Your best teacher is yourself

New technologies are harnessing the fact that 70% per cent of learning is experiential

The focus on social and workplace learning is not radically new. It was back in 1971 that Canadian educator and researcher Allen Tough asserted that “around 70% of all successful learning plans sprang from the learner himself”.

The book The Career Architect Development Planner by Bob Eichinger and Michael Lomardo introduces the 70:20:10 concept: lessons learned by successful and effective managers are roughly 70% from experience, 20% from people (mostly the boss), and 10% from courses and reading. This concept has been applied to the workplace in recent years by Charles Jennings, who has become one of the world’s leading experts on building and implementing 70:20:10 learning strategies.

In order to exploit that crucial 70%, learning platforms need to be experiential – learners need to become actively involved in the learning rather than simply read it or be told it in a lecture hall. So what does experiential learning look like? Some analysts wrongly point to digital e-books as ‘interactive’ learning. While the latest digital books do feature audio and visual links, the learning is still one-way – from supplier to reader. These books lack the reciprocity required for interactive, experiential learning.

Yet cutting-edge technology makes this possible. Blue Bottle Biz is a collaborative learning platform where learning is truly interactive. It begins – rather than ends – with an ever-growing library of 20,000 business books. Thereafter, the learning is shared and is multilateral.

By creating discovery paths – series of book extracts – you can grow and share your knowledge in a fraction of the time it took in the pre-digital age.

Simple, intuitive tools allow you to highlight extracts, comment upon content and – crucially – see the comments of others, thus augmenting your research and learning with the expertise of businesspeople and academics around the world. “Blue Bottle Biz is the first platform to have introduced multilateralism,” says Marcelino Elosua, founder of Blue Bottle Biz. “A platform is bilateral when the essential relationship is between the platform and the individual users, each of whom can read a book and leave a review, publicly and for the whole website.

“It’s only multilateral if it allows interaction with other individual users or groups and enables content to be amended or rearranged – by comments, or by reorganizing it.”