organisational learning

I was recently reminded of Jennings 70/20/10 framework that suggests work based learning and development occurs through a variety of ways and only 10% through what we might consider formal training.

Jennings research found that roughly 70% of learning comes from on-the-job experiences, facing tasks and finding solutions to them. Twenty percent comes from feedback, observation and working with others whilst just 10% comes from formal training such as courses.

In this fast paced world individuals and organisations must learn and develop faster that the rate of change around them otherwise they may fall behind. Reg Revans equation seems more relevant today than it did 30-40 years ago; L≥C where Learning must be equal to or greater than the rate of Change if an organisation is to survive.

I write this at a time when UK businesses are facing huge uncertainty in relation to Brexit. They truly face a volatile time full of complexity and ambiguity. No textbook holds the answers. We need to learn by envisaging the world we want to create through sensing and actualizing emerging future possibilities then build towards it. This isn’t classroom activity.

This isn’t just for business leaders either. It requires all employees to be working at the top of their game, engaged and learning. Which brings us back to Jennings 70/20/10. If 70%, 70% of learning comes from on-the-job experiences through tackling the challenges of changing customer demands, creating new products, delivering cost effective on demand services, or navigating the impact of Brexit how do you create a workforce of people to think for themselves; work collaboratively, to problem solve and take responsibility for their learning and development?

The more organisations recognize the power of social learning, the power of questions over answers and how to help people to learn through tackling the very real challenges the better. That is what learning from on the-job experience is yet often the learning element is lost. It becomes all about the task, the deliverable.

One such method that delivers individual and organizational learning through solving those complex challenges is Action Learning. We see our clients tackle shifting their culture, developing leadership capabilities, changing behaviours that improve relationships, retention and increase productivity.

Staff build valuable internal networks and gain organizational knowledge. They develop better questioning, listening and problem solving skills; build confidence and feel less isolated/more supported. The real business benefit is employees are developing whilst getting the job done. No textbook can give them that experience.

How are you supporting your organisation not just survive but thrive?