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Towards Maturity research shows why L&D must keep an eye on the future

LondonLearning NewsTowards Maturity

The global online launch of Towards Maturity’s Transformation Curve report provides learning teams with a new approach to digital transformation. Following the S curve of a product lifecycle, L&D teams can evaluate current approaches and identify how to move into the future.

Laura Overton: roadmap for change in L&D
Laura Overton: roadmap for change in L&D 

Two words dominate the world of work today: digital transformation. It’s a huge challenge facing organisations, and many are struggling with it. It’s a huge challenge facing L&D and many professionals are struggling with it. 

The launch event was attended by learning professionals from around the globe. Laura Overton, CEO and founder of Towards Maturity, told attendees that L&D is uniquely placed to help businesses achieve digital transformation because transformation is ultimately, always about people. “Digital transformation is creating a great opportunity for us in L&D. We are specialists in helping individuals change the way that people do, think and behave and digital transformation is a human thing.”

Overton wants to see L&D step up to the challenge. It’s a challenge that Towards Maturity has been talking about for several years and urging L&D to take the initiative. Each year progress is slow so this year Towards Maturity has taken a very different approach with its research. This year it has created a roadmap for change.

The latest report is called ‘The Transformation Curve: The L&D journey to deliver lasting business impact’ and it aims to help L&D professionals in two key ways. Firstly, by using the report to establish where they are in the transformation curve and secondly, by helping them to progress to the next stage of transformation. It shows L&D why change is necessary and what benefits will be reaped by moving onto the next stage.

During the online launch, Overton talked about the S curve, a business term referring to the lifecycle of a product. In the S curve, there are four key points: introduction, growth, maturity and decline. That is a key focus of ‘The Transformation Curve’: being able to recognise when the period of growth has reached maturity and being able to transform and move on before decline sets in. “L&D always has to keep an eye on where to go next,” explained Overton. “Otherwise you will stagnate. There is no such thing as staying in one place – once you hit maturity, you will then decline.”

Towards Maturity says it is essential that L&D learns to let go of the successes of the past in order to move onto the successes of the future. That requires L&D being able to recognise what Towards Maturity calls the pivot points of change – that moment of maturity before decline sets in. L&D needs to learn to act counter-intuitively, which means being able to let go of something that is working well and yielding good results in order to move onto the next stage.

Also speaking at the online launch, Don Taylor, Chair of Learning Technologies Conference, said the breadth and scope of the research is an amazing resource for L&D. “It’s a seminal moment. This is not just one year’s research – it looks back over 15 years of research and brings it all together.”

L&D can use the research as a practical tool to help move forward and achieve digital transformation. Peter Casebow, Director, Emerald Group agrees that ‘The Transformation Curve’ is an invaluable resource for L&D professionals looking to effect change. “It gives L&D and business a framework to understand where they are in terms of performance and what’s required to drive improvement. It also sets out the constant need for change.”

The webinar can be watched back via the recording at: