September 2014

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Written by Laura Overton on 1 September 2014 in Magazine

In organisations across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, products and services are being reinvented as a result of rapid technology change.

The way we bank, the way we donate, the way we interact with government or big brands has been fundamentally redefined by technology. Speed, change, performance and agility are all watchwords for the future success of these organisations – all of which are driven by technology.

Technology is not just enabling change in the way that organisations interact with customers, it is driving it. But can we say the same for L&D?

In 2003 when I first gathered insights for our first Towards Maturity Benchmark ‘Linking Learning to Business’, the business challenges underpinning the use of technology in learning were similar to today. Eleven years ago, organisations participating in our study said that speed of change, customer retention, revenue growth and efficiency are all key drivers. This year more than 600 organisations took part in the 2014 Benchmark and already we have seen that over 95 per cent are looking to technology to help them respond faster than ever before to changing business needs.

In this edition of TJ, we take a closer look at how technology is influencing learning and development today. Our studies at Towards Maturity concur with the findings reported by Learning Light on p19. L&D teams are no longer talking just about e-learning courses or LMS when they think about technology – live online learning, social learning, video and apps are all taking their place in the modern L&D toolkit. However, the same report highlights how we have to be careful not to be dazzled by the shiny attraction of new toys.

We have found that maturity in engaging with learning technologies is not driven by the technology but by the application to the problems that our organisations face. Professor Colin Coulson- Thomas on p40 takes a closer look at one of the applications of technology for integrating learning more effectively in the workplace and explains why personalised learning and performance support is better than traditional courses for increasing relevance and individual contribution.

On p32, Gerry Griffin, founder and director of Skill Pill, takes a look at how new technologies are improving employee engagement in the care sector.

When it comes down to it this is what really matters – how can technology in learning help L&D organisations improve productivity, respond faster to change, share knowledge and yes – deliver efficiency in the process? It’s not about the latest toy or acronym, it’s about challenging our assumptions about how L&D ought to be delivered, and instead focus on how we can get great results. I hope you enjoy the insights and inspiration this edition of TJ offers to help you do just that!

Laura Overton

MD of Towards Maturity

TJ guest editor


About the author

MD of Towards Maturity


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