Managers: The Secret Weapon to Developing Better Employees


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People learn by doing their jobs, and managers make or break the development of those employees by providing them with frequent coaching and inclusion in stretch assignments. That means managers play a huge role in the development of employees. In fact, the 70-20-10 learning model says people learn 70 from experience, 20 percent from conversations and 10 percent from formal training. This means that after the knowledge base is formed in formal training sessions, workplace collaboration needs to be fostered. Read on to learn how to effectively include managers in the learning and development process.

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Managers: The Secret Weapon to Developing Better Employees

  1. 1. Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees The 70:20:10 learning model shows how to incorporate managers into the learning and developing process. Sponsored by: by Jay Cross Internet Time Lab
  2. 2. SummaryPeople learn their jobs by doing their jobs, and managers makeor break the growth of the members of their team by frequentcoaching and matching them to appropriate stretch assignments.Experience is the teacher, and managers shape thoseexperiences.Corporate management recently started paying attention to the“70-20-10” model that supplements formal learning with learningfrom experience and mentoring. The numbers are shorthand forhow people typically learn their jobs in corporations: 70 percentfrom experience, 20 percent from exposure and 10 percent fromeducation. That means successful workers learn three-to-fourtimes as much from experience than they do from interaction withbosses, coaches and mentors. And they learn about twice asmuch from those conversations than they do in training sessions.This is what’s already happening in your company; the 70-20-10model coaxes you to pay attention to experience andconversation.Since the numbers are not precise and because 70-20-10 is amodel, not a recipe, some organizations call it the 3E model(Experience: Exposure: Education). The terms areinterchangeable.This paper offers a vision of how management -- with the help oflearning and development (L&D) professionals — can makelearning from experience and conversation more effective,complementing formal learning to make the whole program morepowerful. Replacing today’s haphazard approaches withsystematic, enlightened management development canaccelerate the development of future workers and get the entireorganization working smarter. The potential is great. Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 2
  3. 3. Convergence of work and learningThe world of business is undergoing a phase change. Workand learning have merged. Few people have noticed.Earth-shattering forces snuck up on us when we weren’t looking,shifting major responsibilities from the institution to the individual.Knowledge work has evolved into keeping up and takingadvantage of connections. We learn on the job to do the job. In atime of increased business speed, learning is vital. To stay aheadand create more value, you have to learn faster, better, smarter.The collaborative workplaceIn the old days, work was mechanical; workers learned the skillsand knowledge to do their jobs from training sessions and thenperformed their job function. They did what they were told.Twenty-first century employees do complex, unpredictable work.Their primary job is dealing with situations that are not written in Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 3
  4. 4. any job description. It’s up to them to figure out what to do. They have to learn on the fly. Often the best way to accomplish the goal is to collaborate with other people. Social networks, both in-person and online, are democratizing the workplace, and workers have an increasing amount of say in what they learn and how they learn it. Millennials entering the workplace expect to be in charge of their own development. They are used to having information at their fingertips. In high school and college, they did their homework in collaboration with friends, and now they expect to work in collaboration with colleagues. Traditionally, training departments were designed for mechanical work processes. Instructional designers created curriculum around tried-and-true best practices. Training identified knowledge gaps and delivered courses to close them. Today most of theAre training departments obsolete? Quite the contrary information workers need to know is unstructured and constantly changing. The Internet has switched our company hours to 24/7, and that often means making quick business decisions on a public stage. Hard-copy training material cannot train you to handle unique situations. Traditional training approaches are no longer enough. Workers and managers have to shoulder responsibility for their own learning. Does this imply that training departments are obsolete? Quite the contrary. In the coming years, learning and development professionals will have more impact than ever before. Many of them will leave the human resources silo to tackle challenges in a new integrated way across the company. By taking their expertise in learning directly into the organization and working more closely with team leaders, learning and development staff will increase the impact of their learning programs. Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 4
  5. 5. The advice that follows comes from practitioners, not academics.As chief learning officer at Thomson Reuters, Charles Jennings1implemented the 70-20-10 model for the firm’s 55,000 employees.Heather Rutherford founded Blended, the Australia-basedperformance learning company that is the leading distributor of theHarvard ManageMentor program. Charles and Heather are thesource of many of the suggestions and stories that follow.Let’s examine the 70-20-10 model, where it came from, how to takeadvantage of it and the opportunities it presents for learning anddevelopment professionals.Origin of the 70-20-10 modelAt its heart, 70-20-10 is all about re-thinking and re-aligninglearning and development focus and effort. Morgan McCall,Robert Eichinger and Michael Lombardo originated the 70-20-10framework at the Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina.1 Disclosure:Charles is a senior director at my organization, theInternet Time Alliance.2 Career Architect Development Planner by Michael Lombardo andRobert EIchinger, Lominger Limited,1996 Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 5
  6. 6. Their 1996 book, The Career Architect2, stated that lessonslearned by successful managers came roughly:• 70 percent from real life and on-the-job experiences, tasks andproblem solving• 20 percent from feedback and working with and observing rolemodels• 10 percent from courses and readingAs Charles Handy says, “Real learning is not what most of us grewup thinking it was.”This simple formulation has gone viral. You will hear about it atevery major training conference and read about it in all thelearning journals.When I recently shared the 70-20-10 model with a senior group ofinstructional designers and educational planners, theyexperienced an “ah-ha” moment. They realized that they’d beenexpending their energy in the formal realm, and that the formalaccounts for only a small fraction of how people learn. Youshouldn’t take this to mean that the 10 percent – formal learning –is going away. It’s essential. Rather, by starting to focus onexperiential and collaborative learning too, you can improve youroverall learning and development program.3Without dealing with whether a given situation is 80:15:5 or60:25:15, this group of instructional designers got the messagethat leadership development is overwhelmingly experiential.Experiential learning reinforces and boosts the results of formallearning. The 70 and the 20 increase the results from the traditional10.The simplicity of the 70-20-10 formulation makes it memorable.The message is that in business, we learn most by doing.3For more, watch this video: Demystifying 70-20-10 by KellyKajewski, Alliance Director at DeakinPrime Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 6
  7. 7. 70-20-10 is not without its critics. The model is based onobservation. It is not a precise formulation like water boiling at 100°Celsius/212° Fahrenheit. Academics and purists complain thatthere’s no empirical evidence to back up 70-20-10. I counter thatmy colleagues and I have talked with thousands of managersabout 70-20-10 and they agree that the proportions sound aboutright.Is 70-20-10 good or bad news fortrainers? Imagine that a top executive from your company read an article about 70-20-10 in a Harvard Business Review blog and wondered whether your company should do something with it. Should you be worried or elated? You have beeninvesting most of your energy in formal learning. That’s whatmanagement asked you to do. It’s important; the company cannotlive without it. You understand it upside down and backwards. Youhave probably implemented classes, workshops, online learning, ameasurement system and learning events. You believe in thesecomponents.On the other hand, the experiential and exposure parts of thespectrum are virgin territory for you. But the upside of investing inthe support of experiential learning, assuming you are successful,is job enrichment, more responsibility, recognition from seniormanagement and career advancement.If you have the courage to tackle experiential learning, we havesome advice on how to succeed. Let’s examine some of the things Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 7
  8. 8. L&D professionals can do with managers to improve the 70, thenthe 20 and, finally, the 10.The 70 percent: learning from experiencePeople learn by doing. We learn from experience and achievemastery through practice.Apprenticeship is a time-honored method of learning byexperience, but I suspect that it didn’t go down like the historybooks tell us. Imagine being an aspiring sculptor in the studio ofMichelangelo. Most of the time, the master is away painting theSistine Chapel or executing a commission at some nobleman’spalazzo. In the meantime, junior apprentices learn from seniorapprentices. Nothing new there: Most of the time, we learn morefrom our peers than from our superiors.A manager makes sure the people she’s developing work andlearn from a wide group of people. She rotates them through novelassignments. She assigns challenges and celebrates what peoplelearn from their mistakes. She goes along with Picasso’s sentimentthat “I do things I do not know how to do in order to learn how todo them.”Experience is a difficult task master. We learn more from making amistake than from getting it right the first time. That’s why wisemanagers throw team members into stretch assignments. Itaccelerates learning. Being forced out of one’s comfort zone iswhy some say that the only thing worse than learning fromexperience is not learning from experience.Stretch assignmentsExperiential learning is the gold standard. Matching the mostappropriately challenging experience to the developmental stageof the worker is the most powerful lever in the manager’s toolbox.Making the match requires knowledge of the work and the worker.The manager’s judgment in making the best match is what createstransformative learning experiences. Here’s a list of potential Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 8
  9. 9. learning assignments that may lie just outside of the worker’scomfort zone.Expand the scope of the work• Increase the worker’s responsibilities.• Increase span of control.• Increase decision-making authority.• Participate in a group to solve a real business problem.• Fill in for the manager or someone else.• Take on managerial responsibilities (e.g. budgeting, interviewing).Change and adversity• Work in a situation with rapidly changing circumstances.• Handle a crisis.• Work in a situation where something goes wrong or fails.• Work on new initiatives.• Build a new team from scratch.• Champion a new product or service.• Turn around a troubled project.Enter challenging relationships• Work with people from other business units or functions.• Work with multiple people with contradictory and competing view.• Work with customers or a customer service group .• Interact with senior management (e.g. meetings, presentations).• Lead a cross-functional team.Persuade, teach and observe• Persuade senior managers to take a specific action.• Teach coworkers how to do a component of their jobs.• Volunteer as a mentor for new hires.• Reverse-mentor a senior person on social networking or technology.• Introduce new productivity or organization techniques to the team.• Shadow a coworker to see how he or she conducts his or her work.• Work with a recognized expert. Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 9
  10. 10. • Do a front line job for a while (e.g. answering calls in the call center, loading suitcases onto the airplane, flipping burgers) Make work visible and discuss it with others • Narrate your work, share what you’re doing with colleagues. • Write a process-oriented blog. • Be active in social networks in the workplace and in the industry. • Curate information and share with others. Charles Jennings reports that performance inevitably improves when managers ask their team members these three simple reflective questions: 1. What are your reflections on what you’ve been doing since we last met. 2. What would you do differently next time? 3. What have you learned since we last met?Conversations are the stem cells of learning The 20 percent: learning through others Learning is social. People learn with and through others. Effective managers encourage their team members to buddy up on projects, to shadow others and to participate in professional social networks. Conversations are the stem cells of learning. People learn more in an environment that encourages conversation, so make sure you’re fostering an environment where people talk to each other. Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 10
  11. 11. Chefs are an example of a group of people who could form a community of practice. Communities of practice A Community of Practice (CoP) is a social network of people who identify with one another professionally (e.g. designers of logic chips) or have mutual interests (e.g. amateur photographers). Members of CoPs develop and share knowledge, values, recommendations and standards. What’s really great is that most CoPs are self-perpetuating. Chefs and workers in the kitchen who aspire to be chefs are a community of practice. Newcomers learn the ropes from working alongside veterans. Respected senior chefs add to the knowledge base; that fuels the evolution of the chef community. All take pride in membership, as one would in a guild. An effective community of practice is like a beehive. It organizes itself, buzzes with activity and produces honey for the markets. Silicon Valley is chock-full of communities of practice. Professionals there consider themselves programmers or chip designers or semiconductor engineers first and employees of HP or Intel or AMD second. Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 11
  12. 12. Etienne Wenger4, who with Jean Lave coined the term communityof practice in 1987, notes that there “is hardly a Fortune 500company today that does not have somewhere an initiative tocultivate communities of practice.” And it is not just business butalso non-governmental organizations and government that arecultivating communities. Nonetheless, Etienne sees the need tocontinue building learning capacity.An effective internal community of practice requires:• A common practice and shared enterprise• Active interaction and participation• Mutual interdependence• Overlapping histories, practices and understandings among members• Respect for diverse perspectives and minority views5The manager may get the ball rolling for a new community, nurturean existing one or ask an engaged and willing team member tokick-start the community. It’s vital to respect the autonomy of thecommunity. The manager may free up people’s time to participateor make a meeting space available, but she should not try toshape the community’s agenda, for over-management stifles acommunity’s effectiveness.6Coaching and action learningWhen Google sought to find out what makes managerssuccessful, far and away the most important factor was being a4 Cultivating Communities of Practice by Etienne Wenger, RichardMcDermott, and William Snyder, 20025 Coming to Terms with Communities of Practice, by Warren Baraband Fang del Valle, in the Handbook of Human PerformanceTechnology (ISPI) 20066 Expanding Our Toolbox: Coaching Stakeholders on PerformanceImprovement Options by Mary Broad and Jim Maddock, 20077 Google’s Quest to build a better boss, New York Times, March12, 2011 Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 12
  13. 13. good coach7. Google says a good coach “provides specific,constructive feedback, balancing the negative and the positive.” Agood coach “has regular one-on-ones, presenting solutions toproblems tailored to your employee’s specific strengths.” That’sgreat context for talking about personal growth.Coaching provides8:• Individual attention and personal support• Rapid resolution of conflicts• Improved communication among team members• Discovery, development and leveraging of strengths and potential• Catalyst to support acceleration and maintenance of positive change• Peek performance as individuals and teams• Set high-outcome goals and eliminate obstaclesCoaching is not always one on one. Managers employ what’sknown as Action Learning to guide teams that explore realorganizational challenges to resolve work issues and gain skills inreflective questioning and listening. The practice originated in the1940s with English coal miners working on mining issues9. MaryBroad suggests what it takes for Action Learning to be successful:• A pressing, complex organizational problem that’s clearly worth solving• A coach who guides the group’s learning (not necessarily the team manager)• Four-to-eight diverse individuals assigned to problem-solving teams• A process that values reflective questioning and listening more than making statements.• The group’s ability to take action to solve the problem8 Google’s Project Oxygen (Eight Good Behaviors of managers)9 Origins and Growth of Action Learning by Reg Revins, 1982 Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 13
  14. 14. MentoringThere’s a fine line between coaching and mentoring. Mentoringis the deliberate pairing of an experienced person (the mentor)with a less experienced one (the protégé or mentee). Mentees arenot always direct reports of their mentors10. Mentoring takes theform of tutoring, counseling, modeling and giving feedback.Facilitated mentoring — planned, guided and evaluated — istypically more successful than informal sessions. Effectivementoring requires11:• Decision-maker support for identified needs, goals, opportunities and readiness• Planning and design that are aligned with other performance interventions• Criteria for matching mentors and mentees are agreed on by stakeholders• Development plan in placeThe 10: improving the outcomesof formal learningFormal learning includes courses, workshops, seminars,online learning and certification training. Unfortunately, a lot oforganizations aren’t using online learning to its full potential, andthe results at those organizations reflect that. Learning expertRobert Brinkerhoff figures only about 15 percent of formal traininglessons change behavior.12 This is a reflection of both formallearning creation and of the lack of focus on experiential andexposure learning. If what we learn is not reinforced with reflectionand application, the lessons never make it into long-term memory.10 Expanding Our Toolbox: Coaching Stakeholders onPerformance Improvement Options by Mary Broad and JimMaddock11 Ibid12 The Success Case Method by Robert Brinkerhoff, 2003 Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 14
  15. 15. Only when all three learning components are implementedtogether will a learning and development department see superiorresults.Formal learning is typically conducted by an instructor. So why dowe address it in a paper on managers? Because managers canmake or break the success of formal learning programs.Research has found that the most important factor in translatingformal learning into improved performance is the expectation setby managers before the training takes place13. Understanding theneeds of the learners and following up after the event are alsoessential for formal learning success.Broad’s research highlights the fact that the manager’sexpectations of the team’s performance and aptitude shouldclosely align with the objectives and design of any formal learningcourse. Otherwise the course will be of little or no use.Create an environmentthat nurtures learningWorking through managers instead of through courses is aradical shift for learning and development.Managers need to understand — and this is where seniormanagement support is mandatory — that both L&D and themanagers themselves are shifting responsibilities. Managers willbe making 70-20-10 productive; L&D will be doing anythingpossible to increase performance and productivity.Blended, a leading learning organization in Australia, hasimplemented 70-20-10 in many organizations. Blended askedcompanies “Which of the following is the main barrier to a leader-led learning culture in your organization?”13Transfer of Training by Mary Broad and John Newstrom, BasicBooks, 1992 Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 15
  16. 16. They responded:1.Leaders do not have the time to perform a teaching/coaching role: 28 percent2.Leaders lack teaching/coaching capabilities: 32 percent3.The organization lacks formal performance expectations for leader-led learning: 28 percentHow would you rebut these responses? Like this:1.This is not time away from the job. Rather, it’s ramping people up to do a better job. The time required for mentoring is offset by more delegation to subordinates and improvements in the way work is performed.2.No one is asking managers to become teachers. Rather, the focus is on helping people perform better. This sort of coaching produces results.3.If you don’t have performance expectations, this is a great time to set them. That’s one of the important areas in which we need senior executive support.How to sell an executive on 70-20-10Changing the role of managers is a massive organizationalchange. You will not be successful without the support of a seniormanagement sponsor who can open doors to at all levels and helpyour make your case.You will need to become a champion for the new approach todeveloping talent in the organization. You must convince yoursponsor that managers and supervisors are the linchpin todeveloping new talent. Without them, the company could find itselfwith nobody on the bench to take on future challenges. For yourcareer, this lead role is high risk/high reward. Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 16
  17. 17. Role of Learning & Development Before and After Adopting the 70:20:10 Model Before 70:20:10 With 70:20:10 Build and maintain courses, workshops, and Manage work and learning ecosystems curricula Design and develop course materials for Help design and develop course materials formal structured learning with help from managers. Support all types of learning experiences in the workplace Maintain a course-centric role with little Maintain a performance-centric role, helping coaching and ancillary activities people work smarter Offer a predominantly classroom-based with Offer a wide variety of learning, including some structured eLearning experiential, social networks, guided by manager Minimal manager involvement Extensive manager support Education Education + Experience + Exposure Dan Pontefract, Head of Learning and Collaboration, TELUS, told us: ! Leadership is for all, but front-line and middle managers ! hold the key to the actual development of individual ! contributors. The more we pay attention to this direct ! relationship, and the more senior leaders do everything ! they can to ensure the tools, resources and opportunities ! are at the fingertips of these managers to assist people ! who are at the heart of the customer experience, the ! more likely we will be able to solve the rigidity of ! hierarchical management. Empower your people; ! let them help others learn how to learn. Let them be ! the sherpas of both employee and career development.Dan Pontefract Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 17
  18. 18. While every situation is different, we’ve found that it’s best tointroduce 70-20-10 in a small department and use the successesand learnings from that department to spread the model to otherareas.Your sponsor must help you convince managers of the importanceof their role in growing people. Managers will need to make time todedicate to developing their employees, but this doesn’t meanformal learning. You, the learning and development leader, mustcommit to helping managers get the know-how they need to takeon a new, time-consuming — but ultimately fulfilling —responsibility.Managers have to learn how to develop their people. It doesn’talways come naturally, and managers can get too busy to paymuch attention to it.Let them know you don’t expect them to train their people. Rather,they will set examples for their team; they will foster experientiallearning by leading their team to tackle new challenges (the 70),by helping them reflect on the lessons of experience and bycoaching them at every step (the 20), and by showing them how toget formal learning on the subject (the 10). This is how you makeyour learning program cohesive. This is a way for managers todelegate new assignments to strong team members and guidethem to success, resulting in both a completed project and thedevelopment of the team. In the long run, the manager and theworker both perform more rewarding, higher-impact work andachieve more in less time.The new managementYou have to study, pass tests and be certified to be a plumberor accounting clerk. Management has no such barriers toentry. Few managers know the process for developing talent. Yourjob is to show them how.Instead of designing programs to teach workers skills, you’ll beconvincing managers to apply their experience and knowledge to Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 18
  19. 19. coax workers to learn for themselves. No more coddling. Think ofthe “teach a man to fish” saying.The Learning and Development Roundtable of the CorporateLeadership Council pinpointed three management practices thatsignificantly improve performance.1. Setting clear expectations and explaining how performance will be measured.2. Providing stretch experiences that help their team members learn and develop.3. Taking time to reflect and help team members learn from experience.These three practices have more impact on performance than theL&D department’s traditional activity of teaching knowledge andskills!Managers who set clear objectives and expectations and explainhow they measure performance are much more likely to succeed.Their teams outperform their peers by 20%. That’s an extra dayevery week to get the job done (and engage in deep learning).Managers should make explicit why they’re assigning particularprojects, what they expect people to learn and what sort of debriefwill occur after the assignment.If you’re going to make this happen, start developing and polishinga compelling elevator pitch. Give it a shot right now. Pick a fewthings from the following list and mash them up with yourorganization’s needs. Get it down to three minutes and commit it tomemory.• Our company’s demand for capable, can-do talent is insatiable.• People learn to do complex jobs by doing them. Experience is the best teacher.• Our front-line managers are the only people in a position to select and assign the stretch assignments that will challenge our people to become true professionals. Unfortunately, we’ve Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 19
  20. 20. provided them scant guidance in how to carry out these responsibilities.• We can put a new management practices in place that focus on working smarter, making people productive sooner, accelerating talent development and integrating learning and work.• Instead of maximizing efficiency and avoiding irregularities, managers must create organizations that are more agile and human.• The new role of management is to facilitate the discovery of solutions, not to dictate them.• Training used to focus on requests to fill gaps. Now we will focus on building the workforce capability to support future organizational strategy.In a survey of thousands of people at 51 global organizations, only14 percent of executives said they would recommend working withL&D to a colleague. More than 50 percent said they’d advisecolleagues not to waste their time talking with L&D14. Training hasa bad reputation — better to suggest entrusting development torespected managers until that reputation has been repaired. If youlead the effort and succeed, you can help change this reputation.National Australia Bank offers a good example of how the 70-20-10model works by analogy to learning to drive15. Remember, 70percent of learning is experience, 20 percent is exposure and 10percent is education.Education (10 percent) is Driver’s Ed, studying the theory ofdriving, memorizing rules and regulations and passing a drivingtest.Exposure (20 percent) is learning to drive through driving lessonsand coaching from your instructor.Experience (70 percent) is developing driving skills in differentconditions and using different vehicles.14The Learning and Development Roundtable of theCorporate Leadership Council Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 20
  21. 21. A word on motivating employeesPeople are naturally motivated to do things they findmeaningful. The trick is that meaningful is subjective, so peoplehave to find the work that they find personally meaningful — andoften that changes over the course of a career. But when someonefinds meaningful work, they take pride in accomplishment. Theyenjoy solving problems. They don’t shirk working for a cause theybelieve in.Free workers to make their own decisions, give them a missionthat’s greater than themselves and set high expectations.Establish targets and give workers the discretion to figure out howto reach them. Challenge them to learn how to be all they can beand get out of their way. Don’t take them by the hand unless theyask for it. Managers must challenge their people to be all they canbe and give them the freedom to do it. Sell the managers on the70-20-10 framework.ConclusionThe 70-20-10 model depends on L&D teaming up withmanagers to improve learning across the company, but oftenmanagers do not appreciate how vitally important they are ingrowing their people. This is the absolute, must-do secret tosuccess to improving learning and development. Frontlinemanagers must take this as the very definition of manager:someone who develops others by challenging them withassignments that stretch them to the point of flow17. This takes acan-do manager who knows how coaching creates mental modelsand habits, how motivation activates a chain of high-performanceactivities and what success habits their team members need toadopt.15 How do I learn to drive my car? by National Australia Bank,internal document16 Leader Led Learning, Harnessing leaders for improvedorganisational performance, by Andrew Gerkens, Blended, 2012 Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 21
  22. 22. Charles Jennings says that the role that managers play is far moreimportant than that of Learning and Development or HR. Your roleis to help managers learn that:• People learn from experience.• Managers shape the experience of the people on their team.• Experience coupled with reflection sticks lessons in memory.• Daily mid-course correction is much more powerful than after- the-fact reviews.• Every project they assign is a potential learning experience for their team members.Business managers ask if they should invest 70 percent inexperiential learning, 20 percent in coaching and 10 percent in theclassroom. The answer is no. 70-20-10 is a framework to kick-startthinking about where to focus your efforts. Depending on whereyou’re starting from, your needs will vary.Understanding the 70-20-10 framework helps managers reflect ontheir own experience and provides a starting point for discussionwith other managers.17 Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 1991. Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 22
  23. 23. AcknowledgementsThis paper draws heavily on the work ofCharles Jennings, a leading thinker andpractitioner in human development,change management, performanceimprovement and learning. Charles issenior director of the Internet TimeAlliance. He has deep experience in boththe business and learning practitionersides of learning and performance. Heknows what works in the world of strategic talent and effectiveperformance and productivity approaches.Charles is the Founder of The 70:20:10 Forum,a global membership portal helpingprofessionals implement the 70:20:10framework to maximize performance andproductivity. The Forum offers a vast repository of practicalinformation and connects members with a vibrant globalcommunity of fellow practitioners.  As part of its socialresponsibility, the Forum supports projects at Sreepur Village, arefuge in rural Bangladesh for destitute women as well astrafficked or abandoned children.Another source of inspiration isHeather Rutherford, founder ofBlended, an organizational learningsolutions company. With a philosophycentered on the 70-20-10 framework,Blended supports clients inimplementing a simple and powerful architecture supported bybest-practice tools and resources to increase engagement,improve productivity, efficiency and performance. Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 23
  24. 24. About the authorJay Cross is an author, advocate and raconteur who writes aboutworkplace learning, leadership, organizational change, innovation,technology and the future. His educational white papers, articlesand research reports persuade people to take action.Jay has challenged conventional wisdom about how adults learnsince designing the first business degree program offered by theUniversity of Phoenix.A champion of informal learning and systems thinking, Jay’scalling is to create happier, more productive workplaces. He wasthe first person to use the term eLearning on the web. He literallywrote the book on Informal Learning. He is currently researchingthe correlation of psychological well-being and performance on the job.Jay works from the Internet Time Lab inBerkeley, California, high in the hills adozen miles east of the Golden GateBridge and a mile and a half from UCBerkeley. People visit the Lab to sparkinnovation and think fresh thoughts.He is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 24
  25. 25. About the Internet Time AllianceThe Internet Time Alliance helps clientsunderstand and embrace complexity and adoptnew ways of working and learning. We ask thetough questions and explore the underlyingassumptions of how they do business. Then we work with them todevelop strategies and plans for transformation and improvement.About GoToTrainingOnline Training Made Easy™Citrix GoToTraining is an easy-to-use online training service thatallows you to move your entire training program online for moreefficient customer and employee training. Hold unlimited onlinetraining sessions with up to 200 attendees from around the worldright from your Mac or PC. Reach more trainees, collect real-timefeedback, record and store your training sessions and more – allwhile slashing travel costs.To learn more, visit Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 25
  26. 26. Image credits:Opening image credit: svanhorn / 123RF Stock PhotoPage 3 Barn raising from Wikimedia Commons 7 People talking By kio 11 Chef Joe By Muffet 15 Conversation in the rain By misko13 18 Dan Pontefract via CLOMEDIA.co• Managers: The Secret Weapon for Developing Better Employees 26