Keeping potential locked up
by Tess Robinson, Director, LAS
Why oh why is The Towards Maturity benchmark report – Unlocking Potential – such depressing reading each year! So many good intentions and a stack of really, really compelling evidence on the benefits of implementing learning innovation just don’t seem to be enough for many organisations to secure the support and funding needed to propel them forwards. The gap between the Top Deck organisations, who are reaping the rewards of learning technologies in terms of agility, efficiency, performance and retention, and the rest is growing ever wider. More depressingly, budgets are remaining static and even decreasing.
There is a pressing need for organisations to be agile in the current climate. The pace of technological change, the uncertain political and economic situation in many countries and competition from smaller companies, less burdened by bureaucracy, means that many established organisations really need to up their game. Learning is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ but an essential element of survival and learning technologies have a vital role to play in the delivery of that learning.
Yet still 2/3 of organisations surveyed by Towards Maturity are not achieving their goals in any of the five categories of learning outcomes – influencing culture, cultivating agility, boosting performance, fine-tuning processes and improving efficiency. This needs to change!
62% of organisations report that staff lack the skills to manage their own learning. Do they? In fact the report found that 82% of learners know what learning they need and 91% are resourceful and capable of searching for information to help them do their jobs better. Perhaps it’s time to give your people more credit for managing their own learning.
59% of L&D lack the skills to implement and manage eLearning. This is where professional networks come in. The eLearning Network (eLN) has a fabulous mentoring programme for those starting out in learning technologies. Providers, external consultants and peers in other organisations are also amazing sources of support and guidance. You don’t have to do it on your own and it doesn’t have to be expensive to get started.
58% of line managers are reluctant to encourage new ways of working, but when they do, the results can be truly transformative! Jeff Kortenbosch from AkzoNobel ran an inspirational session on how they had transformed their learning and repositioned L&D within the organisation at OEB in December. He showed that with a little courage (and a whole load of evidence), it can be done.
The thing is: these could be exciting, transformative times for L&D. This is your moment to step into the limelight and become an essential, strategic partner within your organisations – you can be the ones who truly make the difference. We’d all love to see more organisations benefitting from learning technologies in next year’s report, instead of all these good intentions coming to nothing. Be brave, use the evidence, get support from your networks and make it happen!