The 3 Es in conversation with Corwin Harper

Corwin Harper
Cowin Harper

The 70:20:10 model was founded in the 1980s, based on key evidence gathered from 200 successful managers reporting on how they learn and perform. Through the lens of the 70:20:10 model, formal, social, and experiential learning are not seen as distinct entities, but rather as different elements of learning that can be combined to deliver a “whole greater than the sum of its parts”.

We are in conversation with Corwin Harper, a champion, strategist, and steward for humanity. Having over 35 years of experience in a variety of areas — from healthcare systems to fiduciary & governance, to economic development, Corwin has been a believer in the 70:20:10 model. Today he is sharing his views on each of the three elements, and the immense importance of their sum.

Corwin, your leadership approach is comprised of 10% education, 20% exposure, and 70% experience. Altogether, these form 100% engagement. As an empathetic and authentic connector, why is engagement key? How do you ensure engagement not just from you, but from the people around you as well? How do you ensure engagement works both ways?

“The concept of engagement of people is centered around getting people to do things that they would not normally do. You’re asking people to follow you, you’re asking people to walk alongside you, and sometimes, you’re asking people to lead. To do that, you want to make sure that people are well informed about what problem you’re trying to solve as well as the context of the problem you’re trying to solve.

“When I think about the different elements, education starts with a person’s background. It’s about their achievement through getting a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or an advanced doctoral degree. This produces an understanding as to how they have prepared themselves from a technical business acumen angle. Many people place too much importance on education, I think it accounts for 10% of the leadership equation.

“When speaking of exposure, as a leader I need to expose people to all kinds of leadership and problem solving, so they can learn it and make it their own. Through this, employees can become familiar with areas they may not be experts in and develop a holistic view of every aspect of the business. As a leader, I place people in different projects and events to allow for that kind of exposure. I then circle back and ask ‘What did you learn? How do you see that situation and maybe, what would you have done differently?’

“The last one, experience, is the best teacher. I have had several mentors who deliberately put me in tough situations so that I could sharpen my skill set and apply knowledge to real-life situations. With this, I was able to present to board members, legislators, other C-suite executives, etc. — this allowed me to learn how to adjust to my audience. That experience taught me a lot. Another skill acquired via experience is thinking and acting strategically. The foundation behind this is learning how to connect the dots based on the information you have. Most situations have multiple layers and guardrails of expansion depending on the complexity and chaos surrounding the situation. To effectively tackle it, an accurate assessment is key. And what makes an assessment possible? You guessed it — education, exposure, and a whole lot of experience. All of these together, the 3 E’s, lead to the fourth E — E-engagement. This is by far the most important one — engaged employees — be it engaged with the organization, or engaged with one another — are key to the success of any organization. An engaged employee actually cares about their community and organization. They work on behalf of the organization's goals and mission.

Thanks for sharing, Corwin.

About Corwin: An empathetic and authentic leader who champions improving humanity through healthcare, Corwin Harper has contributed over 35 years of experience in various areas, from healthcare systems to fiduciary and governance to economic development. Corwin’s strengths include analyzing and assessing situations to create multi-year strategy plans, and he has the vision to identify new business opportunities where others fail to see the potential. Through his innovation as a transformational healthcare leader, he aims at creating a more human world with a strong focus on social and educational equity to improve humanity for all.

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