Leadership lessons from (almost) 30 years ago

by Robin on September 25, 2014

In the run up to the World of Learning Conference which I am Chairing this year, I’ve been asked to write a number of articles and pieces of one sort or another.

You can see some of my commentary amongst recent blogs here and most of these have already been mentioned on this pages.

I wrote one piece a few weeks ago and as is the nature of these things, I forgot about it until I got a note this morning telling me that the HR Review had featured the article. The article is called Leadership skills unravelling the traits of true leadership and you can read it here.

As I said, I’d forgotten all about it and so re-read as if coming it to it (reasonably) fresh.  It was interesting to read in the light of one other thing I’m doing at the moment.

When I get chance, I’m participating in a MOOC called Innovating your training business, and it’s a really interesting and an enjoyable experience.  As I read the articles and watch the videos and write and respond to comments, I am interested to see how those ideas and innovations which are built on solid, evidence based foundations come round time and again.  In a 21st Century MOOC about innovation (I mean – how zeitgeist-y can you get?) I have today read about and commented on Ebbinghaus’s forgetting curve (late 19th Century) and work by Vygotsky (early 20th Century).

As one would expect in  a present day programme looking at new approaches to training, 70:20:10 has been mentioned more than once.  I re-read my leadership article. There, without conscious intention, I have described my induction to the world of management and leadership from the mid 1980’s.  More than 10 years before Lombardo and Eichinger and their colleagues at the North Carolina Center for Creative Leadership first started talking to the world about 70:20:10, there was I undertaking some formal training, a good bit of coaching and lots of on the job activity which was stretching and difficult and set up precisely in that way by my boss at the time.  Without anyone needing to create a big fanfare or describe the new revolution as “90% of learning happens on the job” (which is nonsense and not what the 70:20:10 model suggests – as any fool know) I was involved in those exact same processes, though I would argue not in that sequence and not in those proportions.

Sometimes it seems that everything which is shiny and new is actually not that new at all.

Or is that just my age?

Hope to see you all at the conference and if you see me wandering around, do come and say hello.  Apparently, conversations are the next big thing in learning! Who knew?

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