Research shows 29% of learning leaders are overwhelmed and under skilled

Feb 22, 2019 | Articles, Featured, General, Press Release, Resources

The Transformation Journey report reveals that in a time of constant change, L&D must use an evidence-based approach to work through the barriers to successful transformation.

The Transformation Journey marks the 15th anniversary of the company’s industry research, using data to understand where the L&D profession is today, key progress since 2004 and what steps it needs to take for the future.

“The focus this year is the fact that our community is faced with uncertainty”, says Laura Overton, founder of Towards Maturity. “Our focus is about helping people look at their data and their journey. L&D leaders must focus what they can do today that will help them prepare for tomorrow. We have designed the report to help people establish what works and what will give them a role for the future so that they can see clarity through the confusion.”

Through its research and analysis of 7,500 L&D leaders, and 50,000 workers and leaders in 30 sectors and 55 countries, Towards Maturity has been able to home in on both the success stories and the barriers to change. It found there are three big barriers to a successful learning strategy: digital disruption, cultural resistance and L&D capability.

Sarah Lindsell, Global Chief Learning Strategist at PwC, said the report shows that two things are particularly holding L&D back: a lack of real learning culture in organisations and resistance from managers. Almost a third (29%) of L&D professionals say managers are reluctant to make time for learning.

“These are two things people are struggling with”, says Lindsell. “It’s really hard when people say managers don’t create time for learning. The business must provide time for people to gain and practice skills in a safe environment. It’s also about L&D being willing and able to challenge the business and say, ‘If you want to shift the culture and get people reskilled, you have to create the environment for them to do so.’”

Transformation-Journey-reportThe report outlines that L&D should create a learning culture internally and externally, to overcome barriers and to bring all stakeholders with them on the journey of transformation. To operate in today’s digital world, L&D has to ensure is has the right in-house skills to create the much-needed shift in digital maturity. The Learning Health Check, conducted among 700 L&D global leaders, identified the learning technology trends. Organisations need to stay abreast of those trends and invest wisely.

The report shows that smart learning decisions make a real difference to business outcomes. For example, learning innovation is consistently delivering a minimum 9% improvement in outcomes leading to business growth, productivity, transformation and profit. According to these latest figures from participants, new tools, technologies and methods have led to:

  • Improved growth: measures of external customer satisfaction improved by 21%
  • Productivity: learning interventions increased productivity by 14%
  • Transformation: ability to change products and processes improved 28%
  • Profit: revenue increased by 11%, while costs decreased by 36%.

The Transformation Curve, signaled a major shift in focus. In order to help L&D leaders achieve the transformation it needs to accelerate progress. Needing to find out what was holding L&D back, The Transformation Journey builds on this new focus and digs deeper into why the S-curve is important and why L&D has to keep driving to the right of the curve.

The Transformation Journey is available to download at:



About Towards Maturity

Towards Maturity is an independent research company that provides expert advice and support to help organisations accelerate business performance through learning. It leverages the data of its longitudinal Benchmark Study, the largest learning strategy benchmark in the world. Since 2003, over 5,500 organisations and 35,000 learners have contributed to the Towards Maturity Benchmark.

Learn more about the Towards Maturity Benchmark and model at:

Thanks to the support of Towards Maturity’s Ambassadors, annual benchmarking findings, case studies and resources are available to download for free at

The Towards Maturity Ambassador Programme is made up of leading learning organisations. They work together as Ambassadors for change, identifying and improving good practice, raising awareness and driving the whole learning industry forward.

Towards Maturity Ambassadors include strategic partner the CIPD, publishing partner Emerald Group Publishing, the founding Ambassadors: Learning Technologies, LEO, Charity Learning Consortium, Acteon, Kallidus and Speexx, plus: Bray Leino Learning, Clear Lessons, Cognician, City and Guilds Kineo, CrossKnowledge, Degreed, Docebo, Dossier, DPG plc, getAbstract, GoodPractice, KPMG, Learning Pool, Lumesse, PurpleMedia, Raytheon Professional Services, Redware, Saba Software, Skillsoft and Workstar. Learn more about Towards Maturity’s Ambassadors at:

Towards Maturity is a part of the Emerald Group.

For further information,
please contact us:

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+44 (0)1274 785100

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Our Supporters also influence Towards Maturity's Health Check and research, providing insights on future trends and practices that should be investigated.

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