Performance-First Design Strategies

70:20:10 Methodology

The 70, 20, and 10 Methodology refers to different ways employees learn and acquire the habits of high performance. It provides a thought provoking reality check that we tend to ignore the most effective ways people learn – on-the-job experience (70%) and observation/networking (20%) – and focus all our resources on formal training (only 10%).

On-the-Job Experience (70%). Experience is the real source of learning and development through day-to-day tasks and challenges. Experiential learning occurs when the employee is actually doing his or her job, learning from it, and then sharing their findings with others on a continual basis.

Collaboration & Observation (20%). Exposure to experts, peers, coaches, and mentors.

Formal Training (10%). Formal Training Events (face-to-face, virtual, or web-based) focused on skill development. Formal training events have a part to play in workplace readiness, but it is only a small part of the solution.

To optimize performance (what the client is asking for) we need to support the rest (the majority) of the learning picture! An effective performance improvement approach does not leave the 70% and 20% to chance. We need to invest more resources and reskill ourselves to support in the workflow solutions.

Learning Architect

4 Business Models


Five Moments of Learning Need

The Five Moments of Learning Need strategy, by Dr. Conrad Gottfredson, helps us refocus our learning solutions from merely imparting knowledge to improving job performance (placing emphasis on their ability to apply on-the-job), because only when employees change what they do on the job do we significantly impact the bottom-line.

Acquisition of Knowledge (formal onboarding/foundation zone)

(1) When someone is learning how to do something new.

(2) When someone is expanding the breadth and depth of what they have learned.

Application of Knowledge (workplace/performance zone)

(3) When someone needs to apply what they have learned and perhaps forgotten.

(4) When something goes wrong and someone has to solve a problem.

(5) When someone needs to change deeply ingrained skills or practices.

The key is to design for moment of Apply first, and then back into the formal learning side.


Are You Meeting All Five Moments of Learning Need?

Driving Performance with Extended Blend

Workplace Learning Types

Charles Jennings suggests the below three types of workplace learning:

Adding Learning to Work – Using activities to extend the classroom or eLearning knowledge to the workplace. Not effective and not recommended.

Embedding Learning in Work – Using performance support systems to access knowledge in the workplace. Design the experience for the workplace first, and then back into the formal learning side (classroom, eLearning, etc.).

Extracting Learning from Work – Using social networks to enable high-performers the ability to share their first-hand experiences and advice with their peers in the workplace.

A combination of “Embedding Learning within Workflows” and “Extracting Learning from Work” provides the most effective learning and performance experience.

Training to Competence Myth

The diagram above (by Marc Rosenberg) shows that successful learning solutions do not leave post-training (on-the-job/in-the-workflow support) to chance. Example post-training activities include using resources & tools, self-study & research, guidance by experts, networking with others, experience and practice, observing others, etc.

Learning & Performance Tools Ecosystem

The Learning and Performance Tools Ecosystem, by Marc Rosenberg and Steve Foreman, introduces new capabilities that integrate learning and performance solutions into the work environment. It minimizes the need for workers to leave work in order to learn, reduces work disruption, and places more learning opportunities directly into the flow of the work.

The model starts with employees at the center, surrounded by six key strategies with a broad range of content, processes, and technologies to drive employee productivity.

Modern Workplace Learning Principles

Small/Short. How can we enable microlearning experiences?

On Demand. How can we support learning at the point of need?

Social. How can we balance the need for authoritative content and knowledge sharing? The most effective social learning takes place outside courses when groups organise themselves to work together for a purpose. (article) (infographic) (article) (article) (article) (article) (ESN) (article) (article)(Slack) (Slack Collaboration) (article) (article)

Anywhere on Any Device. How can we encourage anywhere mobile learning?

Continuous. How can we encourage ongoing learning? (more info) (more info)

Autonomous. How can we support more autonomy in learning? (article) (article) (article) (infographic) (article) (article)

Workplace learning has to be short, on demand, social, mobile, continous, and autonomous. The highest performing employees have the strongest Personal Learning Networks (PLNs).

(article) (interview) (book chapters) (article)

Behavior/Habit Development

Research shows that sustainable behaviors or habits are developed and mastered via a four step process:

Information (content, diagrams, videos, etc.) (EPSS Platform)

Knowledge (practice case scenarios) (eLearning)

Understanding (complex knowledge & skills) (realistic simulations, e.g., be the seller and experience making sales deals in a staged environment. ) (Live or Virtual Classroom)

Belief (application) (successfully close deals/coaching) (Workplace)

Five Elements of Effective Thinking

Mental Models

Working Memory

How to learn anything

Sales Performance Model

Selling at its heart is a competitive performance-based profession:

Salespeople are competing against other salespeople all time for the confidence of those making buying decisions.

Like any performance profession – continuous practice and improvement are essential to being competitive.

How sales results are produced?

Results are the outputs of behaviors. Behaviors are enabled by the skills and knowledge of people who have to execute them. That rests on foundation of person’s commitment and capacity (innate talent) to do the work. Unfortunately, most sales managers conversations only look at the top (Results).

How to solve performance issues?

Analyze root cause of performance gaps and then apply corrective actions (in form of learning activities) to shrink those gaps. Hence, their performance will improve radically.

Why is this important?

The core fundamental advantage of sales organizations is getting better at learning and coaching! We need to apply core principles and technology to make learning and coaching a core competency of the sales organization.

What makes a learning sales organization?

All learning is available on demand at point of need.

Coaches trigger a significant percentage of all learning.

Most curriculum is online and rarely longer than 30 minutes. Most learning is consumed online rather than delivered by instructors.

Average person completes at least one learning assignment per month.

Using a dashboard to track learning and coaching effectiveness.

Rewarding and recognizing people for learning and coaching effectiveness.

Continuous Sales Learning Framework

The problem with sales training today is that it remains a one-dimensional one-time out of context training intervention (be it ILT, vILT or WBT), with the hope that sales reps will apply what they learned. Numerous studies show, sales professionals will likely forget 80% of their event-based training within 90 days! The solution is to shift from our current one-dimensional event-based approach of training to a multi-dimensional continuous experience of learning, coaching, and performance. This is where the framework below comes into play, it is a combination of the latest research in the learning industry including performance support, performance ecosystems, sales onboarding, modern workplace learning, etc.

Change Management

Change Management and Leadership Management is going to be critical to facilitate and guide this fundamentally different approach. We need to effectively communicate and manage this project to achieve long-term adoption and success.

Content & Social Collaboration Platform

The underlying component of the framework is an intuitive mobile-responsive “Content & Social Collaboration Platform”. The platform enables two-click access to just what is needed and in the form needed. Content is written for the workplace context (using rigorous competency mapping and job task analysis of high-performing sellers and sales managers), organized single content page for each topic, embedded videos, feature-rich social collaboration in-context of each topic, and of course all accessible within two clicks. Once they have this platform in place then it will serve as the central content and topic-based social collaboration resource.

The framework is broken-down into two tracks – Sales Managers and Sellers.

Sales Managers

Sales Manager need to go through the program first. If we want managers to coach and drive results, they need to be experts on the content.

1.Prepare – Set expectations event

2.Onboarding Program – New-hire training program event

3.Coaching Program – Coaching training event

4.Onboarding Program – Go through the new-hire training again but this time with their sellers. This will set the tone and help the instructor deliver a great business aligned training experience.

5.Continue Coaching Support – Support Sales Managers in reinforcing the content, using reporting and analytics to identify performance gaps, observe and conduct effective coaching sessions and action plans to advance their sellers to mastery.

6.Continuous Learning Support – Support the Sales Managers and Sellers in developing modern digital learning skills and taking responsibility for their own learning and collaboration. Helping managers build a learning mindset in their teams and measuring success. Encouraging sellers to extract learning from their daily work and sharing it with others. Discover wide range of learning opportunities available (internal & external), etc. (collaboration consultant)


1.Prepare – Set expectations event

2.Onboarding Program – complete the onboarding program with Sales Managers.

3.See number 6 above.

So the fundamental highlights of this modern continuous learning approach (from how we currently do training today) are:

1.A centralized content & social collaboration platform that is tailored to the role and embedded in the workplace.

2.Focus on Sales Manager development and involvement.

3.Strong Sales Manager coaching program in the workplace.

4.Expert guidance on how to be continuous learners in the workplace.


The execution of this continuous sales learning framework will create a customer-focused sales force who are agile learners, immediately adapting to the speed of business, quickly collaborating and learning from their Sales Managers, peers, and experts…and as a result close more and better sales deals for AT&T.

•Significantly greater performance impact

•More cost effective (because it is embedded into everyday work rather than pulling them off job/productivity) (no travel costs)

•Quicker to adapt (the job of being a sales professional is learning) (adapting to changing tactics of competitors, new services, etc.)

•Attract and retain talent (people recognize they don’t have to figure things out on their own)

Design Thinking

Design Thinking. A methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients.


First we diagnose (figure out what the problem is), next we design (identify possible solutions), then we decide (evaluate each, and choose the best), and finally we do (execute that choice into action).


Below are some of the key business reasons to invest in the implementation of Modern Learning Experiences:

Sustains high job performance and learning agility

Modern Learning Experiences prepare the workforce for constant change and new challenges because:

  • Knowledge is organized, centralized, and curated at or above the speed of business.

  • Knowledge is more accurate and reliable.

  • Knowledge is accessible within 2-3 clicks or 10 seconds. If employees spend an hour a day looking for information, and you could reduce that time by as little as a few minutes, just multiply the time saved by the number of workers you have. Then multiply that by the number of days they work, and you will see that a small improvement on the efficiency of knowledge access can have a significant impact on organizational productivity.

  • Learning opportunities are placed directly into the flow of the work.

  • Expertise is more responsive, sharable, and available in context of a topic.

  • Allows new ideas (innovation) to surface and develop at faster rates.

Ensures formal training interventions (ILT, Virtual, eLearning) are focused on practice and high-value activities

  • Reduces work disruption because it minimizes the need for workers to leave work in order to learn.

  • Reduces the cost of formal training.

  • Reduces time to job readiness.

  • Reduces redundancy of work.

Job Analysis

Critical Skills Analysis (CSA). Not all tasks are created equal, nor do they warrant the same level of instructional treatment, if any at all. Historically we over-teach, meaning we bring everything into the classroom because it fits the outline and was labeled as important during the analysis phase. But “important doesn’t equal critical.” CSA helps us better prioritize what goes in class and what’s better learned or mastered before or after.

Process Analysis. This takes the tasks and adds a workflow layer that arranges these outputs “in an order that matches the real world.” In traditional design we group tasks by categories, or teach them based on dependencies or levels of complexity. This may make the content easier to consume, but often makes it very difficult to transfer and apply on the job, where the sequence may differ. There is a host of cognitive research about the importance of mental maps, encoding, and recall.

Learning and Support Asset Analysis (LSAA). LSAA enables us to “identify the current learning and support assets available in the workflow.” LSAA helps us better understand how to maximize and supplement resources that help learners apply and remember what they’ve learned. It helps us do a better job of designing for the work to be done, not the information to be learned.

Examples Trailhead. Get hands-on experience building apps with guided, step-by-step directions covering key Salesforce topics. (view platform)

Google Apps Learning Center. A very well designed learning content resource. (view platform)

CEB Learning Advisor Portal. Development resources and tools to drive business impact. (view platform)

Site 5 KB. Knowledgebase example for hosting provider. (view platform)

AT&T HD Voice FAQ Page. A good design to place FAQs in the product page. (view platform)

Judy Ringer. How to have a difficult conversation article. (view platform)

AT&T Newsroom. A good slider presentation of sections. (view platform)

AT&T Support Center.

Adobe Help.

Videoscribe Help.

KINIVO Support. (view platform)

ATD Competency Model

The ATD Competency Model is a comprehensive roadmap of the capabilities (areas of expertise) needed for success across the learning profession now and in the future. All learning professionals need to know a bit of everything in the model, but the extent to which they need to focus and dive deep will vary by individual.

Foundational competencies (Dark Grey) – six competencies required for job success in all professional occupations and industries.

Areas of expertise (AOEs) (Light Grey/Pentagon/Wheel) – ten competencies specific to the talent development profession.

Managing Learning Programs – Establish vision and strategies of the purpose of learning organizations. What is our fundamental purpose to the client and the target audience group? Are we thinking ‘performance and productivity’ or ‘training and learning’? How do we support performing and learning at the speed of business? The changing workforce (Workforce Transformation 2020) indicates a need for a shift in mindset around learning mindset and methodologies. For instance, the way Millenials/Digital Natives learn and seek out information should give learning leaders an idea where their development strategy and vision should be headed.

Performance Improvement – Actively consult with business leaders to diagnose performance issues and recommend appropriate solutions; whether the solution contains a learning component of not. Avoid jumping to the solution without uncovering/exposing the real needs and causes of the problem (known as “solutioneering” or the ‘quick fix’ syndrome).

Evaluating Learning Impact – Measure the impact of learning and performance solutions to the organization’s business results. The big data revolution will allow us to pinpoint and predict the primary drivers/causes of high performance so we can replicate and enhance the right experiences.

Integrated Talent Management – A coherent approach to attract, develop, and retain talent. For example: Facilitate workforce planning, talent acquisition, succession planning, employee engagement and retention, rewards and compensation, etc.

Change Management – Guide organizations through difficult periods of transition (mergers/acquisitions, modern approaches, new technology, etc.)

Learning Technologies – Apply a variety of learning technologies to address specific learning and performance needs.

Knowledge Management – Enabling access to critical knowledge, experts, and peers in real time. The latest knowledge is continuously created, curated, and shared. This represents a mindset outside traditional training organizations and paradigms. It’s beyond the scope and charter for most learning organizations.

Coaching – Empowering individuals to have the courage and confidence to move forward on a desired goal. The business needs experts to support their employees on the job when they struggle with a specific task or answer an immediate question. In addition, we need to support managers into becoming great coaches.

Instructional Design – Realize the idea that “learning drives performance” is a myth. Whether it’s bite-sized, repackaged, presented in MOOCs, or on a mobile device, training is still training. Understand that performance and sustained workforce capability are often created at the point of work/need (when employees are actually working). Formal instructional solutions are only provided when necessary for specific, focused, difficult to learn performance gaps.

Training Delivery – Deliver formal learning solutions in a manner that is both engaging and effective.

ATD offers certifications to build skills in each Area of Expertise (

CPLP – Certified Professional in Learning & Performance – Multiple exams to test you across the ten areas of expertise to verify you demonstrate proficiency. (

ATD Career Navigator™ is an online self-assessment tool based on the core competencies in the Model for individuals and for teams. Identifies your gaps, prioritizes and recommends specific resources to close gaps. (

Embrace new skills and roles to build a “full-stack” L&D function:


L&D Capabilities to Drive Continuous Learning

70:20:10 Learning Technology Strategies

Learning Experience (LX) Design

Three Levels of Performance

A Richer Suite of Support

Charles Jennings on towards 100% performance video

New roles for L&D: the reality of 70:20:10

Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies

Getting creative with ways to transfer learning back to the workplace

Learning: Experience Plus Reflection

Workplace learning is like learning a second language

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) (task behaviors by job database)

Working Methodically With 70:20:10

Boost Performance through Learning

Workplace Learning – Trends, Disruption & Change

Jane Hart Interview | Where’s L&D headed in 2016?

Beyond Courses: “Improving Performance in the Workflow” | 50 Different Solutions

Disruption | Convergence | Learning Culture | Frameworks | A Useful Model

Everyday Workplace Learning | Slides

Designing with Wisdom

ATD competency model

Three Laws of Learning Failure

Traditional vs. Modern | Providing Training & Promoting Learning

Start with the 70. Plan for the 100

Employee Knowledge Platform

Work is learning and learning is the work

The Fallacy of Information Overload

What does “Transformation” mean?

Organic Model for Learning Environments

What Type Of Company Do You Work For? Engaged, Empowered, Enabled Or Experiential?

Learning in the network era

High Performers Outcome-Based Training & Coaching

Three Big Mistakes I Made

Getting SMAC right

Aligning Corporate Learning with Corporate Strategy

L&D Roles to Support Workplace Learning

Sales Training and Development Reboot

6 Ways to Help Sales Teams Perform Better in Front of Customers

Why L&D need to FOCUS to move on

Directory of Learning & Performance Tools & Services

Overhaul Sales Training to Win and Retain More Customers | Success in Selling

ATD Competency Model | L&D Capabilities | Changes in L&D

Towards Maturity – Embracing Change 2015-16 Report | Towards Maturity Benchmarking | Comment

The AT&T Performance Support tSpace Community | Informal Learning Infographic

Performance Support Infographic

Ensuring the Transfer of Learning | Learning in the Social Workplace

Make Enterprise Software People Actually Love | Mike Kunkle LinkedIn Articles

The Web is my Workplace | Stop Designing for Millennials

What Makes an Organization “Networked”? | PKM | State of KM

The New World-Class Sales Competency Model (WCSCM)

Develop and Achieve Your Sales Vision in Four Steps

Learning Experience (LX) Design | YouTube Creator Playbook

How to Make an Early Impact in a New Position

The value of balancing desirability, feasibility, and viability

Conrad Gottfredson Performance Support Articles

A Designer’s Guide To The Tech Industry

Learning Needs a Revolution | How to Get Started in UX Design?

UX Design Knowledge | Charles Jennings: Workplace Performance

Conversations with Experts is the Best Way to Learn | Agile Learners

From Learning to Referencing | What’s all the Sales Enablement Hype?

How Sales Training & Sales Managers Can Partner to Drive Results

How to Get Seasoned Sales Reps to Engage in Training

Two Types of Knowledge

Emerging Technologies for Teaching and Learning

Working better together

6 Ways to Boost Your Professional Learning

10 Common Sales Onboarding Mistakes

Turning Sales Managers into Great Coaches

Boosting Sales Training Stickiness

To Sell is Human: An Exclusive Interview with Daniel Pink (Part 1)

6 Insight Selling Hacks That Will Transform Your Sales Results

Modern Workplace Learning Book

The ‘Why’ and ‘What’ of Sales and Marketing Alignment

Sales for Life (Social Selling)

What Is the Value of a Competency Model?

Top Tools for Learning Guidebook | Top 100 Learning Tools | 101-200

20 Awesome Quotes from Jay Cross

How to Create an Awesome Company Culture

Your Company Needs Independent Workers

Succeeding in Life

Emergence of the Performance Catalyst

The Business Case For Augmented Reality

Today’s Learning Workplace

Reimagining School

Making News for the New World

Smarter Employees and Self-Directed Learning (Webinar)

What does it mean to work?

Authentic Experiences

Job Automation

The Cargo Cult of Training

Dear Training

What it means to Teach

X: The Experience When Business Meets Design

HBR IdeaCast

To Learn a New Skill, You Have to Screw It Up Firs

Mobile Usage

Jane Hart’s 2015 Link List

Make Time for Work that Matters

Virtual Reality (VR)

Overselling Ed Tech

Content Dumping

The Day After Tomorrow

Lifelong Learning & Technology

Designing with the Learning Ecosystem Canvas

Design with Intent Toolkit