The 10/80/10 model (or rule) is a theory of leadership that addresses group dynamics, and, though the theory originated in the corporate world, it is highly relevant in education as well. In the model, all the people in an institution fall into three distinct areas, with the vast majority (80%) falling into a central neutral zone, with the remaining 20% splitting equally between those that will readily embrace a change and those that protest any deviation from the norm.
Anytime that leadership must guide and transition individuals through change, such as adoption of a new technology or a shift toward learner-centered environments, these groups quickly come into focus. To better explain this, let’s look at each segment individually.
This group is often identified as the “squeaky wheel”, and are highly resistant to change. While some may (eventually) transition to change with focused guidance, extra instruction, and extensive support, others simply have no desire to change current practices and behaviors.
The middle section represent the masses. Typically, those in this segment are those that don’t receive much attention because they just are. They come to work and do their job without complaint, question, or suggestion.