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New Learning Agenda Launched By Towards Maturity


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DateDecember 05, 2013 Posted by: Marnie Threapleton   Keywords:

Laura Overton, MD at Towards Maturity speaks at Online Educa Berlin about how technology-enabled learning can deliver at scale across business. Celebrating 10 years of longitudinal data, the 2013 Benchmark Report is launched and includes 9 themes to address this.

"The New Learning Agenda-Talent, Technology and Change" throughout Europe at Online Educa Berlin 4th - 6th December. 

New Learning Agenda Launched By Towards Maturity
Only 50% of learning initiatives are delivered in time to meet business need. Only 29% of organisations agree their L&D teams have the right skills to design solutions to exploit learning technologies to business advantage. Based on recent research, Towards Maturity launches new business-driven learning agenda with nine action areas at Online Educa Berlin..
London 5th December 2013. To mark the tenth anniversary of its industry influencing Benchmark, Towards Maturity, the learning and development research organisation, has analysed top learning organisations to understand how technology-enabled learning can deliver at scale across business. Five hundred plus organisations from 44 countries were involved in the research including BT, BA, NHS Direct, Toyota Motor Europe and Bupa.
Laura Overton, Managing Director, Towards Maturity, said: ‘With ten years’ of data under our belts, we know that learning innovation done well delivers bottom line results. We want to draw on our in-depth research and benchmarking process to create a practical action plan to help organisations prepare for the future.
‘The New Learning Agenda puts talent, technology and change at the heart of learning and development. It also places L&D at the heart of organisational change, supporting the emerging business success drivers of speed, change, agility and performance’.
CIPD Chief Executive, Peter Cheese, said: ‘L&D has a critical role to play in growing a true learning organisation. As a function, it needs to consider how to support a continual learning process that builds the confidence and capability of workers and improved business results for organisations. This is the broader strategic opportunity and challenge for the function.
‘The CIPD welcomes Toward Maturity’s New Learning Agenda as a framework for L&D, HR and business leaders to work together in new ways, in the midst of a rapidly evolving work context, to deliver great business results through engaged and motivated staff.’
Donald H Taylor, Chairman of the Learning and Performance Institute, who is also speaking at Online Educa, said: ‘The New Learning Agenda shows how business and learning environments have changed over the last ten years and outlines areas where we need to take action. The Study is a clarion call to the industry but it is up to the industry to now respond.’
Nine themes emerged from the 2013 Benchmark Study to create the 'New Learning Agenda'. Each agenda point is supported by data from the new research.

The New Learning Agenda

1. Align learning to business and business to learning
Only 36% of organisations are working with business leaders to identify the business metrics that need to be improved through learning, with less than half of those businesses going back to review progress against the agreed metrics. Two-way alignment has to improve to realise expected benefits. Learning has to be more proactive in delivering business benefits but business leaders also need to support learning in the process.
2. Respond faster, deliver more

More than nine out of ten organisations are looking to respond faster to changing business conditions, but only 50% say their learning initiatives are being delivered in time to meet the needs of the business. It is time to speed up and scale up in order to increase the impact of learning programmes.
3. Transform traditional training
Formal learning is not dead! Three out of five learners still report that the course is one of the most effective opportunities for learning what they need for the job, yet 88% of learners want to be able to learn at their own pace. This means thinking differently about how formal learning is designed.  
4. Support a culture of learning within the workflow
Learning does not just take place in formal interventions – it is a continuum. Across the board, employers are looking to provide content to employees at the point of need with 86% looking to technology to push updated information to their staff. However, only 26% are achieving this. 94% of organisations want to speed up the application of learning back in the workplace but only 19% are achieving this. With only 14% using defined performance support practices to support learning transfer after formal training, it is time to recognise the importance of supporting staff in the heart of the workflow.
5. Integrate learning with talent

Despite the fact that 91% of organisations are looking to technology to deliver improvements in talent and performance, only 19% of respondents say that learning technologies reinforce the way they recruit, on-board and develop their people. Only 26% integrate succession planning into the way they develop their people. When recognition of online achievement is important to two out of three learners, integrating talent and performance with the wider talent management strategy provides a big opportunity to connect and engage with staff.
6. Embrace new ways of learning to support new ways of working

More flexible working patterns have been made possible by cloud and mobile technologies, but organisational learning has yet to follow suit. Fewer than 20% of organisations that have introduced mobile learning are seeing the benefit, despite 71% of organisations now using mobile technology. Only 30% of L&D offer learning through the cloud. Moving forward, organisations have to tailor learning to modern-day work practices and that means supporting learning anytime and anywhere.

7. Simplify the learning experience

The range of technologies in use by the majority of organisations has increased by 57% in the last 5 years. No wonder cost of development and set up is now the Number One barrier to change for L&D (reported by 71%), and 35% of learners are struggling to find what they need.  Navigating the choices and making sensible decisions on what to use is becoming even more complex for the L&D professional and individual alike. It is time to simplify the options available.
8. Develop L&D professionals as change agents

Only 29% of organisations agree their L&D teams have the right skills to design solutions that exploit learning technologies to business advantage, and just 45% are investing in continuing professional development for their L&D staff despite this rapidly changing and exciting field. Today’s L&D professionals need the skills to be able to design for performance engage stakeholders and manage change whilst delivering the right mix of technology and content. Let’s equip them to do it.
9. Treat learners as customers
Today’s employees are willing to learn differently. 77% of learners saying they want to engage with online learning, four out of five are willing to share what they know with others online and seven out of ten are motivated by using tools that will help them network and learn from others. Yet 53% of L&D staff believes that their employees lack skills to manage their own learning. This is no time to base decisions on assumptions: today’s learners are more aware of their requirements and also expect more choice. L&D needs to understand the behaviour of today’s learner better, in order to design interventions that truly engage and support their need.
Notes to editors

  • Laura Overton, MD of Towards Maturity will be speaking in the Business EDUCA stream at OEB13 on Thursday 5th December. The session ‘Battle of the Benchmarks’ will be held at 16.30hrs in Schöneberg.
  • Laura Overton is available to interview at Online Educa Berlin
  • The New Learning Agenda can be downloaded for free at www.towardsmaturity.org/2013benchmark
  • Previous Towards Maturity Benchmark Studies can be downloaded at www.towardsmaturity.org/benchmark

About Towards Maturity
Towards Maturity is a benchmarking research company that provides independent expert advice and support to help organisations use learning technologies to accelerate business performance. It leverages the data of its in-depth Benchmark Study, the largest learning technology benchmark in Europe. Since 2003 over 2,900 organisations have contributed to Towards Maturity’s leading benchmarks.  
Thanks to the support of Towards Maturity’s Ambassadors (21 learning organisations), annual benchmarking findings, case studies and resources are available to download for free at www.towardsmaturity.org.  To find out about Towards Maturity’s Ambassadors visit www.towardsmaturity.org/ambassadors
To learn more about Towards Maturity’s unique benchmarking tools and models visit http://mybenchmark.towardsmaturity.org/ 

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