the execution of education

“it pisses me off that business schools virtually ignore sales, while fawning over marketing” – Tom Peters

Marketing is relatively easy to teach. Doing sales takes time, practice, and feedback. It’s fairly obvious why universities prefer to teach marketing. I don’t know of any programs where students do real sales calls. I guess that’s for after graduation.

Using the perspective of the 70:20:10 model (Experience, Exposure, Education) we should focus our efforts on maximizing our workplace experiences for learning. If we learn ~70% from experience, we should at least develop some practices to learn as we work. For the most part, our learning and development departments don’t help us learn as we work. They provide interventions that take us away from work (courses) or negate the need to learn (performance support). Educational institutions let graduates walk out the door and then get to work, with co-op programs being the exception. How we make sense of our work and continue to learn at the edge of our expertise is mostly left to individuals.

To learn as we work, first of all we have to do things. We learn from doing the new. If we are not doing anything new, we are not learning. In an age of increasing automation, doing new work is how we stay ahead of the machines and algorithms. Personal knowledge mastery is one framework for individuals to take control of their professional development. Combine this with groups of co-workers working out loud and it creates the foundation for experiential learning at work: the 70%. The 70:20:10 model is not based on formal education. It is a way to ensure that we do not overly focus on training and education. We learn from experience, but only if we have new experiences and pay attention to them. Experience is the execution of education and exposure.

Image: The Works, by Tom Peters

Image: The Works, by Tom Peters


3 Responses to “the execution of education”

  1. tyelmene

    IMHO, this, personal in-work developmental experimentation -to- social mentoring through CoP interaction -to- adhoc/as-needed instruction ratio is an extremely optimal mindset and set of mechanics from which to pursue self-directed professional development learning and self-directed professional development learning is the best mindset and mechanics to adapt/grow in the future of work.
    It’s time to let the traditional ‘formal instructional training (education) function’ go! And better yet, it’s definitely time to say; “so long, ‘ol LMS!”

  2. Hugh Aitken

    An aspect not often considered is the readiness of the learners to adapt to new ways of learning. The majority of learners tend to be resistant to change and need to see the benefits of a new way of doing things. Often there is a the assumption that people are constantly looking for new ways of learning. Reality is that many people are comfortable with the familiar and wary of new ways of working and learning. Any new approach needs to consider how to encourage the adoption of new ways of learning through early demonstration of the denefits.

  3. Harold Jarche

    I don’t even see it as a new way of learning. It’s just making learning integral to our daily routine. Practices like note-taking and weekly reflection help to make it part of a sense-making discipline. Schools do not teach this, as they are based on courses & exams. When these are over, people move to the next step, but there is no continuity unless the individual makes it so.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>