New Learning Agenda Part 1 – Why it is time to take alignment seriously!

by | Dec 11, 2013 | Articles

On November 7th Towards Maturity Launched ‘The New Learning Agenda’ outlining recommendations for the business and L&D professionals as a result of their 2013-14 Towards Maturity Benchmark. In the first of three articles, we take a look at the power of business alignment and how to pursue it.

We’ve been talking about alignment – L&D lining learning up with business priorities – for decades. In fact when we started researching effective L&D practices ten years ago, one of the characteristics that set top performing learning teams apart was the fact that they invested considerable resources to align their services and programme to business strategy wherever possible.

In fact, when it came to learning technologies, 94% of the top performing companies at the time used those business drivers to establish urgency and gain buy in for their e-learning strategy. That was ten years ago – what about now? How closely are L&D outputs aligned to business needs?

Since then over 2,900 organisations have participated in the Towards Maturity Benchmark™, with over 500 in the summer of this year. Alignment in today’s workplace means that the learning function needs to be able to respond rapidly to change. Delivering learning initiatives on time is critical for business, yet only 50% of organisations from this year’s study believe that their learning initiatives are delivered in time to meet the needs of the business. When it comes to supporting business critical change in organisations, only three-in-five organisations strongly agree that their learning initiatives support the skills businesses need and only a third are directly working with senior managers to identify specific business metrics to be improved through learning. Interestingly, these statistics have not changed significantly over the last five years.

What has changed is the hunger of L&D professionals to use technology to become more aligned with business needs rather than just cutting cost. For example over 93% of benchmark participants are now turning to learning technologies to help them respond faster to business change vs just 47% in 2008. 89% are now looking to roll out new products and processes vs just 40% in 2008.

Why it is time to take alignment seriously?…..

To read the rest of the article please download the pdf below. You will first need to login or register to join our research community.

Article originally appeared in Inside Learning Technologies & Skills October 2013

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