Developing Talent through On-the-Job Experiences


Developing Talent through On-the-Job Experiences

Utilizing the right mix of talent development approaches continues to be a challenge for many organizations.  Most organizations lean more heavily into training because it’s perceived as a quick and easy fix.  As proposed by Eichinger and Lombardo,  “Lessons learned from successful and effective managers are roughly, 70% from tough jobs, 20% from people (mainly the boss), and 10% from courses and reading.”  Using the 70:20:10 model effectively requires planning, follow-up, monitoring and accountability from all affected parties—senior leadership, stakeholders, employees, and HR.  However, when all is said and done, this approach benefits all and goes right to the bottom line.  The following are some tried and true methods for talent to learn and develop through experience:

Expand the scope of work:

  • Take on new responsibilities
  • Increase span of control
  • Increase decision-making authority
  • Substitute for manager in meetings
  • Take on managerial responsibilities


Learn through solving real problems:

  • Participate in a group to solve a real business problem
  • Apply new learning in real situations
  • Use feedback to try a new approach to an old problem
  • Take on new work and solving problems within role
  • Introduce new techniques and approaches


Learn through new experiences:

  • Champion and/or manage changes
  • Cover for others on leave
  • Gain exposure to other departments/roles
  • Work with a recognized expert
  • Take part in a project or working group
  • Participate in coordinated role swaps or secondments
  • Take on stretch assignments
  • Increase interaction with senior management, e.g. meetings, presentations
  • Make time for day-to-day research and reading
  • Assume leadership activities, e.g. lead a team, committee membership, executive directorships
  • Participate in cross functional introductions, site/customer visits
  • Research and apply best practices
  • Apply standards and processes, e.g. Six Sigma
  • Work with consultants or internal experts
  • Exploit opportunities for internal/external speaking engagements
  • Take a role in annual budgeting processes
  • Carry out interviews
  • Take part in project reviews
  • Take on community activities and volunteering

These are but a few ideas on how your organization can promote talent development using on-the-job experiences.  If you ask your stakeholders, I bet you will get even more suggestions! Now is the time!


The Career Architect Development Planner, Center for Creative Leadership, Morgan McCall, Robert Eichinger, Michael Lombardo

Author:  Patricia Dammann

Institute of Organization Development (IOD) offers state of the art online Leadership Development Certification Programs (LDCP) to help participants develop effective leadership development strategies to grow and develop leaders while advancing their career as a Leadership Development Professional. This program provides participants with the tools and skills needed to guide senior leaders to design and implement a best practice Leadership Development Program.  After completing the program, you will gain a certification as a Leadership Development Professional and earn the distinction of LDCP.

The Leadership Development Certification Program (LDCP) is offered online over 8 months, 3 hours per month to advance your career in Leadership Development.  Each session is delivered through Go-to-training.  Our expert faculty provide interactive discussions, examples, tools, guidelines, and resources to enrich your learning.



This certification program provided me with the resources and tools I needed to implement an effective Leadership Development Strategy when working with executives during a coaching engagement.


The practical experience I learned during this program gave me the confidence to work with executives to create an aligned Leadership Development Strategy.


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