On the job experience and formal training are standard tools for upskilling your teams, however, it is in collaboration and shared knowledge that the most valuable learning is usually found.

Capability uplift is an on-going challenge for all organisations and individuals. It is the ability to achieve and sustain skill uplift that can make the difference between highly functioning teams that achieve great things and those who remain off the pace.

Capability uplift comes in many forms and if is often difficult for organisations to identify where to apply the effort to get the best return.

Identify How People Learn – and Learn Best

The 70:20:10 Model for Learning and Development is a good place to start the assessment of how people learn.

The model was created in the 1980s by three researchers and authors working with the Centre for Creative Leadership, a non-profit educational institution in Greensboro, N.C. Morgan McCall, Michael M. Lombardo and Robert A. Eichinger, were researching the key developmental experiences of successful.

The 70:20:10 model is a commonly used formula that proposes that individuals obtain 70 percent of their knowledge from job-related experiences, 20 percent from interactions with others and 10 percent from formal education events.

Learning at the Coal Face vs Professional Development

Job related capability uplift means gathering real world experience through the day-to-day execution of a role and what is learned this way has a high chance of ‘’sticking’’ and thus staying with a person for the duration of their working life. At 70%, hands-on experience is the most effective way to learn because it enables a person to develop and address the challenges of their role in real-time.

The model tells us we can also pick up 10% through formal education and training courses. However, given how time poor many of us are the time to undertake professional development courses (even on-line) is an on-going challenge and the ROI would appear to be low yield anyway at 10%.

So whilst coal face experience is clearly the most beneficial for capability uplift, it does have a significant limitation. It is by design constrained to a single person in their role and the experience gained is therefore limited to what’s in front of that person in their day to day working life.

Increasing Access to Experiential Knowledge via Collaboration

When faced with a new scenario or challenge, how can we increase access to the experiential knowledge of a wider group and enable capability uplift to occur beyond a single person’s immediate working sphere?

The key to unlocking the final 20% of capability uplift and super-charging day-to-day hands-on learning is collaboration. To unlock real value, the collaboration should be between peers both within and outside the organisations in which we work.

Collaboration: A Many-to-Many Relationship

Collaboration by design is a many-to-many relationship, which taps exponential experiences and knowledge that can be shared and applied in your own work environment.

Targeted collaboration through peer-to-peer networks can help to validate the relevance of the experiences shared and to promote a collective approach to solve real-world relevant problems faced by an individual which more often than not is probably also being faced by their peers.

A perfect example of this is the application User Groups that have spawned across the globe where users of the same application (e.g. SAP) meet regularly (and formally) to share knowledge, discuss issues and update on recent developments. Through abstracting this to a functional peer group (as opposed to a product peer group) participants are able to rapidly access a collective knowledge and experience.

The Power of Shared Knowledge via Collaboration

Quay Consulting has long recognised the power of collaboration and it is lived by our Practice Managers collaborating with their consultants as part of our standard quality assurance processes. We walk the talk in our everyday management process, which is why we have established Quay Collaborate.

Quay Collaborate has been developed in conjunction with the CIO Network to provide a member-based forum of peers across a number of capabilities. Our groups meet regularly and share knowledge, solve problems and fill their 20% rapidly.

We firmly believe in this increasingly interconnected world collaboration is the missing piece to close the loop on capability uplift and should be considered for us all, whether formally or informally.

As project specialists, we develop fit-for-purpose strategy.  Contact us here to find out more about how we work with your teams or call 02 9098 6300.

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Quay Consulting is a professional services business specialising in the project landscape, transforming strategy into fit-for-purpose delivery. Meet our team ...