From A to B: Improving Organisational Performance with Technology
Most of today’s learning leaders want to use technology to drive organisational performance. How do we leverage it more effectively to achieve results?
The vast majority of those who benchmarked their learning strategy last year wanted to use technology to improve organisational performance. This year, the numbers are even bigger. A whopping 95% of those who have completed the 2016 Benchmark so far identified this as a significant goal – a 10% rise from last year’s figure. It will be interesting to see if the percentage remains as high over the next few weeks, until the free benchmark season closes.
Technology is pivotal
Why are so many citing this as a top priority now? Firstly, L&D and technology have a somewhat chequered relationship. Technology moves so fast and there are so many innovations that have changed and are still changing how we work and learn that it is hard for L&D to keep up. The pace of technological change has been identified as a barrier for many – two in five participants, a similar figure to last year.
This may be our starting position but it’s clear that in 2016, L&D knows that it has to change – it has to keep up. Technology is critical to business success and to maintaining a competitive edge in today’s agile landscape. If you want to drive organisational performance, you have to understand what technology offers and how to leverage it in order to achieve results. However, getting from A to B is not just about the technology.
High performers understand business needs
L&D has to know what the business wants, how organisational performance can be improved through best use of technology and why. L&D has to be constantly talking to business leaders so that technology supports and drives organisational performance.
Our research on 2015 benchmarking data shows that the L&D leaders who work together with business leaders have much greater impact and that Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are much more likely to be met. Yet, our research also shows that less than a third (31%) of L&D leaders work up front with business leaders to identify the KPIs that need improving. This is about L&D aligning itself with the business, collaborating with business leaders and supporting performance.
Those 31% that are collaborating with business leaders to come up with KPIs report significant results. They are three times more likely to agree that line managers actively support learning back in the workplace and provide evidence on the extent to which learning has been applied. They are also four times more likely to measure KPIs when evaluating impact.
Access is vital
A quick look at the strategies deployed by Top Deck companies – those organisations that score in the top 10% in performance terms in the Towards Maturity Index – demonstrates how companies can improve organisational performance by leveraging technology properly.
Well over two thirds (84%) of Top Deck organisations help people find in-house experts when they need them, compared to 38% on average. They are forging ahead with mobile – 71% provide instant access to job aids via mobile devices, compared to 29% on average. Furthermore, 44% develop mobile apps to support learning and performance, compared to 16% on average.
Identify the actions that will fast-track your strategy to success
The very act of going through the benchmarking process, something that only takes an hour, highlights those areas where organisations could and need to improve their deployment of technology in order to drive organisational performance. According to 84% of last year’s benchmarking participants, the benchmark process alone gave them new ideas – that’s before they even received their personalised report.
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 then map out how to achieve it.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!
This year’s opportunity to benchmark for free ends July 15th, so make sure you schedule time to review your strategy!
Or find out more about the Towards Maturity Benchmark
Read more in our ‘A to B’ series:
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”