It’s the 90TEN. It’s the ‘World’ of Mouth.

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Campaigns win the war – not events… yep, it’s a bit of a numbers game.

I’ve been working on the concept of 90TEN learning for a while for The Learning Hook. We’ve also written a little about 90TEN learning campaigns on our website at Nothing too dissimilar to the 70-20-10 concept. It just bundles the distinct difference between the 10 and the other 90% – supporting learning campaigns as opposed to just learning events. I read this post recently and enjoyed it.

What falls out of it for me is why the 90TEN concept is so hard to implement within business. When I was the Learning Technology Manager at Sensis, I had ownership of the LMS (iLearningfrom Seertech), managed eLearning procurement and custom course vendors and a small team to administer the LMS and do some in-house design and dev work on eLearning products. Within Sensis, we were lucky to have a huge community using Yammer. A few things fell out of that experience for me that I think can demonstrate how 90TEN can be achieved: Use the 10% of formal training experience to exploit/tap into the more informal 90% of learning that takes place in our lives.

  • A growing number of solutions were being found by Yammer conversations i.e. ask the community when you are problem solving – commercial solutions were found this way, some with great commercial success. So we embedded the Yammer link on the front page of the LMS. This was a great move to link both this informal-organic learning community and their conversations with the much more formal LMS experiences. It also helped link ‘learning’ to Yammer, which most people would more likely associate with chatting and information.
  • We worked on forming cohorts across business lines through Yammer i.e. technology groups, mobile groups, eLearning groups, photography groups etc. I didn’t see this come to full fruition, but I can see the power in these online communities within larger business starting at induction e.g. set up groups on your internal social network (even just separate blogs they have write access to) starting from the induction point i.e. ‘class of first quarter 2013’. By linking to induction, you get a great cohort experience of learners/employees that work across all business units.
  • They can tap into each other’s knowledge and skills as their careers progress. Formal training experiences (the 10%) and milestones can easily be shared by that community at different points in their career. Appoint an administrator at the actual induction. The social group can be tied into milestones of individuals too i.e ‘Post: Did you know that Jenny Jones in your cohort was recently promoted to lead copy writer in Production’.
  • This provides a warm and fuzzy outcome of course, but it also provides the hard ROI, as this is the power of ‘world’ of mouth. It formalises somewhat, whilst also ensuring that everyone has the opportunity provided for them, to have powerful knowledge bases and networks to leverage when facing problems or opportunities. The members of the induction cohorts have shared experiences from the induction, but have branched across most business units – powerful indeed… if used.
  • Every formal training experience should be followed up with reinforcement activities (real work outcomes even better of course) such as web-ex, blogs, social etc. It is not hard and is driven by the community. Most LMSs can have the follow-ups programmed and automate reminders etc. Once a few of these have been set-up, the admin behind it will lesson significantly, as the rewards grow. Run some litmus tests and see what resonates with your community – they will drive the traffic.
  • Google analytics on Intranet sites is powerful … when used. If you identify the articles or pages on your Intranet that get the most hits, analyse why, is it the headline ‘Free Beer’ or is it people’s voyeuristic tendencies to read the monthly profile on different employees. From there, we can exploit that knowledge of our community’s interest in the formal training experience i.e. these are the stories/case studies we should use, it indicates the tone of writing which will keep people reading.

There are so many good examples of incorporating the learning campaign within business, L&D communities need to share specific examples. Too often we hear what is in my opinion, the waffle, dream and hype. ‘Rubber to the road’ examples that business leaders can easily understand, implement and test out is what we need – more tangible tales on the 90TEN will grow our businesses and perhaps more importantly, will enrich our learners’ lives through the tools we can provide to help them develop.

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