Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

The 80/20 Rule for Learning Transfer

The CLO should require that any major learning initiative include plans for learning transfer activities focusing on the three major areas: learner readiness, design for transfer and organizational alignment. The examples presented here did require additional time and effort, but the use of technology and successful recruitment of managers as coaches greatly reduces the time commitment by staff, while increasing the likelihood of success.

While long-term, large-scale strategic initiatives have a place, they often become so time-consuming and burdensome they never reach fruition. The cases discussed here offer examples of how organizations increased learning transfer on the job on a program-by-program basis. The outcomes these companies experienced show that a less-is-more approach can help zero in on actions that are quick, specific and easy to execute. By focusing on the 20 percent of actions that produce 80 percent of the returns, learning organizations can sustain a high level of effectiveness and business impact with every initiative they undertake.

Michael Leimbach is vice president of global research and design for Wilson Learning Worldwide, and Ed Emde is president for Wilson Learning Corp. They can be reached at


What Is Your Organization Doing to Ensure Learning Transfers to the Job?

Learning leaders, see how you respond to these statements. It can help you determine if you have a successful strategy in place.

Article Keywords:   learning transfer   80/20 rule  


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