70:20:10 Baloney!

Thursday, October 29, 2015
  • My recent blog for the Human Capital Community of Practice focused on how many talent management firms go about the business of claiming the effectiveness of their offerings, whether it is a training program, assessment inventory, or other type of talent development solution. My concern was that many of these claims rest on faulty research (if any research) and invalid assumptions. Indeed, many myths persist, despite a lack of proof of their veracity. Case in point: The 70:20:10 Rule. 

    Basics of 70:20:10 

    Let’s review a little background on this prevalent ratio—before we begin to unravel it, which isn’t difficult to do. 


    Some very capable researchers from the Center for Creative Leadership published research nearly 40 years ago, the results of which suggested that: 

    70 percent of learning occurs on the job

  • 20 percent of learning occurs through informal conversations with peers, bosses, mentors, and coaches, and so forth
  • 10 percent of learning occurs through formal training courses and programs. 
About the Author
Dr. Stephen L. Cohen is a 40+ year veteran of the talent management industry, having founded and/or led eight different business entities in the field. He also has served on 19 different advisory boards for firms in the training and education sector, helping them effectively navigate their growth strategies.

He currently is in private practice, focused on strategic and business planning and senior leadership development. His latest book is The Complete Guide to Building and Growing a Talent Development Firm. Contact him at 952.942.7291, steve@strategicleadershipcollaborative, or
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