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70:20:10 Experience: Exposure: Education says 70% of your learning at work should come from experience: actually doing the job. 20% then would come from exposure: sitting in on a meeting, asking your boss why or how things are done. And finally 10% from actual formal training. Here and here and here are some longer definitions.

I love this model for one reason: I’m a constant learner and I learn from the people around me, the mistakes I make and from just watching and experiencing the world.

I dislike this model for this reason: Organisations in recent times have used it as an excuse to cut training budgets by 90% (because 90% of the learning is NOT in a training room). The difficulty I have with this is that the 70 20 10 model just pointed out a reality, it didn’t shape it. We should be learning from everything we’re exposed to, everything we experience. That isn’t new.

You could just as easily apply that algorithm and ask why 10% of our YEAR is not spent in a classroom: that would be about 24 days a year for a 240 day working year (which is how many days in the working year for a full-timer, less public holidays).

If it’s 10% formal education are you spending 24 days a year learning something?

So why aren’t you spending 10% of your time in a classroom?

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