Charles Jennings

Senior Director, Enterprise Strategy

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  • Development Mindsets and 70:20:10 (0) Charles JenningsProfessor Carol Dweck is a psychologist at Stanford University and the prime force behind mindset theory. Dweck’s research has led her to the conclusion that each individual will place themselves on a continuum according to their implicit belief of where their own ability originates.
    In simple terms this means that those who tend towards believing ...
  • It’s Only 65% ! (0) Charles JenningsThe results of yet another 70:20:10 survey were published recently.
    The researchers (possibly on work experience) declared that “50:26:24 is the average learning mix in most companies right now”.
    The report of the 50:26:24 survey went on to say:
    “It’s widely accepted that the 70:20:10 model is the most effective learning blend for business, but getting to that ...
  • Learning in the Collaboration Age (0) Charles Jennings 

    We may not have noticed it at the time, but the world of learning changed in 1990.
    In November of that year British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee together with his Belgian colleague Robert Cailliau proposed a project to develop the use of hypertext “to link and access information of various kinds as a web of ...

  • Learning is Behaviour Change: why is it often so hard to help it happen? (0) Charles JenningsA fascinating article recently published on the Fast Company blog should be required reading for all learning and talent professionals as well as for leaders and managers.
    Alan Deutschman, the author of ‘Change or Die’ makes a pretty stark statement about people’s reluctance to change:
    “What if a well-informed, trusted authority figure said you had to make ...
  • Learning is Behaviour Change: why is it often so hard to help it happen? (0) Charles JenningsA fascinating article recently published on the Fast Company blog should be required reading for all learning and talent professionals as well as for leaders and managers.
    Alan Deutschman, the author of ‘Change or Die’ makes a pretty stark statement about people’s reluctance to change:
    “What if a well-informed, trusted authority figure said you had to make ...
  • Managing Learning? (0) Charles JenningsDonald Taylor recently published an article titled ‘What does ‘LMS’ mean today?’. In it Donald posited something I’ve been advocating for years.
    It is this.
    Learning can only be managed by the individual in whose head the learning is occurring.
    Of course external factors – such as other people (especially your manager and your team), technology, ...
  • Re-thinking Workplace Learning: extracting rather than adding (0) Charles JenningsA decade ago the Corporate Executive Board published a report detailing the findings of a study into the role managers can play in employee development.
    By almost any standards the sample in this study was large – 8,500 cases drawn from 14 organisations across six industries in nine countries.
    One clear finding presented was that:
    “those activities ...
  • The Need to Adapt to the Speed of Change or Die: lessons for L&D from the retail industry (0) Charles Jennings
    Yesterday another great British institution slid into the history books.
    HMV opened its first retail shop in Oxford Street, London, in 1921 with great brouhaha and composer Edwin Elgar taking part in the opening ceremony. Yesterday, 91 years on, the company shut its shops and handed its administration over to Deloitte with the expectation that its ...
  • Internet Time Alliance Predictions for 2013 (0) Charles Jennings
    The Principals of the Internet Time Alliance decided to take a collective look ahead to the new year, and share our predictions. You’ll see overlap but also unique perspectives:

    Charles JenningsAn increasing number of organisations, independent of size, nature or location, will acknowledge that their traditional training and development models and processes are ...

  • Determinism, Best Practice, and the ‘Training Solution’ (0) Charles JenningsDeterminism is the philosophical idea that every event, including every human decision and action, is the inevitable result of preceding actions and that, given certain conditions, there is only one outcome. Nothing else can happen. Deterministic view…
  • Exploiting The Link Between Employee Development & Customer Engagement (0) Charles JenningsThis  post is adapted from a commentary written for the Spark Interactive / ClerkWell 2012 Digital Customer Experience Report – an annual industry report that focuses on customer engagement and how businesses are using digital means to build clo…
  • Compliance Training: does it really work? (0) Charles JenningsUntil relatively recently I’d always bought into the argument that organising regulatory and compliance training is one of the important and necessary tasks for an L&D department. Every organisation has compliance and regulatory requirements it needs to meet. In highly regulated industries even more so. So it seemed sensible then that part of ...
  • The Higgs boson of Training & Development? (0) Charles JenningsYesterday, scientists at Europe’s CERN research centre announced that they have found a new subatomic particle that behaves like the much sought-after Higgs boson, the ‘god particle’ (or ‘goddamn particle’). The discovery of this elusive, …
  • 70:20:10 – It’s not about the numbers, it’s all about change (0) Charles JenningsRemembering Prof. Allan Tough (died 27 April 2012 aged 76 years) – a great man, a pioneer researcher into self-directed learning, a futurist, and author. Allen’s research was fundamental to 70:20:10 thinking.

    During the past 6 weeks I’ve had the pleasure of working with representatives from more than 60 organisations in a series of master classes ...

  • Managers and Mad Hatters: Work that stretches (0) Charles Jennings

    This is the third and final of three posts adapted from articles written for Inside Learning Technologies & Skills magazine. It was published and distributed in the magazine for the Learning Technologies Conference and Exhibition in London 25-26 January 2012.

    “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,” says the White Queen to Alice.
    In ...

  • Through the 70:20:10 Looking Glass (2) Charles Jennings

    This is the second of three posts adapted from articles written for Inside Learning Technologies & Skills magazine. The original has been published here.
    The third article will be posted here a little while after it has been published in the magazine for the Learning Technologies Conference and Exhibition in London 26-27 January 2012.

    In the first ...

  • ‘Real Learning’: The Role of Context (0) Charles JenningsIn 1885, Herman Ebbinghaus, a German psychologist, carried out an experiment that led to the formulation of the famous Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve. Many people know of the experiment and that the Forgetting Curve suggests adults will remember less that 50% of what they’ve learned within an hour of learning unless they have the opportunity to ...
  • Learning in Wonderland: the untapped potential of workplace learning (0) Charles JenningsThis is the first of three posts adapted from articles I have written for Inside Learning Technologies & Skills magazine. This article appeared in November 2011.  The second and third articles will be posted here a little while after they have been published in the magazine. I’ve taken Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as ...
  • In a Complex World, Continuous Learning and Simple Truths Prevail (0) Charles JenningsThe book ‘The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine’ is Michael Lewis’ marvellous account of the idiocy and greed that led to the sub-prime bubble and the resulting global financial crisis.

    Lewis’ book focuses on a few smart people who saw the simple truths beneath the complex world of financial jiggery-pokery that led to wealthy people ...

  • Learning Transformation & Governance (0) Charles JenningsSlide deck from Plenary presentation at the World of Learning Conference, NEC Birmingham, UK. 27 September 2011.
  • Why the Real Power of eLearning is Social (0) Charles JenningsThis post was prompted by a webinar I gave on behalf of Citrix/GoToWebinar on 6th July 2011 and originally posted as a guest post on the Learning Pool blog. I’ve made a few changes to it here.
    Looking Back

    eLearning has been with us in one form or another for at least the past 50 years, maybe ...

  • 8 Reasons to Focus on Informal & Social Learning (0) Charles JenningsSlides from a webinar for the eLearning Network of Australasia – July 2010
  • Work That Stretches: The Best Teacher You’ll Find (0) Charles JenningsThink back to one great personal learning experience you’ve had. It may have been in childhood when you realized you could ride your bicycle without training wheels or a parent’s guiding hand. Or it may have been when you finally understood the basics of solving quadratic equations. It could have happened more recently – for ...
  • 21st Century L&D Skills (2) Charles JenningsI was recently involved in a discussion about 21st Century learning skills in one of the LinkedIn Groups. It got me thinking about a piece I’d written for TrainingZone a few months ago titled ‘What does your ideal L&D team look like in 2010?’ I’ve posted that article here, with some changes and updates.

    If ...

  • The 70:20:10 Framework (0) Charles JenningsThere is a more comprehensive discussion of the 70:10:10 framework on my blog. You can find that here http://bit.ly/nEzWjW
  • Social & Workplace Learning through the 70:20:10 Lens (0) Charles JenningsThere have been millions of words written and spoken about ‘informal’ and social learning over the past few years.

    In fact, if a Martian had just arrived on Earth and strayed into a meeting of Learning and Development professionals or into a learning conference, or even picked up a professional journal, he would logically assume ...

  • Working Smarter: New Ways of Learning (PDF) (0) Charles JenningsMore recently at the Internet Time Alliance, we’ve been focusing not on training and learning but on ideas around “working smarter.” Jay Cross, one of my colleagues in the Internet Time Alliance, is well known for his early work and books on informal learning. Jay describes working smarter as being the key to sustainability and ...
  • CLO Maths–Part I (0) Charles Jennings Last month I took part in the iVentiv Executive Knowledge Exchange event in New York. The two days of roundtable discussion were focused on ‘learning futures’. There were plenty of good conversations, some case studies, and lots of idea sharing…
  • When it’s just so obvious NOT to train it’s painful to watch it happen (0) Charles JenningsThe amount of time, effort and money wasted on formal ILT training prior to rollout or upgrade of enterprise platforms (particularly ERM and CRM) and other new software systems is really quite amazing.
    Some managers and L&D people just don’t seem to get it.
    It reminds me of the remarkable insight of the author Aldous Huxley when ...
  • When Learning is the Work: Approaches for supporting learning in the workplace (0) Charles JenningsTwo weeks ago I ran a webinar under this title for Citrix.
    At the start I posed the question “when you think about one great learning experience you’ve had, can you remember where it occurred? Was it in a classroom or workshop, or did it occur while you were completing the task?”
    I’ve asked this question, or ...
  • Five Barriers to Effective Learning in Organisations (0) Charles JenningsVery few of us would argue with the proposition that a lot of organisational learning and development activity is sub-optimal to the extent that it provides little value to participants and their organisations.

    Even in organisations where L&D priorities are closely aligned with business priorities there’s plenty of head-room for improvement.
    So, the question arises as to ...

  • The Power of Conversations (0) Charles Jennings“we tell ourselves stories in order to live” ~ Haruki Murakami
    Jerome Bruner (1915- ) is one of the greatest educational psychologists the world has ever produced. He has spent his long lifetime studying learning and the human mind. Still active and in post as a Research Professor at New York University in his 95th ...
  • Lost in Translation: (0) Charles JenningsWhy Learning Professionals Need to Learn to Speak their Stakeholders’ Language The language we use is important. There’s no doubt about that. Human cultural development owes a great deal to our ability to communicate complex thoughts and be clear…
  • Who Needs Training, Again? (0) Charles Jennings At some point in time I am sure we’ve all found ourselves with an answer staring us in the face, but we just haven’t managed to see it yet. Spending money, time and effort providing face-to-face training or eLearning courses for workers in an a…
  • Sleepwalkers – the emerging landscape of organisational learning (0) Charles JenningsArthur Koestler’s masterpiece ‘The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man’s Changing Vision of the Universe’ is a book that I have re-read every 10 years or so, and have regularly given to young people – usually for 18th or 21st birthdays – in the…
  • 21st Century L&D Skills (0) Charles JenningsI was recently involved in a discussion about 21st Century learning skills in one of the LinkedIn Groups. It got me thinking about a piece I’d written for TrainingZone a few months ago titled “What does your ideal L&D team look like in 2010?”. I’ve posted that article here, with some changes and updates. ...
  • EVER TRIED TO HIT A MOVING TARGET AT TWENTY PACES WITH A COLT 45? (0) Charles Jennings In the movies, the marshal steps out from behind the big rock, draws his Colt .45 and enforces the law by dispatching a few outlaws as they dive for cover 20 or 30 yards away. In real life it was not as simple as that. About 40 years ago I read a ...
  • Real learning – let’s not confuse it with completing templated exercises (2) Charles Jennings I read a piece written by Kate Graham of e2train on Thursday and it started me thinking about the ‘real learning versus managed learning’ debate. I found I disagreed with Kate’s view on a number of points, and stand on the other side of the f…
  • ID – Instructional Design or Interactivity Design in an interconnected world? (0) Charles Jennings Instructional design is not only seen as a core competency for learning and development/training specialists, but it’s a huge industry, too. Most learning vendors tout their ‘expertise in instructional design’ as a key reason as to why we shou…
  • Less is more: A different approach to L&D in a world awash with information (0) Charles JenningsCharles Jennings argues that the adage ‘access to knowledge is power’ is more fitting in today’s information-swamped world.

    “In 2009, more data will be generated by individuals than in the entire history of mankind through 2008. Information overload is more serious than ever.”
    Andreas Weigend, former chief scientist at Amazon.com writing in the Harvard Business Review, May ...

  • Manager Input: Vital for Learning Success (0) Charles JenningsFor training to be effective, managers need to be actively involved in the process. Some years ago, Mary Broad and her colleagues found that of all the actions and activities taking place before, during and after a formal training intervention, the manager’s input before and after training constituted two of the three most important factors ...
  • Five Barriers to Effective Learning in Organisations (0) Charles JenningsVery few of us would argue with the proposition that a lot of organisational learning and development activity is sub-optimal to the extent that it provides little value to participants and their organisations. Even in organisations where L&D priorities are closely aligned with business priorities there’s plenty of head-room for improvement. So, ...
  • Getting to the Core of Learning Content in the Internet Age (0) Charles JenningsThere is an argument that we all need to learn less if we want to know more. The ‘learning’ referred to here is what we know as formal structured learning activities – classes, courses, programmes, and eLearning. The argument goes like this. A…
  • TRUST – if L&D is to have any impact, it’s vital (0) Charles JenningsTrust is very important in our lives. As children we put our trust in our parents. As we grew we learned to make decisions regarding when we should trust and when we should be more circumspect. When we start a new job or project we spend time figuring …
  • The Power of X – Experiential Learning in Today’s World (0) Charles JenningsIt’s generally accepted that most of the learning that occurs within our organisations takes place outside formal training and learning events.The majority of our learning comes from the new and different experiences we have in our daily work. Our le…
  • Down But Not Quite Out: what can we learn from the plights of Learning Tree International and Readers Digest? (0) Charles JenningsThese turbulent economic times have not been kind to two of the large publishers of catalogues and journals – Reader’s Digest and Learning Tree International.Of course, Learning Tree International’s business is selling face-to-face courses, but most of…
  • The Future Business of Learning for Suppliers (0) Charles JenningsLast month Tony Karrer wrote an very insightful piece on his eLearning Technology blog about the Business of Learning. The post and the discussion underneath it are well worth reading. Tony equated the challenges of the learning industry to those of …
  • Accountability for Business Results (0) Charles JenningsUK politicians have been in the spotlight over the past few weeks with their creative use of the parliamentary allowance scheme. “Flipping” was one common way that some found to maximise their allowance income. This involved declaring one of their homes – either in their constituency or in London closer to the House of Commons ...

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Bio

Charles Jennings is a leading thinker and practitioner in learning and performance who helps organisations build innovative and sustainable learning practices and cultures while lowering cost and removing inefficiencies.

Charles specialises in workplace and informal learning, change management, and performance improvement and is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in building workforce capability. His clients work with him because he blends experience and vision, and has a deep understanding of how to ‘get stuff done’ in both large and small organisations.

His strategic advice, workshops and interactive seminars are all highly-regarded. Organisations particularly ask him to share his experience and expertise with the 70:20:10 framework approach.

Charles has a long and distinguished professional background. He spent many years as an academic, a university professor and researcher. He was the director of the UK National Centre for Networked Learning and a Professor at Southampton Business School in the 1980s and 1990s at a time the Internet was emerging.

For the past 16 years Charles has worked as a consultant, a guide, an advisor and in senior business roles for global companies.

In his corporate roles he was a strategic technology director with Dow Jones Inc. and Chief Learning Officer with Reuters and Thomson Reuters, three of the world’s largest information companies.

In the latter role he had the responsibility for developing learning and performance strategy and leading a 350-strong team of learning professionals for the firm’s 55,000 workforce. He took the Reuters learning organisation through a series of transformations from a being a set of traditional training departments to an integrated business-aligned learning and workforce development function that implemented and deployed a range of advanced learning and performance approaches and technologies to support execution of business strategy.

Charles has been engaged to speak and keynote at many events including three International Gulf Economic Forum conferences in the Middle East attended by high-level government and business officials, including many Heads of State, Presidents and Prime Ministers.

Advisory Roles
Charles also acts as senior advisor to a number of organisations. Some of the roles include:

  • Member of the Steering Committee of Online Educa, Berlin
  • Senior Advisor to the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD)
  • Member of the Advisory Board for the European Learning Industry Group (ELIG)
  • Member of the Advisory Board for the UK Learning & Performance Institute (LPI)
  • Member of the Advisory Group for the UK Government’s Next Generation Learning @ Work
  • Member of the Program Committee of the IADIS Mobile Learning Conferences
  • Member of the Judging Panel for several leading Training and Learning organisations, including: The Institute of IT Training/Learning & Performance Institute awards, The Brandon Hall awards, The World of Learning awards, The UK National Broadcast Industry Training awards
  • Evaluator for the European Commission’s learning, performance and eCommerce research initiatives

Awards
Charles has been recognised with a number of awards for his work, including:

  • The Ernst & Young Innovation of the Year award in 1995 following the launch of the world’s first online MBA
  • The 2008 World of Learning’s ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Learning Industry’ award in recognition of his work on new approaches to workforce development, performance improvement, and ‘just-in-time’ and workplace learning
  • The 2011 Learning & Performance Institute (IITT/LPI) award for his ‘significant and lasting contribution to the Training Industry’
Quotes
When working is learning, then your organisation’s learning is working
‘Our world is others’ (from Jerome Bruner)
‘Real learning’ is overwhelmingly different from simply passing post-course tests
Think outputs, not inputs. Focus on performance rather than learning.
Testimonials

Charles expertise does not translate to a precious approach. To the contrary, he is most generous with his time, and his passion for the strategic role of L&D never wanes. Charles’ work has resulted in both a highly professional learning function and a strategic approach to learning and development” ~ Karen Reilly

Charles is one of the most visionary, networked, intelligent, innovative, and influential thought leaders I know. Working with him has been extremely educational, fun, and inspiring. ~ Eric Davidove

Charles is one of the most knowledgeable, well connected and strategically minded HR professionals I have ever met. Understanding the world of L&D is one thing, it is actually being able to interpret this world and communicate the meaning into real-world, practical and measurable outcomes which really sets the CLO apart from the rest, and in this regard Charles excels. My company owes a huge debt of gratitude to Charles, simply put the business would not have grown so successfully without his input. ~ Russell Butler

Charles has a fantastic wealth of knowledge in his field; he constantly provided time helping me understand how to best meet the needs of my business groups. Charles was an invaluable mentor/sounding board – he never tired of my questions! I have to say he was fundamental in helping me develop as a well-rounded HR business partner. ~ Victoria Coleman

Charles is an extraordinary person. His knowledge, experience and personality combined are leading catalyst in the field of human performance and talent management. Working with Charles made me a better person. ~ Dimitris Kavaadis

70:20:10 Framework. Oct 2011.

Learning Governance. Sept 2011.

EPSS, Electronic Performance Support System. Mar 2011.

Successful Examples of Informal Learning. Feb 2011.

How Information Overload & the Rate of Change Effect Training. Feb 2011.

Sharing Tacit Knowledge through Informal Learning. Feb 2011.

Key Objectives of Learning and Development. Jan 2011.

Social Connections

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