Understanding The 70-20-10 Model For Learning and Development

14th April 2022

70-20-10 model for learning and development emphasises the necessity for learning programs to focus on more than just formal learning. It is a commonly used formula within the training profession. The 70:20:10 concept of learning was developed by Morgan McCall, Robert Eichinger and Michael Lombardo at the Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina in the mid-1990s.

According to the 70-20-10 model, you need to have 3 types of experience to learn and cultivate as a leader, following a ratio of:

  • 70% challenging skills and assignments
  • 20% developing relationships
  • 10% coursework and training

The model continues to be extensively employed by organizations throughout the world. But why is the 70:20:10 model so significant to L&D professionals?

Let’s take a closer look at how the 70:20:10 model works!

Leadership Learning Sources From Experiences

Well, there are significant resemblances and differences in the way leadership is learned from experiences. However, 5 universally significant sources of leadership learning stand out from studies of these 4 countries - China, India, Singapore, and the U.S.

Leadership Learning Sources From Experiences

The formula holds that only 10% of professional growth optimally comes from formal traditional courseware education and other instructive events, a position that characteristically surprises practitioners from academic experiences.

How Relevant Is The 70-20-10 Model?

With the present explosion of online and mobile learning technologies, these have altered the training industry’s views of the 70-20-10 model. In fact, new research recognized a new concept for talking about different sources of learning called the OSF (on-the-job, social, formal) ratio. Please note, the OSF ratio can differ depending on the industry, organization and learners.

Well, 70:20:10 learning model’s flexibility is both its asset and its weakness. The model needs to be described well. Moreover, learners and managers need to be provided with examples of how it works to be able to completely understand it. The model means fundamental changes are coming.

Furthermore, a lot of learning and development areas see the 70:20:10 model as a way to save money at first. But in reality, the model is actually more complex than traditional event learning models. Hence, it’s better to focus on its efficiency rather than its cost. It’s not a framework and there is no perfect 70:20:10 model.

The recent research conducted by Training Industry explored:

  • The restructured balance among on-the-job, social and formal training.
  • Distinctions that can alter the learning ratios for different types of employees, companies and countries.
  • How the model relates to strategic L&D efforts.


70:20:10 model is flexible. Master of Arts in Education with Learning & Development is something that will help you immensely. It tells us about the way we build our knowledge and it isn’t scared to get specific.

Written By : Ruchi Mehta


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