Peter Cheese CIPD Foreword to 2013 Towards Maturity Benchmark

by | Nov 5, 2013 | Articles

Foreword to the Towards Maturity Benchmark Report 2013, New Learning Agenda, by Peter Cheese, CEO, CIPD 

The nature of work and the working environment is changing rapidly. Job and skills needs are changing faster than ever before and, as a result, skills shortages and talent development have become top concerns for business leaders. Creating more agile and responsive organisations that can adapt to  take advantage of a rapidly changing context and marketplace has never been more important.

Furthermore, there is now a much stronger focus on creating more sustainable and aligned corporate cultures and behaviours in organisations. These changes provide the opportunity for learning functions to play a strategic role at the heart of the business. It is imperative they do, but are they there yet?
Celebrating its tenth year, the Towards Maturity 2013-14 sstudy shows that whilst there are signs of progress, there is still some way to go.

Over the last 10 ten years, 2,900 organisations from around the globe have taken part in the Towards Maturity Benchmark. The study tracks how the learning process and the learning function is changing and evolving, as well as the lessons to be learned from top learning organisations. Despite some progress and increasing use of technology, the findings this year show that the learning function generally is still lagging in innovation in how it delivers learning that creates better and more sustained outcomes in performance, and its use of the newer trends in technology such as social media.

Technology is driving change in business and it is forcing organisations to consider different ways of working and learning. This provides great opportunities for more sharing of tacit knowledge, for collaboration, for engagement and for responding to change more rapidly. But the evidence presented in this report highlights a current focus on technology more as a driver of efficiency. L&D needs to move beyond this and innovate and evolve more quickly. Bringing more courses online is not enough.
L&D clearly has a critical role to play in growing a true learning organisation. The study shows that L&D still needs to move beyond a remit and focus on delivering discreet events – be they face- to- face or online – and consider instead how to support a continual learning process that builds the confidence and capability of workers and improved business results for organisations. This is the broader strategic opportunity and challenge for the function.

The top learning companies identified in this study are developing new types of collaborations and relationships from top to bottom, and there is a clear alignment between learning professionals and business leaders with a common agenda to build agility and adaptability to address common business challenges.  Data and analytics are being use to make the case for investment in learning and innovation in building learning cultures, instead of assumptions about learners, learning styles and preferences.

It is exciting to see what can be done.

Our goal at the CIPD is to champion better work and working lives through improving people management and development practices. We welcome the New Learning Agenda outlined in this study as a framework for L&D, HR and business leaders to work together in new ways, in the midst of a rapidly evolving work context, to deliver great business results through engaged and motivated staff.

Peter Cheese, CEO, CIPD

Research team
Laura Overton, Genny Dixon
A copy of this report can be downloaded at www.towardsmaturity.org/2013benchmark
Previous studies in this series can be downloaded at http://tinyurl.com/TMbenchmark

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