I came across this video the other day which I found quite interesting and worth sharing. It features a guy called Stephan Thoma, ex Head of Global learning at Google. He talks within it the need to have time and resource allocated to research, development and innovation within our L&D teams. At Google, they achieved this using a 70:20:10 model, but not to be confused with the 70:20:10 approach to learning. This is quite different:

- 70% of your resources allocated to the core products of L&D (business as usual stuff)

- 20% of your resources allocated to improving the core products

-10% of your L&D resources allocated to looking at new stuff and innovation

I quite like this approach. I have a feeling that in many organisations there would be a tendancy to have all of our focus on the core products of L&D and perhaps not enough time allocated to improvements or innovation. 

What do you think? How much time does your L&D team spend on innovation and looking at new stuff? 

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  • This is great. Very similar to a model from Tim Dwyer to manage time & capacity in teams.

    70% value added activities- making or selling things

    20% strategy - improving, connecting, learning

    10% non-value generating - admin, HR, legal, compliance etc...

    Blocking out your calendar using colours for each you can clearly where your time goes. Realy powerful for my team as it helps focus on 70% utilisation- making the things that earns the business money. It's a great figure that keeps us productive and avoids burnout, whilst allowing for leaning time.

    • Great to hear you use that Matt. I've read the 10% as being creating new stuff and innovating. I hadn't considered the other non-value generating stuff such as admin etc. But yep, guess we gotta find time for that stuff too :-(

      I like the idea that 10% of time includes creative exploration though. It's important isn't it to get out there and see what else is going on in the world. Sometimes, that time is spent looking at stuff that isn't going to be helpful. But often, you come across something that you can bring into your own organisation and products. I often feel that 90% of the time spent 'creating' leads to nothing, but it's worth it for that 10% of stuff that brings in some real innovation. You have to kiss a lot of frogs and all that!

      I've worked in organisations (fortunately not where I am now) where that creative, innovative, exploration time isn't seen as being a good thing to do. 'It's a waste of time', 'It doesn't relate to our strategy', 'It's not one for now' are some of the annoying things people say in those organisations. The reality is though, when time is made for that exploration and innovation, it's surprising what you are led to that you wouldn't have otherwise found I think. 

  • And a great article my Anders Pink gave me this morning on the very same topic! http://www.lane4performance.com/insight/blog/going-beyond-702010-th... (highly recommend Anders Pink if you haven't used it before...)

    Going beyond 70:20:10 - The quest for real behavioural shift
    In order to create a learning organisation and a behavioural shift, there are 3 key principles you should be thinking about
    • HI Anna. Thanks for your reply and the share. Great article and a good read. It is the same title, but not necessarily the same topic though. I just wish this interview with Stephan Thoma was called something different! Where as the well-known 70:20:10 that the article you've shared relates to how people learn, this particular interview is something entirely different, but referred to with the same name. It's more about how you allocate resources in a team to focus on business as usual, developing those core products and innovating new stuff.

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