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5 practical pointers to apply 70-20-10 to talent development and management

Two years ago a client asked me to build a talent development program that was strongly interwoven with talent management. One of their requirements was to adhere to the 70/20/10 mindset.

During my preparations for the 2014 ASTD Asia Pacific Conference, I reflected on the criteria that drove my design. I came up with five and in no particular order these are my pointers.

You may notice that some focus on instructional design and others on organisation and managerial on-boarding. Maybe this should have been my ‘starting pointer’: “building a 70/20/10 ‘proof’ talent management and development program is more of a change than an instructional effort. It’s organisational development, requiring close cooperation between business and HR. If you perceive it as a stand-alone HR(D) effort, it is likely doomed to fail.”

1. Perceive 70/20/10 as a canvas

  • limit the volume of formal learning to 10%: literally!
  • perceive talent development as both personal development and organisational development
  • focus primarily on performance during work or in organisational development projects that are agreed between participants and the managers from their line of business.

2. Think in stages

  • build the aspiration of the program gradually
  • start with stronger emphasis on personal development
  • end with strong focus on organisational development. Require talents to - literally - help the organisation develop through OD projects. See to it that managers ensure that these projects truly matter to the bottom-line of the company. OD projects aren’t desk research.

3. Integrate review with selection
In an earlier blog we’ve written about the four ROI’s on talent. In the case of this talent program, the client was adamant: far too many vacancies had to be fulfilled by talents from outside of the company. A 80/20 split in favour of ‘in-house’ talent was more to my client's liking.
One of the many measures to guarantee this outcome, is to select candidates for the program very carefully. If you’ve got a review process in place for your talents and potentials, than this will be your starting point. Simply ensure that only strongest performers with the greatest potential are eligible for the program. This may sound like an easy task, but you may know firsthand that it isn’t. Development opportunities are strong motivators and highly sought after programs such as these are even more enticing.

9-grid model

4. Prepare for next step in career during the program

  • add career orientation to learning activities: preferably on the job and through direct job experience
  • offer talent management counseling by HR and manager.

5. Ensure strong managerial

  • Involvement in the selection of suitable OD projects for ‘their’ participants and as steering committee presidents of the OD project.
  • Commitment to coaching the talent during the program: this is the essential 20% ingredient of the program. Also ensure commitment to their own development as talent multipliers through active participation in peer coaching.
  • Role as career performance coaches for ‘their’ talents.

What do you think? What are your five practical pointers to bring 70/20/10 to talent management and development? Let’s share the power of knowledge!

Tags: talent development, high impact learning, performance improvement, 70/20/10, innovation, career development, talent management, leadership development

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