In using the findings from CCL’s original Lessons of Experience (LOE) research to inform practical advice for developing executives, Bob Eichinger and Mike Lombardo (co-founders of Lominger) coined the “70-20-10” formula or guideline, i.e., 70% of executive development comes from jobs, 20% from other people, 10% from courses. That's come to be universally accepted over time.
However, these percentages might be confusing to those who are familiar with the findings from the original LOE research (McCall, Lombardo, & Morrison, 1988). For example, about 56% of the 616 developmental events reported by the executives in the original study were categorized as Challenging Assignments (not 70%). And what happened to the Hardships category? It turns out that the 70-20-10 distribution is consistent with the LOE data if you do what Eichinger and Lombardo did and (a) delete the Hardship events and the Personal Life events (because these are not events that organizations would normally give to executives to promote their development) and (b) recalculate how the remaining events are distributed across Challenging Assignments, Other People, and Coursework.
While one really can't create Personal Life events, an organization can certainly create hardships. Hindustan Unlivever does this routinely with its fresh recruits. Within a week of joining the organization, young managers must deliver stretching targets in small towns where they can't even speak the local language. They live in $25 per day lodges and manage on a meager stipend. They are even sent to villages in rural India to spend a month living without electricity and running water.
With this research and understanding of the role of hardships in a persons development why can't we allow people to volunteer for hardship assignments?
This entry is drawn from CCL's landmark Lessons of Experience research that can be accessed at: