Challenge your thinking with articles exploring how to drive learning innovation forward.

Here you’ll find unique content that aims to inspire and challenge L&D leaders to drive learning innovation for business results.

The Great Training Robbery

The Great Training Robbery

According to research published by Harvard Business School (HBS), organisations across the globe are experiencing ‘The Great Training Robbery’ because the correct conditions and culture for learning are not in place. People are not ready and willing to change, and ultimately learn.

La Vie en Rose, does seeing ‘life in pink’ matter?

La Vie en Rose, does seeing ‘life in pink’ matter?

Learning can be defined in many ways, but most psychologists would agree that it is a relatively permanent change in behaviour that results from experience. The three major types of learning described by behavioural psychology are; classical conditioning, operant conditioning and observational learning. In order for learning to stick and becomes the new normal, all three types require self-driven will. Therefore, how people view the world through their lens matters.

Speexx gears up for annual Speexx Exchange conference in Berlin

Speexx gears up for annual Speexx Exchange conference in Berlin

It’s that time of year again—the annual Speexx Exchange conference in Berlin is right around the corner! This leading industry event on talent management practices brings together learning and development (L&D) practitioners from around the world for a full day of networking, sharing and learning.

We all have blind spots, why does being aware of yours add value?

We all have blind spots, why does being aware of yours add value?

When it comes to organisational culture, performance and learning, blind spots (or as they are often referred to ‘not seeing the light’) are usually found at the root of most of our problems with work today. These problems shape our day to day conversations, thinking, mood, judgement, decisions-making, or fundamental lack of them. These issues can make or break your workplace experience.

All you need is Evidence

All you need is Evidence

Every year over $400billion is spent on corporate learning globally, yet only 15% is proven to stick. Investments in learning are continuing to grow year on year but performance impact is not changing. The industry is still struggling to provide real proof of impact, in fact, for the first time our Index is tracking a significant decline. This is causing leaders to have low confidence levels in L&D.

The Towards Maturity Journey: FirstPort

The Towards Maturity Journey: FirstPort

Having clear evidence is a vital starting point in identifying where improvement is needed and backing up your business case for change. We spoke with Emma Smith, Head of Talent at FirstPort Limited, a residential property management company. She had used the Towards Maturity Learning Health Check in a previous role and has now brought this tool to her new organisation in order to help transform their workplace learning culture.

The Towards Maturity Journey: Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

The Towards Maturity Journey: Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

Towards Maturity Learning Health Check provides an ideal starting point for organisations wanting to improve their development, by giving clear evidence and comparisons with high-performing learning cultures. To get a real idea of how the Health Check has a proven business impact, we spoke with Robin Lilly, Capabilities and Leadership Development Director of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, to hear his experiences.

L&D – Evidence matters but there is an art to gaining buy-in!

L&D – Evidence matters but there is an art to gaining buy-in!

The L&D profession is under pressure to transform and become future-fit in order to stay ahead of the demands of work and workers. The profession is finding it hard to influence and allow their expertise to gain traction, with 78% of L&D professionals saying that their leaders have traditional expectations of L&D that are difficult to challenge.

Digital – Does evidence-based L&D matter?

Digital – Does evidence-based L&D matter?

Today, over 98% of organisations are on a mission to transform the impact of their learning strategy and the majority of L&D leaders are focusing on accelerating digital because they believe it holds the key to help more people increase their performance.

Case Study: Best Learning Technologies Project 2018 (UK commercial Sector)

Case Study: Best Learning Technologies Project 2018 (UK commercial Sector)

In 2018, 93% of learning practitioners wanted to increase employee engagement with learning, but only 27% were successful. With less than a third meeting this goal, it is important to explore how an exemplar organisation turned their learning strategy on its head to achieve just that. Read more about how Mitchells & Butlers teamed up with Kineo to become Gold award winners at Learning Technologies Awards 2018.

3 old habits that L&D need to leave behind

3 old habits that L&D need to leave behind

We have reached a pivotal point in the development of the L&D industry, where we need to make some hard decisions and critical changes if we are to remain effective. The actions we are taking at present, are often ineffective as they rarely create any lasting business impact.

3 secrets for ensuring behaviour change

3 secrets for ensuring behaviour change

The point of learning in the workplace is to ultimately establish and develop skills within learners that help organisations to adapt and thrive. Saying that, with only 15% of L&D professionals reporting to have noticed positive changes in staff behaviour, it is clear that the extent to which learning is having an impact on subsequent actions is insufficient.1 The very nature of the L&D role is to instill new knowledge and behaviours into learners which they can apply in order to do their jobs more efficient and effectively. But at present this is lacking. So how do we ensure the behaviour of our learners change and learning is applied in practice?

3 fresh ideas to reinvigorate busy learners

3 fresh ideas to reinvigorate busy learners

Every day your employees face dozens of clients, managers, reports and projects competing for their attention. With 55% of workers saying they lack time to learn, it is clear that we need to apply some fresh forward-thinking to recapture the attention of the learners and revive their passion for learning.

Women in Work and Learning

Women in Work and Learning

A spotlight on insights gathered surrounding female learners in the workplace. Through an analysis of over 10,000 work-place learners, it is apparent that there are three key areas where women differ from their male counterparts.

How can L&D influence learning culture? – LT Exchange 2019

How can L&D influence learning culture? – LT Exchange 2019

With only 23% of learning practitioners successfully developing a learning culture within their organisation, it is clear more needs to be done to help inform the industry on how they can meet this goal. The first in our LT Exchange 2019 blog series, sharing the highlights from this year’s event.

Professionalising learning and development: The CIPD’s new Profession Map and key L&D development needs

Professionalising learning and development: The CIPD’s new Profession Map and key L&D development needs

In a world in which the nature of work, the workplace and workforce are changing at a relentless pace, organisations must respond to change. In the context of such rapid change Learning and Development (L&D) functions play a vital role. The transformation of organisations demands the transformation of L&D practitioners, however many L&D teams are struggling to change.

Analyst Angle: Pivot points of change

Analyst Angle: Pivot points of change

The most significant pivot point of change is at the centre of the curve as organisations move from left to right.  This marks the fundamental shift of L&D from producer to enabler, from delivering courses to enabling organisational change.

Analyst Angle: Fifteen years of isolating the facts from the hype

Analyst Angle: Fifteen years of isolating the facts from the hype

This year marks Towards Maturity’s 15th anniversary, over which time our research programme has gathered longitudinal evidence from all stakeholders in the learning process; allowing participants to understand how decisions in the past have affected the present, to make informed recommendations for the future.

The Coaching Culture Story Revealed by Learner Intelligence

The Coaching Culture Story Revealed by Learner Intelligence

Qantas Airway, the flag carrier airline of Australia, is on a learning transformation journey.  Michelle Ockers, an expert learning analyst, worked with Qantas as an independent strategic advisor in 2017.  She utilised the Learner Intelligence programme to help Qantas identify how they could create a modern and engaging learner experience.

Measuring the benefits of your communication and learning & development strategy

Measuring the benefits of your communication and learning & development strategy

Measuring the benefits of L&D and comms initiatives remains a challenge. Just one in eight learning and development professionals1 believe their organization measures the return on investment of learning programmes. Success can be measured either through quantitative measurement or qualitative change, but whatever approach is chosen, effective measurement is vital to ensure L&D and comms strategies are delivering on objectives and attract future investment.

Boost workforce development through microlearning

Boost workforce development through microlearning

Micro-learning delivers learning nuggets in easily digestible, bite-sized chunks. Learners can access micro-learning as they need it, on the job. Industry expert Josh Bersin describes micro-learning as an ‘amazing innovation’, explaining that microlearning platforms now let you manage the proliferation of video, assessment, and other small content objects with tools for curation, tracking, recommendations, and AI-based prescriptive learning”.

Learning Technologies Awards 2018

Learning Technologies Awards 2018

A huge congratulation to all the winners and nominees at the 2018 Learning Technologies Awards, held on Wednesday night in London. We were delighted to join in the celebrations on the night and get together with so many members of the learning and development community!

Top Tips for Building Habits

Top Tips for Building Habits

As learning professionals, we want to design interventions that lead to lasting change. Shifting behaviour involves a process that continues long after the programme finishes. Our research has shown that mature learning organisations are more successful at integrating learning and work, but they don’t abandon formal learning. One of their strategies is to design learning campaigns and programmes that build and encourage new habits.

Organisations need to take Transformation One Step at a Time

Organisations need to take Transformation One Step at a Time

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. It’s also what the ‘The Transformation Curve’, says when it outlines the four stages of maturity – Optimising Training, Taking Control, Letting Go and Sharing Responsibility.

Where is the inflection point?

Where is the inflection point?

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.” 

It’s high time that everyone owns learning

It’s high time that everyone owns learning

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.

‘The Transformation Curve’ provides the future roadmap for L&D

‘The Transformation Curve’ provides the future roadmap for L&D

“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”

The Road to Transformation is Not Straightforward

The Road to Transformation is Not Straightforward

Something that Clive Shepherd really likes about ‘The Transformation Curve’ is the fact it highlights that the road to transformation is not a straightforward, predictable or smooth one. “The report recognises that progress occurs in waves,” says Clive, founding partner at the learning organisation, More Than Blended.

Small Steps Leading to Real Change

Small Steps Leading to Real Change

“Small steps leading to real change” is what Martin Baker, CEO and founder of The Charity Learning Consortium says about our report ‘The Transformation Curve’. One of the key messages of the report is that transformation happens in stages and that organisations have to keep taking small steps in the right direction.

The Transformation Curve Webinar

The Transformation Curve Webinar

At the beginning of this year we launched our latest research report The Transformation Curve, now we present a webinar that delves deeper into findings. Catch up on Laura Overton and The Learning and Skills Group webinar from Thursday 5th April 2018. Make 2018 your...

How to align learning with the business

How to align learning with the business

How to align learning with the business is a constant and evolving question for L&D professionals and it’s a question that Krystyna Gadd of How to Accelerate Learning helped to answer during her session at the Learning Technologies 2018 speaker exchange.

The New-Year e-results quiz!

The New-Year e-results quiz!

The late, great Dutch footballer, Johan Cruyff once said, Quality without results is pointless. Results without quality is boring.  As we slip into 2018 this is an excellent place to turn our thoughts to our own e-learning. However beautiful our company strategy, is...

LT 2018 – The Exchange Programme

LT 2018 – The Exchange Programme

Join global experts and practitioners to uncover practical tips for improving your learning strategy. The eXchange programme provides a free opportunity to join Informal, face-to-face group discussions with the top conference speakers at Learning Technologies on 31st...

3 ways technology can help build business agility

3 ways technology can help build business agility

Learning technologies are here to stay, so it’s time we got smarter in the way we are using them. Our learner voice research with over 5000 workers  shows that 7 in 10 learners want to do their job faster and better. Is technology helping you do this and if not, why?...

Be BOLD with your internal communications 

Be BOLD with your internal communications 

For any department looking to deliver and embed change and transformation, effective internal communications are essential. Here’s 10 tips to get you on right path and some BOLD suggestions from those who joined us at last month’s CLC Member Meeting.

From data to ta-da!

From data to ta-da!

Everybody’s talking about it and nobody wants to miss out. It has the potential to disrupt business, automate jobs, create competitive advantage and to transform learning. But data is also scary. The jargon associated with data is mind-blowing and bewildering, from...

Driving the new learning organisation

Driving the new learning organisation

In this article Laura Overton walks you through the state of play today and the principals behind the concept of the ‘New Learning Organisation’ – first introduced by Senge in 1990.

How to make your L&D strategy more responsive and relevant

How to make your L&D strategy more responsive and relevant

In our 2016-17 Learning Benchmark Report, Unlocking Potential, we unpacked five key outcomes that learning and business leaders are looking to deliver: improving efficiency, fine-tuning processes, boosting performance, cultivating agility and influencing culture. Our...

5 ways to boost performance through learning

5 ways to boost performance through learning

This year’s Learning Benchmark Report, Unlocking Potential, presents our research around five key outcomes: improving efficiency, fine-tuning processes, boosting performance, cultivating agility and influencing culture, that both learning leaders and business leaders are looking to deliver

Why measuring learning impact is more important than ever

Why measuring learning impact is more important than ever

Learning professionals should be playing a vital role in helping people and organisations thrive in times of change. However, to do this, they must be agile. This article, by LEO’s Imogen Casebourne and Gareth Jones, and Watershed’s Andrew Downes, explains the importance of measuring the impact of learning on business.

What not to miss at the 2017 CIPD L&D Show

What not to miss at the 2017 CIPD L&D Show

Is learning at the core of your organisation? We give our recommended picks of the show to help you create a schedule that will make the most of this two-day event. The Learning and Development Show is a great place to get informed on the latest developments and...

Unlocking the Potential of Learning at Work

Unlocking the Potential of Learning at Work

The way in which we acquire and assimilate information has changed in recent years, through technology as well as the rapidly changing world of work. The demand for skills, knowledge and capabilities is high, and removing learners from the workplace to attend formal learning courses isn’t always practical or feasible.

Why classroom facilitators play a critical role in digital innovation

Why classroom facilitators play a critical role in digital innovation

The classroom facilitator has a critical role to play in unlocking the potential of digital learning. But are they doing it? In this feature, we look at how L&D is incorporating digital learning and why, along with the role of classroom facilitators in the design, implementation and acceptance of that learning.

What skills are needed by L&D professionals in 2017?

What skills are needed by L&D professionals in 2017?

How can you remain relevant and, more importantly, competent, when faced with an avalanche of constant change? While shifts happen slowly and incrementally within the world of L&D outside change is moving fast and this contrast creates anxiety for L&D professionals...

How to create effective learning transfer

How to create effective learning transfer

Learning transfer is key to ensure that there is behavioural change in the workplace so that people can do whatever is needed when they get back to the work. There is a need to avoid the training sessions where people may have got the knowledge, but not the change for when they are back at work.

How to start and grow internal networks

How to start and grow internal networks

Networking has always been a source of real value to organisations. Networks are so much more adaptable to change than rigid structures, and technology can amplify and enable existing networks. However, if you don’t give people the reason to connect and collaborate, there can be resistance to ‘yet another’ technology – ‘it’s just one more thing to do’.

Get your L&D strategy fit for 2017

Get your L&D strategy fit for 2017

With 2017 well and truly underway, we’re offering everyone the chance to get the best start to 2017 with a free Personalised Benchmark Report and a chance to win £1,000 worth of Sector Benchmark Group membership at LT17!

Our Ultimate Guide to Learning Technologies 2017

Our Ultimate Guide to Learning Technologies 2017

Towards Maturity will be at stand H24 of the Learning Technologies Exhibition this year. Read on to find out what we’re up to, download our Ultimate Guide and be in for a chance to win £1,000 worth of Sector Benchmark Group membership at the show.

Industry Responses to Unlocking Potential

Industry Responses to Unlocking Potential

On 17 November, we launched our annual Learning Benchmark Report – Unlocking Potential. At the VIP preview, we asked people how the insights shared in this year’s report can help businesses get more out of learning. Hear what they have to say and see who’s blogged about the report so far.

Our Recommended Christmas Reading 2016

Our Recommended Christmas Reading 2016

Here are some last minute stocking fillers penned by our wonderful Towards Maturity Supporters for all L&D professionals looking to push the boundaries in 2017. Feel free to share! Performance-Focused Smile Sheets: A Radical Will Thalheimer  In this book, Will...

From A to B: How to Transform Formal Learning

From A to B: How to Transform Formal Learning

This guide will give you clear guidance about how to do three things: improve the learner journey through formal learning, use technology to improve the effectiveness of face-to-face training and design formal learning to speed up the application of learning.

What Not to Miss at this Year’s World of Learning

Towards Maturity are proud to support the World of Learning Show that takes place on 19-20 October 2016 at the NEC, Birmingham. In this guide, we feature what caught our attention as we took a look through the broad range of sessions on offer.

From A to B: Creating a strategy that supports learning in the workflow

From A to B: Creating a strategy that supports learning in the workflow

Early indicators from this year’s Benchmark show that L&D leaders want to support staff where it matters most – directly in the workplace. The vast majority (91%) of those who benchmarked early this year are looking to integrate learning into the workflow. That is a rise up from 80% last year- so how do we make that work?

The Millennial Challenge: Can We Make Them Stay?

The Millennial Challenge: Can We Make Them Stay?

The average Millennial employee only stays with a single employer for an average of three years. A business that isn’t making the most of the opportunities that this bright new talent provides will ultimately fall behind, so being able to overcome the Millennial challenge is vital. What can L&D do?

Practitioner Tips from the CIPD L&D show

Practitioner Tips from the CIPD L&D show

Preparing for the future of learning – Practitioner tips from the CIPD L&D show
At the CIPD L&D show last month Laura Overton (Towards Maturity) and Derek Bruce (ABN AMRO) discussed how L&D staff can prepare for the future of learning. The L&D profession has come a long way in the past five years. We are better able to create engaging online content, more aware of technology enabled learning, and are working to ensure they are more aligned to the needs of the business. Still, there is more to be done, and we as L&D know it.

9 Top Deck Tips to Prepare You for the Future of Learning

9 Top Deck Tips to Prepare You for the Future of Learning

Modern Business is becoming more global, fast paced, complex and fluid. Modern staff are increasingly connected, curious, tech-savvy and self directed. Are today’s L&D teams prepared for what that means for learning in the future? Here’s 9 tips inspired by Top Deck L&D teams.

What Not to Miss at the CIPD L&D Show 2016

Read on for our recommended stops at the fast approaching CIPD Learning & Development Show at London Olympia. We highlight some of the best bits coming up – here’s what not to miss and where you can find great giveaways. If you’re looking to make the most of your valuable time at the show, we’ve got the schedule for you.

Learning Impact: A Progress Update

Learning Impact: A Progress Update

Making an impact with learning and development has been the bedrock of our research programme since 2003. How can L&D impact both organisational and business performance and what are the tactics of the most successful organisations?

How To Improve our Performance Consultancy Skills: Key Takeaways from the CLC Seminar

Nigel Harrison is a performance consultant with over 30 years’ experience in helping organisations to set up internal consulting groups using workshops, coaching and problem solving. At the CLC Members’ Seminar on 17 March 2016, we were inspired by his thoughts on how to improve performance consulting skills. Aimee Young writes about how learning leaders can challenge the ‘quick fix’ syndrome when being asked to come up with business solutions.

The Four Responsibilities of the Learning Professional

A note from Laura Overton: ” We invited Clive Sheperd, author of More than Blended Learning to share this guest blog as part of our #MakeItHappen campaign. Clive has been a long-standing supporter of Towards Maturity providing independent insights that have ensured our reseach continues to evolve. We wholeheartedly endorse the challenges he is making to the industry and establishing a professional attitude is an essential element of equipping our teams for change’

Towards Maturity Impact Indicators

Towards Maturity Impact Indicators

Everyone is talking about using learning innovation to help deliver more with less but how does your approach compare with others? Does it really deliver? Here is the history behind the Towards Maturity Impact indicators, along with 3 tips for using them to build business buy-in.

Building a Global Learning Culture

Building a learning culture that impacts individual and business performance is the holy grail of most L&D leaders. How do we shift the mindset of business leaders and learners- especially when they are scattered around the globe? How do we transition from delivering online courses to creating an environment that stimulates sharing, communication and learning as a matter of course?

Make an Impact in 2016: Starting with LT16

If you want to know how to make an impact in 2016 - check out what Towards Maturity are up to at Learning Technologies. Despite the fact nine out of ten learning professionals are looking to transform learning culture and improve business agility, productivity and...

Adventitious Learning at Café Africa

As a part of Towards Maturity’s world tour for 2015, we had the pleasure of participating at LRMG’s Café Africa event. Held in Mauritius, it was a great venue for bringing great people together.

Congratulations to the 2015 E-learning Awards Winners!

We booked out a table to celebrate with the L&D industry’s finest in 2015. Over 700 guests gathered last night at the e-learning awards to celebrate the very best of learning for work. After an evening of riské comedy intros and a lot of epic music, we were informed on the winners drawn from the biggest ever shortlist of 145 projects.

7 Mindset Shifts on Learning from the CLC Conference

We joined the Charity Learning Consortium and over 100 charity sector L&D professionals for their annual conference and awards ceremony at the Grange City Hotel in London. Each presenter challenged us to think differently about our role as L&D leaders. Here are 7 key mindset shifts that L&D needs to make based on the things presented throughout the day.

Embracing Change: The L&D Leader’s Perspective

Dave Buglass, Head of Capability and Learning at Tesco Bank ‘The most significant question for an HR professional to ask a business leader is, “How can I help you deliver what’s really important to the business?”’

Most Businesses Not Yet Benefiting From Technology-Enabled Ethics and Compliance Training

London, UK: Today, Towards Maturity announced the findings of a new study sponsored by SAI Global, which found that despite an environment of record regulatory enforcements and personal liability for senior executives, most organisations are still applying a check-box approach to ethics and compliance training and failing to achieve the business goals they set out. This raises serious considerations for companies as they implement their programmes, with ethics and compliance failures continuing to dominate headlines.

The 3 Needs of Corporate Learning, Part 3: L&D Team Needs

In the lead up to the launch of the 2015 Towards Maturity Benchmark Report on 5th November, we’ll be exploring three areas of need for corporate learning that have emerged from the data we’ve analysed this year. They are the needs of the business, its learners and its L&D leaders.

9 Takeaways from DevLearn 2015

We hit the ground running in Las Vegas at the end of September as we joined 2,800 L&D professionals at DevLearn for the first time. Marnie Threapleton and I started the Towards Maturity world tour in this crazy town in the middle of the desert.

The 3 Needs of Corporate Learning, Part 2: Learner Needs

In the lead up to the launch of the 2015 Towards Maturity Benchmark Report on 5th November, we’ll be exploring three areas of need for corporate learning that have emerged from the data we’ve analysed this year. They are the needs of the business, its learners and its L&D leaders.

The 3 Needs of Corporate Learning, Part 1: Business Needs

In the lead up to the launch of the 2015 Towards Maturity Benchmark Report on 5th November, we’ll be exploring three areas of need for corporate learning that have emerged from the data we’ve analysed this year. They are the needs of the business, its learners and its L&D leaders.

10 Hidden Secrets of Top Performing L&D Teams

Accelerated change, moving technologies, globally diverse audiences, increasing demand. We’ve been talking about these and other pressures that senior L&D leaders face for decades. The trouble is that the pressures are not going away. Today’s L&D leaders must align learning to needs, move quickly to improve performance, and add value. They are increasingly looking to technology to help. 

Press: Towards Maturity Announces New 70:20:10 Performance Improvement Benchmarks

Since 2003, the Towards Maturity Benchmark Study™ has provided L&D leaders with confidential, individual feedback to improve the performance of their organisation, staff and L&D team. Now, the Personalised Benchmark Report™ received by all benchmark participants will include brand new indicators to demonstrate the extent to which L&D functions are implementing the 70:20:10 framework in their organisation.

Bringing Learning to the Boardroom

Many L&D leaders today struggle to engage the C-level in their organisations, meaning that it can be difficult to get learning on the boardroom agenda. Here are crowdsourced ideas from L&D leaders on how to use evidence more effectively to bring the subject of learning into the boardroom.

GiveBackUK: An Interview with Martin Baker

How do you help the overwhelming majority of charities that have no budget whatsoever for L&D? You create free resources for them! That’s what Martin Baker is doing – he spoke to us about GivebackUK, the not for profit organisation he’s masterminded to create free, high quality video learning especially for the third sector.

What is Influencing the Future of L&D?

You are wrong if you are expecting me to start crystal-ball gazing to identify the future shape of corporate learning and development. At Towards Maturity, we’re in the privileged position of being able to share some early insights into real evidence of how L&D leaders see the future unfolding.

Why Analytics Trumps Intuition in Today’s L&D

From a business perspective, the focus on data-driven decision making is big news. Research from MIT and IBM[1] showed that analytics trumped intuition every time with top performers five times more likely to be using analytics than low performers.

Fortune Favours the Bold! How L&D Can Open New Conversations with Business

Aligning learning with business is the hot topic in learning and development. L&D leaders have got a vision for modernising learning and achieving great things, but many business leaders still think we are there to take orders for courses. Armed with new models of learning and new tools proven to the do the job, it is time to challenge their assumptions. This article explores how we can summon the courage to do it.

Optimising L&D Performance

Everyone is talking about it – DATA! Big data, little data, HR, talent learning analytics of every kind. You name it, somebody somewhere is counting it. But why the big fuss?

Is Your Compliance Training Holding You Back?

Review your compliance training programmes in just 15 minutes or less. Get Started [This opportunity closes 12 May 2015]. Since 2012, 85% of L&D leaders are proving learning to staff to help their organisations comply with external regulations and legal requirements. 58% of those organisations are using technology to support their compliance-related training, but with variable success.

5 Ways to Improve Your Onboarding Using Blended Learning

It’s as true for learning as anywhere else: first impressions count. If you’re recruiting new team members, you want to ensure that the support you offer them sets the right tone from the very beginning. You want them to feel that they have made a great decision to join you – and their onboarding process plays a huge part in that. Yet all too often, it fails to make the necessary impact.3

Infographic: The DNA of a Top Deck L&D Team

The 2014 Towards Maturity Benchmark takes a fresh look at the learning leaders – the Top Deck (those in the top 10% of the Towards Maturity Index). Across the board, these organisations are more than twice as likely to achieve the benefits they seek from a modernised learning strategy and report 35% fewer barriers than their peers.

More Than Blended Learning

Thursday, January 15th 2015 saw the launch of More Than Blended Learning, a portfolio of resources and services aimed at learning professionals looking to design world-class learning interventions.

Two Great Seminars You Missed at LT15

If you want to work smart and refine your strategy this year, these great seminars will help you find the right ideas, goals and tactics to bring you success in 2015. If you missed them, check out the slides below.

L&D Benchmarks: Discover the Actions that Get Results

At the start of 2015 our thoughts turn to preparing for the year ahead. L&D leaders around the globe are clearly concerned about they add value; how can they support rapid change in business and respond faster to it, ensuring that their teams are equipped for excellence?

Our Definitive Guide to Learning Technologies 2015

Our 2014-15 Benchmark Modernising Learning: Delivering Results shows that learning innovation done well delivers bottom line results. There is no better way to find out how to do this than booking a few days out to visit Learning Technologies show in London on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th January.

Brand New Event for LT15: Generate

Learn about a new event for the Learning Technologies 2015 exhibition in London Olympia, where delegates will gather to generate new ideas & solutions to help modernise learning at work. 

12 Top Deck Tips for Christmas

Find out what our Top Deck – the top 10% of L&D organisations who are delivering the biggest results from this year’s annual benchmark report Modernising Learning:Delivering Results – do better than anyone else to achieve success.

Senior L&D Leaders React to the 2014 Benchmark Findings

On 30th October, LEO and Towards Maturity collaborated in an exclusive pre-launch event to release the report’s results a week early to senior L&D leaders. The responses collected in this event were included in the final report, contributing more valuable insights into the industry and providing practical and actionable tips.

“The Learning Challenge” by Nigel Paine

In his recent book1 Nigel Paine looks at The Learning Challenge. We invited him to comment on the Towards Maturity 2014-15 Benchmark Report. In this guest blog, he explores 5 areas of synergy with the findings of the Towards Maturity 2014 Benchmark Report:

New Study Launch on Leadership Development

Nurturing great leadership skills is critical to the future success of all organisations. In a bid to save both time and money, innovative online leadership development programmes have become increasingly popular – but how effective are they?

Congratulations to the 2014 e-Learning Award Winners

Over 550 guests gathered last night at the glorious e-learning awards to celebrate the industry’s finest. Following fine champagne and excellent company (with a side order of smoking lemons), we at last found out who were the winners from a staggering shortlist of 129 amazing projects.

New City & Guilds Kineo Learning Insights Report

Modernising learning means that we need to focus on learning outcomes, rather than inputs. It involves adapting to new ways of business, incorporating new ideas and methods and building on new opportunities offered by technology.

Towards Maturity’s Guide to World of Learning 2014

Join Laura Overton at World of Learning (Birmingham NEC, 31st September – 1st October) as she shares how to align learning to business. Don’t miss some of the top learning companies in Towards Maturity Benchmark who will be sharing their experiences in the conference. There is a special discount for TM Benchmark Participants.

Benchmark with the Best: Deliver Award-Winning Results

Awards brighten up the year and provide us with plenty of inspiration for the year ahead. The Awards Season kicks off in November with the E-Learning awards, followed swiftly by Training Journal then LPI’s The Learning Awards, timed perfectly to lift the January blues!

How benchmarking boosts results in the charity sector

Members of the Charity Learning Consortium have been using the Towards Maturity Model since 2010, as an independent framework to review their current learning practices and compare their results with their peers, both within the sector and beyond.  This process not only highlighted common challenges faced amongst members, but also areas of effective practices that needed to be addressed. 

Making the most of the Learning Technology Summer Forum

The Learning Technologies 2014 Summer Forum is the unique follow-up event to Learning Technologies 2014 and will take place at Olympia 2 on 17th June 2014. Here is our summary of our thoughts on the best conference sessions, free resources and seminars! OK a bit biased but hopefully useful none the less!

New Learning Agenda Part 3: Customer Activated Learning

In November 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 3rd part of the series, published by Inside Learning Technologies in January 2014, we look at why L&D need to shift to customer activated learning before it is too late!

How to future proof your L&D strategy

To celebrate ten years since the launch of the first Benchmark Study, Laura Overton, Managing Director of Towards Maturity spoke at the 2014 Learning Technology Show on How to future proof your L&D strategy.

The 12 days of e-Learning….

At Hanover Housing Association, for example, when faced with a cost prohibitive bill for bespoke e-Learning, the L&D team decided to equip themselves so they could create their own e-Learning instead. They saved themselves a massive £80,000 in the process – an amount which grows with each course they create. That’s an incredible achievement.

Learning Technologies eXchanges 2014

Online booking is now open for the eXchanges, a unique, free opportunity to get up close and personal with the speakers at the Learning Technology 2014 event on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th January 2014.

5 reasons not to miss ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN

If you haven’t attended ONLINE EDUCA in Berlin before you won’t realise what you have missed! It is the largest online learning event in Europe and the only one that brings together the corporate, education and public service sectors.

New Infographic looking at L&D in the Finance Sector

Take a look at this new infographic that highlights how the Finance Sector are embracing learning technologies compared with top Learning companies in the Towards Maturity Benchmark. Data has been taken from the Spotlight on Finance Sector report released in May.

Accessible, inclusive mobile learning for all

The mobile opportunity. In the modern workplace, mobile devices provide a tangible option for completing every kind of business task. And we know the power of the mobile for supporting learning and performance.

7 characteristics of highly aligned L&D departments

This workshop, conducted at the L&S Summer Forum June 2013, considered the characteristics of highly aligned L&D departments as defined by the new Towards Maturity In-Focus report Aligning Learning to Business (download at ).

13 reasons not to miss the L&S Summer Forum

Looking for new ways to engage your business with learning? Check out our recommendations for the L&S group Summer Forum. If you haven’t had a moment to register for the L&S Summer Forum on the 18th of June then do it now!

Are you ready to win an award? Benchmarking can help!

Entering awards provides a great opportunity to reflect on your journey so far and to shout about your successes. The awards process itself provides an opportunity to informally benchmark, which helps us raise our game and the game of those around us. But how do you know you are ready?

The LMS of “Now” and how you can leverage it

Driven by the rapidly changing way the people learn in the workplace today, Learning Management Systems have had to keep pace and change in their design and capability to deliver what today’s learner is asking for.

Catching up with #LT13UK eXchanges

Did you miss the Learning Technologies and Learning & Skills Group eXchanges at Olympia this year? Don’t worry. We’ve been capturing the conference speakers and participants top tips in a series of blogs that will be published in the first few weeks of Feburary.

Bright Ideas from Towards Maturity’s Ambassadors

Towards Maturity’s Ambassadors play an important role in ensuring that our independent research is freely available to all. They are also thought leaders in our industry with years of experience supported by industry awards and accolades behind them.

Perspectives on Learning Technologies

Towards Maturity’s latest – its sixth – annual learning technology Benchmark Study reveals that the top companies, in terms of corporate learning, are achieving substantial additional benefits through deploying technology in learning.

Learning Technologies eXchanges 2013

There are still some places left on eXchanges, a unique, free opportunity to get up close and personal with the speakers at this year’s Learning Technology event. Online booking is now closed but you can visit stand 99 at Learning Technologies or stand 312 at Learnign and Skills to book a place on the 29th or 30th of January 2013.

Business Leader Perspective – Towards Maturity 2012 Benchmark

Take a look at out what two senior business leaders, Richard Beaven, Customer Services Director, General Insurance at Lloyds Banking Group and Dr Chai Patel CBE FRCP, Chairman of HC-One,  are saying about the need to transform learning for business advantage. Share the articles with your business leaders. 

Implementing the 70:20:10 model

Towards Maturity Benchmarks over recent years have clearly shown that top learning departments, who are delivering the most value for money and business improvement, are more likely to be embracing new models of learning delivery.

Improve your learning technology results with free finance sector benchmark briefing

Towards Maturity would like to invite senior Learning & Development professionals, Organisational Development specialists and Talent Leaders in the finance sector to a new exclusive briefing. The event, the first sector specific briefing of its type, will detail the learning technologies benchmark data of 200 finance sector companies from Towards Maturity’s Benchmark Study over the last two years.

Using learning technologies to support the end customer

Earlier this year, Brightwave hosted a debate at Learning Technologies called Heads in the Cloud, which explored how learning content strategies need to evolve in the workplace to meet current performance demands. Here we explore some of the debate findings and what it means for the way organisations support the end customer.

E-learning awards 2012 – the winners

Nearly 500 people gathered to celebrate e-learning excellence at Thursday evening’s glittering E-Learning Awards Gala Evening in London where a record 43 bronze, silver and gold awards handed out.


Laura Overton, MD of Towards Maturity will be one of the speakers at this year’s LEARNING LIVE Event hosted by the Learning and performance Institute in London on the 12th and 13th of September.

UK elearning community benefits from Towards Maturity benchmark

3rd July 2012, London: Members of the UK’s largest elearning community, the eLearning Network, are benefiting from the annual Towards Maturity learning benchmark study. Now it is urging other organisations to participate as part of its ongoing ‘Campaign for Effective Elearning’.

6 tips to ENGAGE Line Managers with learning

At the LSG Online conference this morning, we considered how the top L&D performers ( measured by the Towards Maturity Benchmark) engage with line managers to embed new ways of learning and improve learning transfer.

What are people saying about the 2012 Towards Maturity Benchmark?

 The 2012 Towards Maturity Benchmark is now the largest independent study of its kind, with 1800 organisations participating around the world since 2003.  This year it has been honed and refined with the latest thinking from the industry’s top experts to help you reflect on L&D in your own organisation.

Top tips for encouraging social learning at work

Sitting down with Wallace and Gromit, the kids, and lots of Easter chocolate offers a great opportunity to put pen to paper for the Towards Maturity newsletter. Though nowadays it’s rarely pen to paper – more like fingers to keypad, which is just another example of how technology quickly becomes deeply embedded in everyday activities.

Collaborate to succeed in L&D

According to research, learning technologies are being embraced by organisations like never before. Fantastic! In the bid to do ‘more for less’ this makes perfect economic sense.

Sector benchmarks help you build performance

Spotlight – the new Sector Benchmarks, announced by Towards Maturity in January 2012 – have been launched in response to widespread demand for an analysis that drills deeper into the practical issues within individual business sectors. Industries covered in the initial tranche of ‘Spotlight’ reports include:

Mastering live online learning

Delegates from across the private, public and not for profit sectors, joined us today in a complimentary webinar supported by REDTRAY where we discussed the results of the UK’s first research into virtual classroom training: ‘Harnessing the power of live online learning’, delivered in partnership by REDTRAY and Towards Maturity.

Atos makes compliance pay

1Atos makes workstation compliance simple to implement by seamless integration from learning, tests, workplace assessment, through to monitoring and solving issues raised by individuals.

The eLearning Awards 2011

The e-learning Awards winners were announced on the 10th of November.
Towards Maturity (good practice partner for the e-learning awards) would like to congratulate all the e-learning award winners.

Harnessing live online learning

In our 2011 benchmark we found that three quarters of organisations are now using some form of live online learning environments but how are they being used and what can we learn from each other’s experiences?

Management learning goes according to Plan

Plan, one of the largest international development charities in the World, reports continuing success with its management development programme, with more than 250 staff now having entered the programme. 

Mobile learning for the NHS- lessons for all

In the 2011 Towards Maturity Benchmark Study we are for the first time including an investigation on the challenges and benefits of mobile learning in supporting workplace performance.  We would love to know your views and invite you to participate!

Brightwave Interview with Laura Overton

Towards Maturity’s workplace learning expert Laura Overton has appealed to Learning and Development (L&D) professionals to re-assess current orthodoxies and seize opportunities for learners to connect, share and communicate with each other in the latest instalment of Brightwave’s ‘What a difference’ video series.

HR & L&D challenged to reduce silos and embrace change

Thomas Otter, Research Vice President of Gartner, keynoting at Plateau Insights Europe 2011, the European edition of Plateau’s talent management user conference, provided a number of challenges to leaders who are working in the Talent management and learning fields to take notice of the flood of opportunity that the current technology and economic climate is providing & to turn it to their advantage.

UK Business are missing out say Towards Maturity Ambassadors

UK business missing out on efficiency gains say heads of learning. LONDON, 19 April 2011: As cuts-ridden Britain emerges from recession it is missing out on a potential source of significant cost savings and efficiency gains, say heads of UK learning companies, because of outdated attitudes to training among top management.

Delivering results – practical ideas to increase stakeholder engagement

Delivering results with learning technologies – getting there faster and smarter. The first joint Towards Maturity in association with the British Institute for Learning and Development (the BILD)- Delivering results with learning technologies – getting there faster and smarter was held on the 12th of April and led by Laura Overton. 

3 simple steps to delivering results with Learning Technologies

Here are some of the key points from a seminar that we first delivered  at Learning Technologies 2011 to over 130 people looking at  at 3 simple steps to delivering results with learning technologies.  We hope you will find useful in your journey with learning technologies.  The session draws on the findings of the  2010-11 Towards Maturity Benchmark.

Benchmarking success in the automotive industry

The automotive industry has been hard hit by the recession with production levels down and falling sales. Yet the sector continues to innovate and competitive advantage goes to those who are able to quickly respond to market demand and provide excellent customer service.

Perspectives from Online Educa Berlin

As we say goodbye to the last decade and look forward to the next, are we able to look back at workplace e-learning and say , hand on heart, that we have realised the vision that we had at the start of the new millennium? It was a vision that technology would not only drive new ways of doing business but new ways of learning & improving workplace performance as well.

Three steps to compliance greatness

My recent survey of the e-learning and compliance communities highlighted three characteristics of the compliance e-learning we’d all like to see more of. It needs to be engaging, relevant and effective. In user-focused terms, it needs to make them care, show them it matters and help them live it.

Thank you to Becta

As Becta prepares to close down over the coming weeks, we would like to say thank you to the organisation and those who have worked their for their contribution to driving effective use of technologies in workplace learning.

What are your expectations for the next 10 years?

The last 10 years have seen major changes in e-learning. A shift from the tech-centric to the learner-centric, from learning objectives to business impact, from cost to value, from the individual to the social, and a shift from changing behaviour to change is everything.

HOW TO – Help staff to get online

With over 9m people in the UK not online yet, does a lack of employee IT skills cause barriers for your L&D programmes? This HOW TO Guide will help you get your staff online.

Jane Hart’s top 100 tools for learning

As our colleague Clive Shepherd often says, the methods for learning are timeless but the media for learning are changing rapidly and as L&D professionals, it can be tough going to keep up to date!

e-learning a natural for those with Learning Disabilities

Winner of the Silver Award in the ‘Excellence in the Production of Learning Content – Not for Profit Sector’, this case study describes how the FPA (Family Planning Association in Northern Ireland), developed ‘All About Us’ – an interactive educational resource designed to improve access to appropriate structured information on sexual health and wellbeing for people with learning disabilities through the use of a simple, effective interactive learning tool.

Dignity: The Heart of the RCN with e-learning

In June 2008, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) launched their ‘Dignity: at the heart of everything we do’ campaign because in the nursing profession, ‘Dignity’ is at the heart of everything they do and is clearly a vital component of nursing care.

Taste of Medicine providing Healthcare career opportunities

Winner of the Gold Award in the ‘Excellence in the Production of Learning Content – Not for Profit Sector’, this case study provides insight into St George’s, University of London ‘Widening Participation’ (WP) strategy, engaging with individuals at all stages of their educational development encouraging those from sectors of society currently under represented in Higher Education.

L&D 2020 – a guide for next decade

 We are great supporters of TJ’s research L&D 2020 that explores the ways in which the L&D profession need to operate in the future to support changing business needs more successfully

Back to Basics

1/5th of the UK population has never been online – How does this impact your e-learning strategy and what can you do about it? 

Cable & Wireless Worldwide’s – flexible learning for business advantage

Cable&Wireless Worldwide can never be accused of standing still – change seems to be second nature for the organisation and when TM last spoke with Mike Booth, their Learning Technologies Manager,  he shared how the organisation’s learning services had dramatically changed to allow them to be more nimble and responsive to the learning needs of their colleagues (you can download the original case study below)

L&D Benchmarks – is time to raise the bar?!

As a business improvement process, benchmarking has been around since the early 90’s and is now considered vital in the private and public sector as a tool to improve operational performance and enable strategic re-positioning.

Justice Academy at MoJ

Mergers and organisational re-alingnments means people find themselves working in new teams and structures. They need a common sense of purpose and a sense of belonging to something new. Learning and Development is the key enabler of this unification process.

National School of Government reaches ¼ million learners

The National School of Government faced the challenge of delivering learning on data security right across Government, all departments and many individuals. The audience were very diverse, the programme had to be suitable for all civil servants, of all grades – most senior to most junior, specialists, military, administrative and support staff.

The five secrets of instructional design

If you’re in the business of creating e-learning materials, then you’ll know how easy it is to get distracted from your primary goal by the contradictory pressures exerted upon you by your various stakeholders: make it as cheap as possible, as short as possible, as quickly as possible, while also as comprehensive as possible, as media-rich and engaging as possible.

Impact of Leadership at Hammonds Furniture

The leadership and involvement of top management in e-learning matters; in 2007 the Towards Maturity study  (page 37) showed that organisations where Directors were directly involved in e-learning estimated a 43% improvement in business impact over those where Directors were not involved.

Learning Technologies in 2010 – the definitive top 10 list

It’s that time of year when everyone seems to feel compelled to generate their list of ‘Top Ten Predictions’ for 2010 – or perhaps their Top Five or Top Seven! We didn’t want to feel left out so rather than compile another ‘Top Ten’ list we thought it might be fun to develop the ‘Definitive Top Ten’ list based on the thoughts and ramblings of many of those respected in the industry who are members of our ‘Community of Excellence’, sprinkled with some of our own insight.

Self managed learning – Engage or Die?

At Towards Maturity through the research we undertake and the work we do with many employers and training providers, we know that securing adoption and engagement are critical success factors in harnessing learning technologies for business benefit.

Making the most of Learning Technologies 2010 with Towards Maturity

If your new year’s resolution is to make sure your investment in learning technologies works harder and delivers more in 2010 then do make sure you come and see us at next week’s Learning Technology 2010 exhibition in Olympia 2, London.  If time is tight and budget tighter, here are just a few reasons to come along. Free seminars, free resources and free coffee on Toward Maturity’s stand number 125! Register for free here!

The Lifelong Learning UK Third Annual Conference

Lifelong Learning UK is the Sector Skills Council responsible for building the skills of the Learning and Development Sector, both for funded learning providers and commercial learning providers.  The Third Annual Conference on 8th December 2009 was an exciting and challenging day. 

Breaking down walls at Online Educa Berlin!

2078 delegates from 92 countries convened at this year’s ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN, the largest global e-learning conference. The event has been running for 15 years now but this year it seemed to have a different buzz about it – perhaps it was the fact that we were all in Berlin 20 years after the wall came down – it certainly felt significant. deliver Infection Control Training

An effective multi-channel approach is used to reach doctors with training on two key hospital infections.  Over 1,000 doctors used the training within the first 22 days of the pilot; subsequently over four and a half thousand completed the learning. 

Skills of Project Management

Classroom trainers are experienced in responding to the needs of individual learners, in being flexible, in changing content. Their skill includes having a store of responses, different exercises, different topics which enables a flexibility of content.

An Introduction to Personal Learning Environments

At a recent UK conference, an informal poll of learning and development professionals showed that whilst almost 50% of people had heard of Personal Learning Environments (PLEs), only 3% had actually used one.  PLEs are common place in academia, but in the UK workplace the take-up is not great.  According to Brandon Hall , 2009 would see five main trends in learning:

Congratulations to the e-learning award winners

The wait for many was over last night at the e-learning Awards 2009. At the glittering event in the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, the who’s who of e-learning gathered at the event hosted once again by TV’s Angela Lamont.

New Models for Learning Management

I’d never been to an e-learning network event before; my perception was that it was too expensive because of the traveling I’d have to do from Manchester. However I’d been asked to speak at the 25th September 2009 event so it would have been rude not to go! In fact it was a great honour to be asked particularly as the day was all about my favourite subject, Learning Management Systems:

English as a Second Language (ESL) from GlobalEnglish adding business benefits to Global Organisations

‘English as a Second Language’ is not new. In fact the business world has debated the topic many times in the past but we’re starting to reach a point where many major multi-national, global organisations recognise the need to provide adequate English language training for their global workforce. In many of these organisations those with English as their natural language often represent less than 10% of the workforce, so the need is significant.

Trainer skills for virtual classrooms (2)

The third article on our sequence on web conferencing – virtual classrooms takes us into the classroom. Clive Shepherd speaks with the voice of experience with many practical hours of virtual delivery behind him.

Thriving in adversity – doing more with less

The Institute of IT Training’s National Conference and Exhibition attracted nearly 200 learning and development professionals hungry to network and gather ideas to help them thrive in times of adversity and deliver more with less.

Towards Maturity Benchmark for Third Sector

Towards Maturity Benchmark for Third Sector

The importance of skills in Third Sector organisations, together with their need to improve efficiency in the current economic climate has meant that a significant number of charities, not for profit and voluntary organisations are turning to learning technology to help deliver more skills but with less resources.

L&D 2020: the future of workplace learning

The aim of the L&D 2020 project is to explore how Learning & Development in organisations might change over the next five to ten years, particularly focusing on the implications for L&D professionals.

MODNet Launch – a cutting edge Work Based Learning network

We were very pleased to be amongst representatives of over 200 business, public and voluntary organisations who were present at the employer launch of MODNet, the Middlesex organisational Development Network (Thursday 17 September) hosted by the Institute of Work Based Learning at the Middlesex University.

Evidence for Change

Over the years, our research has highlighted that effective use of learning technologies can significantly improve business agility.

Using Technology to make a difference with 360 Degree Feedback

We’re seeing learning technologies being applied in many different creative ways across businesses, large and small, and in all sectors, public and private. This white paper + case study, from Track Surveys, provides insight into how technology is being used effectively for 360 degree feedback and why this approach is better than the alternatives.

What every L&D professional needs to know about e-learning

Technology has already transformed our personal and business lives, but its impact on learning and development has been patchy. Yes, e-learning has grown steadily, but only a few of its possibilities have been exploited and far too few trainers feel they have any role to play in its usage. Towards Maturity Enterprises Ltd has launched a new booklet, What every learning and development professional needs to know about e-learning, to help remedy this situation.

Unionlearn-a hidden asset to support workplace e-learning adoption?

In the middle of July this year, I found myself at the TUC’s head office in London amongst 200 union officers and members, MPs and other guests. It was one of those hot summer evenings (remember them?!) and the room was full of people passionate about their cause – none more so than Liz Smith OBE, who’s retirement had brought us together. 

More than Instructional Design – course review

I have to admit that I have not been on a face to face workshop now in over 8 years – most of my learning in the field of e-learning has come from research, case studies, conferences and the good fortune to personally know some amazing experts.

ACS’s use of 3D virtual environments in corporate learning

Much has been written about the potential of virtual worlds in business learning but there are few examples of good practice that highlight how it can make a difference and where it fits in with other learning interventions such as role play, online virtual classroom, online content. It is clearly not just a platform for serious games.

Centre for iso9000 Global Delivery of Quality Management

Achieving quality with proven quality management is always essential but never more so than when times are tough. This has led to a surge in business for a global provider of ISO 9000 consultancy and training. Increased volume of business meant more staff were needed world-wide, quickly. The only way to deliver a consistent quality is to use internal experts to deliver on-line lessons.

Implementing Social Learning

If you are wondering how to implement social learning in your organisation – how to get staff to share their experiences with their peers online – then it is well worth listening to the Learning Curve (BBC Radio 4 with Peter Day), which was broadcast on 30th July 09 as part of the In Business Series.

5 Tips for Beating the Credit Crunch with e-learning

Delivering ‘More for Less’ is the key issue right now for Learning & Development and Business professionals. It’s been a core theme for Towards Maturity as evidenced from our own Benchmark Review, the Masie Centre recent ‘Barometer Findings’ and the recent research survey from LMMatters and Training Zone into budget trends.

John Hayes MP interview with the BILD

Early in July Karen Velasco of the British Institute for Learning and Development interviewed John Hayes Shadow Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education. The aim was to discover how the Conservative view of skills development differed from that of Labour, particularly within times of recession.

Performance Zone – the heart of online learning at Bupa

Earning a ‘Special Mention Commendation’ for ‘Most Innovative Application of Learning Technology’ in the 2008 e-learning Awards, this case study explores how an innovative approach has connected ‘learning to performance’ at Bupa delivering benefits to individuals and the business.

Institute of IT Training – new award announced

The Institute of IT Training are inviting organisations to enter their prestigious awards and  have included 2 new awards that will be of interest to organisations and individuals who would like recognition for their innovation in learning and development

Liverpool’s taxi drivers learn on the move

This great little video , posted by Tribal on YouTube recently is a wonderful example of how creative use of technology, together with the personal touch ( in this case, encouragement and support by one of the 22,000 Union learn reps) can deliver learning right at the point of need.

Introducing e-learning to SABMiller

Over the past 20 years SABMiller has grown rapidly from its original South African base into a truly global player. Today the organisation is the world’s 2nd largest brewer, with brewing interests or major distribution agreements in over 60 countries spread across six continents.

Introducing web conferencing

Towards Maturity research shows that web conferencing tools are growing rapidly in popularity with employers and learning providers. The Driving Business Benefits report highlighted that web conferencing has increased and is in use by 62% of businesses that we surveyed.

Harnessing Team Strengths and L&D Evolving at AXA

Winner of the ‘e-learning internal project team of the year’ award at the e-learning Awards 2008, and also winning the silver award at the Institute of IT Training Awards for Internal Training Project of the Year, this case story clearly demonstrates the impact that a newly formed team had on delivering e-learning throughout the AXA Group by demonstrating a clear understanding of users, how to secure their engagement and retain their attention.

Special Offer for Informatology event

This year’s Informatology Forum Learning and Development Conference from the 23rd – 25th of June provides an opportunity meet with experts and discuss learning and development challenges with your counterparts.

Conference round up BILD Event – Virtual Environments

It seems that wherever you turn right now the ‘hot topic’ in the field of Learning Technologies is the use of Virtual Worlds (or Environments) and Serious Games and the latest BILD (The British Institute for Learning & Development) Connect Event held on Wednesday 13th Mat 2009 at the Museum of Army Flying, was no exception!

A judge’s perspective on how to win awards

I have been judging awards now for nearly 10 years and it is an incredible privilege as it provides a fantastic insight into the diversity of learning innovation and activity taking place n the workplace today.

Award season comes around again

The main HR and Training award season is upon us again and once again Towards Maturity is proud to be one of the headline sponsors for the e-learning awards run by Bizmedia – it is great to be part of an industry opportunity to share success and inspire others.

Making e-learning Work

High dropout rates can directly impact the effectiveness of elearning. This whitepaper, from e2Train addresses why learners fail to finish elearning courses and backs up our research findings over the years.

Training Quality Standard

The Training Quality Standard: what is it? TQS helps training providers deliver learning solutions that make an impact on an employer’s business. It is an accredited Quality Mark but the real benefit is that it drives a dialogue between a provider and an employer. This was clear from a CFE event for training providers delivered in London on 28th April 2009.

A Vision for FE in 2020 – can we afford to wait?

We announced that Siôn Simon MP, Minister for Further Education,at the Department for Innovation, University and Skills (DIUS) wants to hear directly from you about what FE & Skills delivery needs to look like moving forward on a new social networking site-

Comparing attitudes of staff and training professionals

We announced that Siôn Simon MP, Minister for Further Education,at the Department for Innovation, University and Skills (DIUS) wants to hear directly from you about what FE & Skills delivery needs to look like moving forward on a new social networking site-

Unmissable e-learning events this summer

Two of the key areas holding many organisations back from realising the full potential from their e-learning investment is are lack of awareness amongst learning and development professionals and poor skills to manage and implement

Towards Maturity – 1 year old

Towards Maturity was launched on the 29th of April 2008 – an independent, not for profit organisation with a passion for helping others to improve the impact of learning technologies at work. This week we are a year old and what a year it has been!

The Dental Channel webinar, better and cheaper delivery

Dental professionals must remain up to date with the latest developments in dentistry; in this as in many other professions the pace and change of innovation is high. How do busy professionals find the time to invest in learning and save an estimated 1/4 million pounds across the profession. The answer is a webinar programme run by the Dental Channel.

The Learning value of questions

The third most popular technology for implementing e-learning is Surveys and Questionnaires; perhaps more true to say third equal!  82% of respondent to the 2008 Towards Maturity selected this as a tool they used, exceeded only by the 86% of respondents who selected electronic content and the 86% who selected web resources. The use of questions and surveys in e-learning is one that gets relatively little press.

Introducing Virtual Worlds

Have you experienced a second life? Increasingly people have, and for learning purposes. Mystified by what it means. Thanks to Saffron Interactive you can read a short paper by Clive Shepherd which demystifies virtual worlds and their role in learning. 

Brush up your Blended learning skills

Our Driving Business Benefits research has highlighted that we are expecting so much more from our investment in learning technologies during difficult times but the biggest barriers to success are our lack of skills in developing appropriate solutions – knowing how to create the right blends of learning technologies and interventions that deliver results. Yet less than 1 in 5 organisations provide any training on how to do this.

Serious virtual worlds and immersive learning

In Driving Business Benefits (the Towards Maturity research published earlier this year) we saw that just under 20% of the research participants were using some form of games or complex simulations in their e-learning offering and just under 10% used virtual worlds.

Learning engagement at Diageo

Over the years Diageo had deployed a number of e-learning courses to individual markets and in 2007 decided to invest in a centralised training portal named the Diageo Academy to allow all employees globally to access e-Learning, classroom training, virtual classroom, and self development learning materials in a central location.

Generator – for FE & Skills providers

Generator, the technology improvement leadership tool for FE and Skills was launched on the 5 March 2009. This new online tool is available free of charge to all colleges and learning providers in the FE and Skills sector.

Improving the Take up of e-Learning in Local Authorities

This practical guide was created with the input of 25 Local Authorities at a series of Learning Pool Showcase Events in autumn 08. All local authorities face the same challenges of needing to meet the training and development needs of all their staff in a timely, cost effective way.

Royal Shakespeare Company Enter E-learning with compliance

An example of starting in e-learning with generic content and compliance. An excellent way on to the stage of e-learning. RSC worked with a supplier to introduce a customised learning product that achieved their business goals, ensured the right attitude to Health and Safety and made sure employees were comfortable with computors.

Games in the Military

With the military struggling with recruitment they turned their attentions to their current training methods, searching for ways in which it can be changed, even transformed. This article investigates the issue and how they approached a solution – drawing on research from from Caspian Learning looking at the application on games in learning in the military.

Fully accessible e-learning at BT

After assessing line-of-business requirements and capabilities, L&D at BT decided to implement a collaborative system for authoring, managing and deploying learning content.

Announcing the e-learning award winners 08

We congratulate all those who won prestigious awards at the ceremony for the e-learning awards 2008. The quality of the entries this year were exceptional and we look forward to sharing their stories on Towards Maturity for others to be inspired over the next 12 months.

Recession beating tips

With job cuts perhaps on the way and a drive to cut costs here are eight ways trainers can preserve the one and deliver the other. 

Hints and tips for demonstrating value

What gets your work noticed by stakeholders and peers back at work? What helps you increase engagement? What helps secure your budget in times of turmoil? The ability to demonstrate value!

Professional Institute (IRRV) improves Local Authority and DWP staff skills

A partnership between an employer (A local authority), a professional Institute (the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) and a supplier (Nelson Croom) leads to the creation of a nationally available, always up to date, functional, accurate, flexible, effective and easy to use online training programme; well liked by users.

Environment Agency – Pollution control

This case study explores how an innovative package simulates a farm visit to help inspectors gain confidence and expertise more rapidly than a deeply complex and technical environment.

Events in September and October

If you are looking to get under the skin of how learning technologies can really make a difference in the workplace then we would highly recommend that you try to get along to 2 events taking place in September and October:

7 Lessons on FE leadership

The Centre for Excellence in Leadership has a task to transform the provision of learning through the Further Education and Skills sector.  One of their strategic projects is to help leaders in FE manage and lead the new technology agenda in learning.

Learning technologies in the IT sector

At the end of January , e-skills UK released their latest research reports looking at the key trends, opportunities and challenges facing IT & Telecoms in the UK. It highlights that fully exploiting technology is the single most important step the UK can take to improve productivity across the economy. The results could generate an additional £35 bn  for the UK economy over the coming 5 -7 years – interesting evidence for those wanting to demonstrate that skills add value!

Part 3 – Aligning Learning to business, Balls in the Air!

In part 2 –  Before, During and After, we explored the need to increase your business analysis efforts before and after the learning intervention.  In this article, we explore some of the key things you need to manage or influence to ensure successful delivery of your learning or learning technology strategy.  You will get much greater value if you read part 1 and part 2 first.

Transforming Customer Service at Johnson Controls

This fascinating case study provides insight on a shared transformation plan between Johnson Controls (JCI) and Barclays Bank using QuickWins from Relay Consultants that has transformed Customer Service and driven innovation through a unique Change Management process.

e-learning benefits lessons from Higher education

Last year 16 higher education institutions worked  together on the challenge of providing evidence of e-learning success that will help influence academic sceptics and reflect the considerable changes that have taken place in the first few years of the 21st century.

Meeting the needs of 21st Century Employers

‘How has the world of a child changed in the last 150 years?” And the answer is, “It’s hard to imagine any way in which it hasn’t changed. But if you look at school today versus 100 years ago, it is more similar than dissimilar.”

Part 1 – Setting a Strategy for Learning and Development

Towards Maturity: Do we want to achieve measurable business results from our learning interventions? As we move “towards maturity” those tanglible results are more likely to be acheived if your organisation has a proper Learning and Development Strategy aligned to the needs of the organisation.

More practical tips for engaging learners and managers

Our research has shown that learners and managers are the most critical stakeholders for success but are the toughest to engage. I recently took part in a workshop for the Learning and Skills group to see how we can improve engagement with these audiences and this article covers a few of the practical ideas that were discussed on the day and additional resources available.

Building effective learning communities

The e-learning network event on ‘Building learning Communities’ on the 18th of April provided a fascinating insight into the practicalities of using technology to bring communities of adults together to learn.  The day provided useful advice for all types  of programmes and in all walks of life.

e-skills UK invites input to new strategic plan

e-skills UK today released a consultation for its five year strategic plan for England and is now seeking input from employers, educationalists and other stakeholders with an interest in the UK’s IT & Telecoms skills base.

Share your story

We love to hear a good story. Particularly from organisations and businesses (large and small)

CIPD annual research

Results of the 10th Annual CIPD survey were released in April and their findings on the use of e-learning at work provide some useful insights on perceptions of e-learning.

Superquinn – new skills for Irish supermarket staff

In 2007 Irish supermarket chain Superquinn took on the challenge of implementing training via e-learning throughout its stores. As winners of best e-learning project securing widespread adoption, we look at how e-learning became such a success for the business.

e-induction @ Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

There are numerous examples of how e-learning is being applied to learning & development across all private & public sectors, often from those who’ve learnt over time how to apply technology to deliver real business benefits, but what of those who have no track record of e-learning and are looking to start?

Collaborative learning at work

The collaborative properties of that web 2.0 offers to learning have great potential for learning and many learning practitioners are talking about it but how many are doing it and what do learners think?

Quick Introduction to Towards Maturity

The January edition of Training Journal  includes a short article revealing the main findings of the ongoing e-skillsUK study on Maturity in e-learning.  The article gives a short summary of the method and approach to the original study as well as supporting evidence outlined in the case studies and podcasts on this website; demonstrating that both theory and practice lead to the same conclusions.

Virgin Atlantic Airways – Excellence in Induction

Virgin Atlantic Airways chose a low risk entry point for e-learning but aimed for the highest quality. All recruits worldwide attend an orientation course at the airline’s Headquarters at Crawley. This is the same for all recruits whatever their job role.

Ikea – using learning technologies to find missing stock

“The Missing Stock Mysteries” With over 84,000 co-workers in 44 countries and more than 200 stores worldwide, being able to meet their customers expectation that the product they want ‘is always available’ is a major challenge for IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer.

10 tips for communicating with learners

Towards Maturity is all about helping each other improve the impact of technology assisted learning in the workplace. The toughest challenge is engaging staff with learning in this way, particularly with all the pressures they have on their time.

IITT award winners

The Institute of IT Training Awards 13th award ceremony took place at the Dorchester Hotel on the 7th of February and it was great to see the level to which learning technologies had been embedded within many of the award winners and had contributed to their success. Here are just a few:

LB Brent – e-learning on a budget

The London Borough of Brent received a special mention in the e-learning award 2006 for the way that they delivered business impact from their e-learning, despite limited budgets.

Informal Learning Consultation announced

John Denham, the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, announced a new consultation on the 15th of January to help shape the vision  and identify the most appropriate support that the government can give to informal adult learning.

Meet us at Learning Technologies

The Towards Maturity Project team and teh QIA excellence gateway team will be at this year’s Learning Technologies event at Olympia on 30th and 31st of Jan and we would love to meet you there! 

e-learning – a note from Skills for Health

Following our series of health care case studies at the end of 2007, Jonathan Evans from Skills for Health,  has provided Towards Maturity readers more information the collaborative work that they are involved in to develop a joined up approach to e-learning in the health sector.

What to look out for in 2008

This year’s edition of Online educa Berlin , the 13th International Conference on Technology Supported Learning & Training, once more broke records in all areas: 2126 experts from 95 countries gathered at the Hotel InterContinental in Berlin from November 28th to 30th, to provide a rich perspective on the latest trends in learning technologies across all sectors of education.

Coca-Cola- virtual Leadership programme

This case study looks at how Coca-Cola in Latin America developed a virtual programme to develop leadership capability that would help them to implement and manage virtual teams across latin America.

NHS Wales pilots light touch NVQ

The NHS in Wales have recently pioneered a rollout of a light touch qualification that not only equips staff with a relavent qualification for their day to day job, but also uses technology to help demonstrate to their managers that they are able to use NHS online tools such as the patient management system.

making e-learning work

This article appeared in Learning Technologies Magazine in October and is very useful for any organisation looking to improve adoption of their technology assisted learning.

e-learning at Sadeh Lok

This video clip, posted on YouTube shows how Sadeh Lok, a housing association in Huddersfield has started to embrace e-learning to address business skills issues.

e-learning excellence celebrated

 A journey towards e-learning maturity within any organisation is not always easy and all successes deserve celebration. On the 8th of November it was great to honour those whose journeys were shortlisted n the 2007 e-learning awards, those who received special mentions for excellence and the outright winners.

Hints and tips on Rapid e-learning

The Towards Maturity research highlighted the growth in rapid e-learning development as learning professionals are looking to become more responsive to employer needs.

Scottish Prison Service

The Scottish Prison Service needed human rights issues to be dealt with more effectively within prisons in general and by front line prison staff in particular, and for staff to deal with human rights with more confidence. They also wanted to improve prisoner’s knowledge and understanding about the relationship between human rights and Prison Rules.

BAE systems’ learning journey

Social networking, organisational capability, performance, competency are all in vogue at the moment but what practical steps must be taken to ensure that these promises deliver in the real world?

Lessons from Education

Organisations in the education sector appear to be less successful at a number of measures associated with e-learning than those in other sectors.  The Towards Maturity study reports a 10% less positive measure for business impact availability and uptake for the education sector compared to others.  (See Figure 10.1 in Towards Maturity: Facts and Figures).

Free Guide – Mobile Learning

Mobile learning is gaining momentum as devices become more ubiquitous. This free guide is the latest in a series published by Kineo and UfI and explores the opportunities available for learning on the move.

Introduction to Web 2.0 and Social Networking

There seems to be a little confusion out there as to what exactly is meant by Web 2.0, and it’s a phrase increasing in use. It also seems unclear as to who can lay claim to being the ‘originator’ of the phrase.

What does the QIA excellence gateway offer the FE system?

The QIA Excellence Gateway offers the further education system a number of key features to encourage self-improvement for all those involved in further education. The Towards Maturity Project supports the service by sharing good practice to ensure success of e-learning in the work place.(More )

10 top e-learning Tips for Educators

This article appeared in today’s newsletter from Epic and offers some practical tips for those in the education sector to make effective use of technology in their learning offerings.

Positive Podcasting

There’s been a surge of interest recently in podcasting among learning and development professionals. Behind the hype, though, hard information seems hard to find. Donald H Taylor,one of the Towards Maturity Virtual Advisorty Members, outlines some ways to get started and make your mark with podcasting on TrainingZone.

What is the QIA Excellence Gateway?

The Towards Maturity e-learning project is interested in improving the effectiveness of e-learning in the workplace. But it is not just about supporting those who are implementing e-learning in their place of work but also those who are providing work based learning programmes to employers from both the commercial and public sector.

Defining e-learning

There are many broad interpretations about what e-learning is and isn’t. In this project we are keen to uncover all of the opportunities that technology provides to assist learning in any form.

Finding e-learning suppliers

There are many providers of e-learning products, services and expertise who specialise in delivering learning in the workplace.  But when you are new to e-learning, finding them is another matter.

University on the Shop Floor

In common with many manufacturing sectors, the ceramic industry is undergoing significant restructuring to adapt to the challenges of modern global competition.

e-learning at work – systematic literature review

Learning Light, a member of the work based e-learning project advisory network has completed a systematic literature review of the research that has been conducted in the use of learning technologies in the workplace. Their aim is to identify any gaps for future research.  In particular they are trying to answer the following questions: 

Successful Learning Strategies

Strategy is a key element in any successful learning and performance improvement programme. The Towards Maturity research highlighted that mature users of e-learning in the workplace are more likely to have a learning strategy aligned to business goals and will have a range of plans in place to encourage adoption and sustainability. 

Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless Cable & Wireless is one of the world’s leading international communications companies operating in 33 countries.

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