Posted On October 28, 2015

For the record, the numbers “70”, “20” and “10” indicate each type of learning, their frequency in learning and, importantly, applying new skills:

  • 70 – EXPERIENCE. That is, 70 percent of our knowledge and skills we receive from doing things. Here, think discovery, practice, challenges and lessons learned from performing day-to-day tasks in the workplace.
  • 20 – SOCIAL, or exposure to others whether it’s being coached, tapping into personal networks, other collaborative activities, even conversations in the lift or around the lunchroom table.
  • 10 – FORMAL TRAINING, the learning and development received from structured courses and programs.

The value of learning you receive from rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in, the 70, is self-evident while the 10, formal training, has of course been the remit of the corporate L&D department for decades.

Today, however, there’s a greater focus than ever on how, and what, is learned from others.

The rise and rise of social

This interest in the 20, or social, is largely spurred by the phenomenal rise of social tools and platforms that facilitate formal and informal learning through interactions with people and systems.

Here, Facebook and Twitter spring immediately to mind because they’re used most frequently around the world. But social learning activities can also involve Yammer, Instagram, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Wikis, TED Talks, blogs, online communities and so on.

A sometimes overlooked component of learning from others is, and always has been, is the role of the coach.

Coaching is big business. Research firm Bersin & Associates says leaders who coach, develop and hold others accountable for coaching and development are three times more effective at producing improved business and talent results than those who do not.[i]

Coaching in the modern workplace was explained succinctly by Christian van Nieuwerburgh, Associate Professor of Coaching at the UK’s prestigious Henley Business School, when he said coaching is “a conversation focused on the enhancement of learning and development…where the coach facilitates learning through questioning, active listening and appropriate challenge in a supportive and encouraging climate.”[ii]

Enter technology

Now, humans have been coaching other humans for a millennia. But thanks to technology, remote coaching — first made possible with the postal service and later the telephone — is now making a large, transformational impact with learners.

Video chat technologies such as Microsoft’s Skype and Cisco’s WebEx can connect learners with professional facilitators from anywhere in the world and make “virtual” face-to-face coaching possible. No longer tethered to the classroom or workplace, coaching can today be delivered directly into the learner’s office or home — enabling privacy and flexible scheduling to accommodate busy work demands, and easing the burden of travel time.

Online coaching is extremely valuable in reinforcing what was learned in, say, a classroom or eLearning session and transferring new knowledge to the workplace. After all, this is the end game for all corporate training. But it can also motivate learners, attract new employees, save time and money, and strengthen corporate brands.

And don’t think online coaching always has to be one-on-one. Online group coaching can offer all the benefits of the classroom, such as the ability to ask questions and interact with colleagues.

If you are located remotely, online group coaching provides valuable access questions and answers — many of which may be relevant to you — from peers. In such group sessions, the coachee also serves as the coach.

Consistent with adult learning principles, group sessions utilise the knowledge and experience that exists in all of the individuals in the session, so in these and other respects, online group coaching is much like one-on-one online coaching, only better.

All told, best-practice implementation of the 70:20:10 framework is one that not only provides training but which also supports learners in ways that are tightly linked to improved performance and productivity. This makes online coaching, whether individually or in a group, an indispensable addition to armoury of managers and L&D professionals.

More than that, effectively used, online coaching is absolutely essential to delivering on the promise of true blended learning.

If you’d like to know more about how we can implement blended learning in your organisation, call us on 1300 768 550 to speak to a Blended Learning Specialist.

[1] Bersin & Associates, “Research Shows Value of Coaching and Development”,

[2] “Global Framework for Coaching in Education”, Growth Coaching UK,