Applying 70-20-10

 70-20-10 is visible in most enterprises and consists of three parts: 

70% – experiential learning – skills are learned and developed simply doing the job on a day-to-day basis.

20% – social learning – skills can be attained by working with others and collaborating with colleagues.

10% – formal learning – skills are learned in a formal setting such as a training course.

However, you may be wondering how to best apply this model into your business. If you weren’t aware, there are actually two models of this type – one for management innovation and another for learning and development and it is important to note that we will be focusing on the latter today. As a little bit of background, the model has actually been around since the 1980's but it seems to be gaining popularity faster than ever in recent years. Without further ado, let’s look at some tips for implementing the model.

70% Experiential Learning

Ultimately, performance support is the key component for this largest section and this involves employees referencing something whilst on the job. In truth, there are some things that you can do to enhance this particular section.

Firstly, you have to ensure that you have the right learning management tools in place. For example, you will be able to assess all sorts of important data and analytics if you invest in the right performance support and this can be essential. Also, you may also see the benefit after making various tools and resources available on mobile. If you have this in place, you will be utilizing this 70% and allowing your employees to learn and develop skills at an efficient rate. Here’s an extensive guide on how employees in enterprises like Nielsen encourage experimental learning.

20% Social Learning

Naturally, employees will discuss work and help each other so you don’t necessarily have to force anything out of the ordinary. With this being said, there are ways in which you can encourage it by choosing the right atmosphere within your business and by selecting a learning management system that allows for knowledge sharing.

10% Formal Learning

Finally, we have the smallest section in official training. When assessing the 70-20-10 model, many believe that it is trying to dissuade people from using training courses and the like but this simply isn’t true. With just 10%, it doesn’t mean that there should be no training at all, it suggests that there should be more of a focus on the quality of training rather than quantity.

Furthermore, the formal training can be seen as a platform from which the other two types of learning can grow. As long as the 10% is solid, the social and experiential learning has more chance of success and you should notice a difference.


By utilising these tips on the 70-20-10 model, you should be able to implement it nicely into your business. Within a business, learning and development of all employees is essential so be sure to allow for experiential learning, encourage social learning, and arrange formal learning to build that foundation.

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