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"70/20/10 Principle"again

Updated: Mar 18



I raised a question in my previous post i.e. whether the 70/20/10 principle is about 'how learning normally happens' or 'how we should allocate time'. I looked into the input from Paul Wong, and googled a bit more. I realise that the principle is more about the former. As Paul pointed out, the principle was developed by Morgan McCall, Robert W. Eichinger, and Michael M. Lombardo at the Center for Creative Leadership.


"Lessons learned by successful and effective managers are roughly:

  • 70% from tough jobs

  • 20% from people (mostly the boss)

  • 10% from courses and reading"

The principle was specifically mentioned in the Career Architect Development Planner by Robert W. Eichinger, and Michael M. Lombard.


So, the original meaning of the principle is about "how learning normally happens for effective managers". Interestingly, what is claimed in the learning world today e.g. learning philosophy claimed by employers (e.g. Nokia) is a bit different. It now basically says "If we follow the principle, we can learn more effectively." Strictly speaking, the original meaning supports but does not necessarily imply such a claim. Ideally, we conduct a research with some practicing the principle and some not. The result can then confirm the claim.


Having said that, the claim "If we follow the principle, we can learn more effectively." makes sense to me. At least, I believe that when we think of how to help other learn, we should not just look at the options of formal learning.

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