The biggest challenge of creating a culture of learning is in formalizing informal learning. Making the unknown known, the unseen seen, the unconscious conscious. So learning becomes integrated into someone's everyday activities.

With the 70:20:10 principle Charles Jennings showed us the relevance of looking at formal- and informal learning.

  • Showing that only 10% of all learning is formal (training/e-learning e.d.), though an essential part in the total mix.
  • 20% Of learning takes place via direct interaction with colleagues, manager etc.
  • And 70% of all learning takes place 'on the job'.

A total of 90% of all learning is informal! How do you develop this "on the job learning" in organizations? Some suggestions ....

Intentional learning

According to McKinsey & Company intentional learning is the most fundamental skill to have. "Learning itself is a skill. Unlocking the mindsets and skills to develop it can boost personal and professional lives and deliver a competitive edge." Focus on adopting a growth mindset and feed your curiosity. 


In contrast with a fixed mindset, a growth mindset suggests that you can grow, expand, evolve, and change. And curiosity is what gets your learning started. Curiosity is awareness, an openness to ideas, and an ability to make connections between disparate concepts.


"A growth mindset and active curiosity are the fuel of intentional learning. But when you develop your learning muscles, it’s also important to modulate these forces and direct their energy effectively. Five best-practice behaviors help intentional learners get the most out of their experiences: setting goals, protecting time for learning, actively seeking feedback, conducting deliberate practice, and reflecting to evaluate yourself and determine your progress."


3 x 3 x 3

In another article McKinsey & Company show us how you can implement intentional learning in practice. This 3 x 3 x 3 method is very effective in practice. It is one of the fundaments of our SOL Personal Mastery program.


  • 3 Goals: When it comes to setting development goals, McKinsey recommend focusing on no more than three at any given time.
  • 3 Months: "Three months provides enough “runway” to make tangible progress against a goal through cycles of practice, feedback, and (where needed) formal training. At the same time, a three-month period forces us to be concrete and specific in our goals, which decades of goal-setting research show is critical to goal attainment."
  • 3 Colleagues: "Involving others in our learning is one of the most powerful ways to improve goal attainment. It creates healthy social pressure."

The biggest challenge in creating a Learning Culture is in formalizing informal learning. 

Making the unknown known, the unseen seen, the unconscious conscious.

Patrick Bijman

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