Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2017 - 36


Most organizations with a dedicated
learning and development function
have a solid offering of training
and development opportunities
for hard skills and functional
competencies, and soft skills and
leadership competencies. In many
organizations, the persistently popular
idea around using the 70-20-10
formula for learning is considered a
"best practice." However, this "one
size fits all" approach ignores the
fact that knowledge, learning a skill,
behavior change and thinking skills
are all different. In an era of disruptive
change and VUCA" (volatile, uncertain,
complex, ambiguous) challenges, our
profession needs to do better.

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Our current mindset around learning
is painfully outdated. We have yet to
evolve outdated classroom pedagogies
focused on lecture and information
dissemination, and these are often
woefully replicated in virtual and
online training. Learning through
experience typically lacks the rigor
and focus to ensure that results can be
effectively demonstrated or verified. As
a profession, our L&D worldview still
seems bound by the belief in a single
ideal model/approach regardless of the
learning or development objective.
Good L&D departments offer multiple
resources, encourage learning from
Most of us in this field learned all
the fundamentals of adult learning
theory, instructional design (on the
learning side) as well as coaching, 360
feedback and a variety of personality/
leadership style assessments (on the
development side). Instinctively, we

know these are different objectives,
but we continue to approach them
in terms of "push" development: send
them to a class; tell them to observe
and learn through others; and, practice
applying knowledge and building skills
with experience. Rarely is structure or
verification built into the experiential
or practice components of learning. It
doesn't help when an employee or their
manager focuses almost exclusively
on formal training when discussing
development needs and goals.
The most a traditional training program
can do is introduce new concepts
that might help them rethink current
perspectives, but it won't help to
internalize and act on them. In these
cases, transformational learning is
needed. What hasn't really been done
in our field is looking at them together:
differentiating and then integrating
them. By differentiating the types of
development, we can look at the unique


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2017