A new report published by Towards Maturity demonstrates that C-suite executives need to dramatically rethink their demands of learning and people performance based on their current business challenges.
The report, Risk in the C-suite: Unleashing the Power of Your People, analyses recent research into the challenges facing more than 100,000 C-suite executives around the world. This aggregated data reveals four forces of complex challenges facing the C-suite:
- External organisational challenges, such as growing in a complex world
- Internal organisational challenges, including driving digital and the need for new business models
- External people challenges, such as addressing major talent and capability gaps
- Internal people challenges, such as leveraging value from more demanding employees and unleashing the power of people
Towards Maturity’s research on more than 5,000 people practitioners and 25,000 learners provides the insight needed on how learning can be transformed to meet each one of these challenges.
For example, 72% of CEOs believe the next three years will be more critical for their industry than the last 50. That means they will need to prepare their employees to cope with the complexities and accelerated speed of an increasingly global economy. Organisations will need to ensure that workers skills’ keep pace with this change. Towards Maturity’s Benchmark data shows that synchronising learning with the needs of business has a positive impact on business performance: it leads to a 10% increase in revenue, 14% increase in productivity and 18% reduction in costs.
Additionally, 72% of senior executives say that technology is the biggest external driver of change. Towards Maturity’s data shows that a technology-enabled learning strategy can help organisations capitalise on digital disruption in a number of ways:
- Improving the pace of change to procedures or products by 24%
- Increasing the speed of rollout of new IT applications by 25%
- Increasing the reach and volume of e-learning delivery by 27%
- Reducing learning delivery time by 27%
Laura Overton, Founder and CEO of Towards Maturity, comments:
"This paper draws on the business challenges of more than 100,000 C-suite executives to help frame current and future learning and performance strategies. This is a wake-up call for senior executives who now need to drive the learning agenda if they want sustainable business success. For L&D, this paper provides the data needed to engage the C-suite in people and performance."
The report urges C-suite executives to demand more from learning and development professionals. Nearly 30% of executives report that a lack of skills, resources and experience with analytics within the HR function is diluting HR’s effectiveness inside their organisation.
For learning leaders, this means developing a future-focused, innovative, business aligned and intelligent data-driven ‘learning organisation’ model, as well as creating highly talented learning teams.
Jane Daly, founder of People-Star and Strategic analyst at Towards Maturity adds,
"An organisation that learns from itself and its context is an organisation that has made a conscious commitment to grow by enhancing its brand, customer and employee experience. This paper leaves the C-suite in no doubt that they can grow more, transform more, increase more profit & more productivity by creating a learning organisation strategy. C-suite leaders who don't act will increase their people risks, miss out on untapped resources and limit sustainable opportunities. The change must start with the C-suite, who can utilise this invaluable intelligence to demand more impact from their business leaders and people professionals."
The report also calls on the C-suite to invest in L&D to ensure they have the skills to transform learning. These include communication and analytical skills, as well as understanding new learning technologies and how people learn best within their organisation.
The full report can be downloaded for free at: www.towardsmaturity.org/c-suite2016
About this report
Risk in the C-suite: Unleashing the Power of Your People was co-authored by Laura Overton and Jane Daly. The report is a new addition to Towards Maturity’s longitudinal research series, investigating trends in modern learning practices at work, with a focus on the priorities of the C-suite – the most senior executives in each organisation.
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