For the best part of a decade, L&D as an industry has faced uncertainty about what the future has in store. Do we now have the answer on how best to take the next strategic step?
In recent years, L&D has been heaped with challenges including the emergence of new technologies, a new multigenerational workforce and a quickening pace of organisational change.
Despite new approaches such as blended learning and 70:20:10 being introduced and widely adopted in our industry, there has been no clear path to success. So, it’s not surprising that Towards Maturity have continuously reported that many L&D departments are stagnant and unable to achieve the goals and objectives set out each year.
That’s why Towards Maturity’s latest benchmark report, The Transformation Curve, is so groundbreaking.
The Transformation Curve highlights the journey L&D need to go through in order to reach its full potential. It does this by identifying four stages of maturity which most L&D departments will fit into, and provides some clarity on what is needed in order to move forward through the stages.
It’s the first time a clear path to success has been laid out, providing L&D with some much-needed clarity on the future of learning.
If organisations apply the framework of the transformation curve to their learning strategy, and progress to the final stage of maturity, the reports of L&D remaining stagnant will likely be a thing of the past.
What this means for the business
The business has a lot to gain from supporting L&D and progressing to the final stage of maturity. Businesses at this stage are really reaping the benefits of their learning interventions.
They report three times as much growth, productivity and profitability and four times as much transformation as other organisations in the benchmarking process.
L&D professionals need to let go of the past and take a transformative, yet counter-intuitive, approach to their learning strategy.
And that’s not all. They are also three times more likely to achieve business outcomes than those in the bottom quartile.
In order to get there, the business has to play an important role in the journey. Senior executives and leaders need to treat L&D as a strategic partner, giving them a seat on the board and ensuring their strategies are aligned.
What this means for the learner
The benefits of reaching the final stage of maturity will cascade throughout your organisation, reaching every one of your learners. The research shows that learners at this stage are much more connected with the business as 91% clearly understand how their job contributes to their organisation’s overall objective.
This understanding will have a significant contribution to the learner’s sense of purpose within the organisation, which can increase loyalty and overall job satisfaction.
Learners will also benefit from more opportunities, as high performing L&D departments lead to more development opportunities for their people.
Just like the business, the learner needs to take on a proactive role for the organisation to reach the final stage of maturity. The learner needs to take responsibility for their own learning if they want to reap these benefits for themselves and support their organisation.
They can do this by taking a hold of their own career development and considering their personal brand.
What this means for the L&D professional
L&D professionals who have led their organisations through to the final stage of maturity are now fully in sync with every part of the organisation and have achieved some fantastic results for the business.
What’s important for L&D to remember at this stage (and what Towards Maturity is keen to stress), is that the journey isn’t over.
They may be “better equipped for change and ready for the next stage of transformation, whatever that might be”, but there is no room for complacency.
The Transformation Curve has arrived just in time for us to bring L&D back to life.
The whole point of transformation is that it is ongoing. So, L&D professionals need to let go of the past and take a transformative, yet counter-intuitive, approach to their learning strategy.
There really is a lot to gain from this amazing resource, not just for L&D but for every part of the organisation.
It’s worth mentioning, that although the Transformation Curve doesn’t provide us with a step-by-step guide of how to achieve our success, it does set out a new transformative approach and introduces how thinking counter-intuitively is the key to this transformation.
It’s up to L&D professionals to take on this approach and new way of thinking and use it to guide learning strategies and get closer to the business.
This really is an exciting time to be in the learning industry. The Transformation Curve has arrived just in time for us to bring L&D back to life. Now it’s time to have a collective sigh of relief. The answer L&D has needed for the last decade has arrived. Let’s not waste it.