in the discussion, challenging the assumptions, making us think, informing the questions back in the room. The richness that can come from 140 characters is enlightening. Plus we added in Periscope to further articulate the concept of solutioneering in L&D, which came up in conversation. I love mixing it up.

True to form of mixing it up in a blended way, Michelle joined me on a podcast where I was able to find out more to share here on the DPG Community. What is this thing called solutioneering and how is it relevant to 702010?

Have a listen to the discussion we had on 702010 which will give you a better idea of why the numbers don’t really matter and how you too can engage in the wider discussion of modernising organisational learning.

We’d like to hear your thoughts too. What does 702010 look like in your organisation? Do you have a balanced blended approach of formal, informal and social?


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  • Have just implemented 702010 alongside module sessions in our organisation for our leaders. Its a big change for us as we have always focused on class based learning but its a very positive framework for self directed learning and already seeing a positive impact on our employee engagement with this. Great podcast

  • We are running a Management Training Scheme in our organisation and it is very much 70:20:10 in that it is completely blended with a mix of module type workshops (formal), on the job practicals, projects and responsibilities (on the job), plus network opportunities, coaching and mentoring (informal). 

    What's good is that we are not pushing content at them throughout their journey. In fact, that is  just a small part of the programme. The onus is on the learner to really take charge of their own development. It helps determine those that have real drive and enthusiasm to succeed because a great deal of their success is down to their commitment and control. Much more rewarding for them and much better self-tailored too.

  • Great article agree completely wight he author it is about the conversation and the percentages changes in the lifecycle of a role, new to role would be different as would be expertise in role the balance would also be different 

    • Great point, Julie, the variation of formal and informal learning can change throughout a career, or even from one project to the next. It really is not about the numbers.

      • I like your points too Julie. I had considered how the numbers flex but never really thought about that it in terms of lifecycle of role. That's a real useful explanation thanks.

        I have to confess both, I'm surprised that people are questioning the numbers.Those lovely rounded off 10, 20 and 70 surely aren't representative of typical scientific research and evidence! I've always seen them as rough indicators that are shaped as needed to be the best fit for the organisation, people, learning requirements etc. Perhaps I just clicked as soon as finding out about 702010 that it was never about the numbers. What 702010 has done for me is helped me to understand there is more to life than the 10!

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