Training Journal Interview reveals the History and Values Behind Towards Maturity
In February, our CEO and Founder Laura Overton was featured in Training Journal’s ‘Spotlight On…’ series of interviews – if you’re curious about the history of Towards Maturity and how it has become an independent voice in the world of L&D, the article provides some key highlights in our journey and explains why Laura founded the organisation.
The Spotlight On… series has previously included some of our original Benchmark participants:Sarah Lindsell, (PwC) ,Dave Buglass (Tesco Bank) and key supporters like Andy Lancaster (CIPD),Nigel Paine and Martin Couzins (LearnPatch).
Each one is an inspiring read, honouring people who have innovated their way to success. Training Journal also reaches out to their connections and gathers quotes about the impact these people have had in their roles and on the industry.
Towards Maturity were proud to see our own founder spotlighted – the article provides a good overview of the journey we’ve been on in our mission to provide every L&D leader with easily accessible resources, case studies and solid evidence for changing the face of corporate learning.
Here’s a few facts included in the article that you may not have known…
- Linking Learning to Business, published in 2004, was the first report to include the perspectives of 2,000 learners and 16 L&D leaders – the first of its kind in the L&D industry.
- The research was picked up by the UK government and government-funded for the first four years, but an overnight change of policy caused a withdrawal of all funding.
- Thanks to the founding Ambassadors who immediately stepped in with financial support, Laura’s team was able to continue being a neutral, honest voice on what was happening in L&D. The free research programme is now supported by over 25 unique organisations!
- Towards Maturity has always focused on gathering L&D leaders and industry experts – driven by our inspiration from those who are really driving change and doing things differently
- Since 2003, the research has had input from over 4,500 L&D professionals from 55 countries, who have used the Benchmark to compare their strategy and strengthen their business case for learning innovation.
- We’ve also captured how 23,000 individuals learn for work (with or without L&D). We are determined to remain an independent, unbiased voice in the industry.
A section of the article, 360 review, included the perspectives of L&D leaders around the globe showing how far Towards Maturity’s research is now reaching:
“Laura’s work with Towards Maturity is real world, pragmatic, current and tangible, offering massive value for enterprises seeking to optimise people performance and capability…”
Mark Fenna-Roberts, ITC Learning Australasia
“Laura has…provided the workplace learning industry with the data it needs to set future direction…”
Piers Lea, Learning Technologies Group
“The Towards Maturity Benchmark Reports are now seen as an essential resource for L&D professionals.”
Mike Booth, Vodafone
“CIPD has been collaborating with Laura and the Towards Maturity team for several years now…the desire to really highlight where learning practitioners can develop and grow enables the rest of the profession to focus on the key areas for improvement, for ourselves, our organisations and our own people.”
Gill White, CIPD
Benchmark Your L&D Strategy
At Towards Maturity, we have identified six workstreams that characterise successful, high performing organisations. From these workstreams, we have developed a common framework of effective practice.
Benchmarking against that framework helps L&D pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of their own organisation, work out what needs to change and map out actions. In short, the Towards Maturity Benchmark is a structured framework that helps learning leaders under pressure identify the actions that will bring tangible results in the workplace. It helps you to work out how to get from A to B!
In order to achieve true and lasting transformation, organisations need to take it one step, one stage at a time, says Piers Lea, chief strategy officer at LEO and Learning Technologies Group plc, and a Towards Maturity ambassador. It’s also what the latest Towards Maturity benchmark report ‘The Transformation Curve’, says when it outlines the four stages of maturity – Optimising Training, Taking Control, Letting Go and Sharing Responsibility.
Read about the two things that Ken Govan, from our ambassadors Cegos, particularly likes about ‘The Transformation Curve’, the latest Towards Maturity benchmarking report.
Someone who knows a thing or two about transformation is John Helmer, Director of Marketing at Lumesse Learning. “There’s rapid disruption of business models in this digital age. As something is becoming mature, that’s the stage that you need to move towards the next development.”
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Jenny Lycett thinks it’s high time that everyone owns learning, not just the L&D department. “I think there are plenty of benefits from organisations seeing L&D as a shared responsibility and I think this is a huge change from what we’ve seen in the past,” she says.
Some avoid it like the plague, many are ambivalent and others embrace it fully. Whatever our position, we can’t avoid the L&D ‘F’ Word.
“When they revealed ‘The Transformation Curve’ and I saw how they had interpreted the data into a model of maturity, I was blown away,” says Stephanie, director of learning solutions at Bray Leino Learning and a Towards Maturity ambassador. “It left me feeling excited for the future of learning and development”