- Text size
Three factors underpin strong business performance in any organisation: an engaged workforce, the ability to continually implement change, and finding and nurturing the next generation ofleaders.
Success will also be influenced by a forward thinking learning and development function, able to work alongside us business leaders as an integral partner in supporting continual change.
But we cannot build tomorrow’s learning interventions based on the classroom training experiences of our past. The way we access social media and technology and the way that we consume news and information, all influence how we work today. The opportunities that organisations provide for learning must reflect these changes.
As business leaders, we have to let go of our embedded beliefs that classroom is the most effective means of delivering skills. Now, more than ever, we need to be able to access our learning quickly in digestible bite sized chunks and find support as and when we need it. The 2012 Towards Maturity Benchmark provides hard evidence that this type of approach can really deliver. Facts gleaned from over 700 organisations in the last 30 months demonstrate that technology enabled learning solutions can help us achieve our organisation goals faster. The study shows that it is possible to get staff up and running quicker and new processes, products or systems can be introduced faster and more efficiency. There is also evidence that organisations are also able to achieve higher employee engagement, increased customer loyalty and improved staff retention.
However, this report also highlights that success is not achieved by swapping classroom courses for bog standard e-learning courses (or PowerPoint on steroids!). The Towards Maturity Benchmark has been tracking effective learning practice amongst 2200 organisations over the last 9 years, and it is clear that top learning companies are bridging the gap between learning and work through strong working relationships between learning and business professionals and a collective openness to doing things differently.
It is clear that we cannot afford to continually obsess about the latest learning technology delivery vehicles. Successful organisations are using technology to apply innovative learning solutions to important business problems, opening up new channels of learning delivery and new opportunities of supporting performance when and where it is actually needed.
The best outcomes for learning will be delivered by a learning team who deeply understand business strategy and the required business outcomes. As business leaders we need to work with innovative thinkers who can present us with cost effective, engaging learning interventions that reflect the way in which a generation of staff at work want to learn today. The Towards Maturity Benchmark Study provides an opportunity for both business leaders and learning professionals to uncover fresh thinking that, once applied in our own organisations, can help us implement change and engage our staff at new levels.
I would urge learning professionals to take this evidence outlined in the 2012 Toward Maturity Study and use it to open up new conversations with business stakeholders. Use the study to help you to stay on top of your game through benchmarking with others. As business leaders we need you to make the most of the evidence available so that you can spot the next big thing that will make a difference to performance and change.
This study also has a message for business leaders. A talented Learning and Development function can clearly help us drive performance but they can only do this if they understand our strategies and missions at a deep level. This will not be achieved by sending emails! There are clear advantages available to those organisations that are open minded to learning innovation. The report highlights that, as leaders, we should expect more from our learning teams, encouraging them to look beyond the business and even the sector to continually uncover new ways supporting organisational goals and delivering business value.
Richard Beaven, Customer Services Director, General Insurance at Lloyds Banking Group
Registered users of the Towards Maturity Research Community can download Towards Maturity's Benchmark Report, Bridging the gap, free of charge below once you logged on. If you are not a registered user please register here.
- 2012 Benchmark FULL Report - Bridging the gap
- 2012 Benchmark Report - Executive Summary
- 2012 Benchmark Report - Longitudinal Trends