The Transformation Curve: What is it and how can it Revolutionise your Training?

The Transformation Curve

Technology has seen the business landscape change quicker than you can say AI. From Artificial Intelligence to Augmented Reality to the widespread adoption of virtual meetings, digitisation has become a number one priority for many companies. Maybe you’re a robot reading this now? It’s hard to keep up!

These changes have gifted Learning and Development departments the perfect opportunity to change too. It seems that finally, it’s our turn in the spotlight!

The Transformation Curve won’t transform your learning strategy. But it does give you a route to a transformed strategy.

Join us as we examine in detail the origins of the Transformation Curve, its purpose, and how you can use it to skyrocket ROI in your training.

The Origins of the Transformation Curve

It’s the job of the L&D department to optimise training at all times, but this cannot happen without the help of new technology and the backing of management.

By accessing their extensive database of over 6,500 Learning and Development professionals, Towards Maturity (recently rebranded as Emerald Insights) were able to discover what changes were needed, and how they could be approached.

There was one common change that stood out from all the others; to transform the L&D departments from instructors to something more collaborative, a facilitator of training.

This became a theory titled the Transformation Curve. This is a project that Growth Engineering was proud to sponsor. It proposed that organisations could be split into four key groups, based on the organisation’s attitude towards learning.

Each group represents a step on a journey towards a learning culture in which all learners take responsibility for their own development.

So, what are these four mystical steps?

The Four Stages of the Transformation Curve

The Transformation Curve is like a road trip. You have an end destination in mind, but to get there you need to stop off at a few different places en route. But, the whole time you’re getting closer and closer to the goal

Here are the four unique stages to move your learning and development strategy from that of a centralised training delivery unit to that of a power station of organisational knowledge.

1. Optimising Training

Step one is shaped by an approach which is all about delivering as much training as possible for as little money as possible. This means efficiency is the name of the game!

At this stage of the journey, learning managers will typically prioritise the following:

  • Making more content available to learners
  • Setting priorities for L&D
  • Implementing learning management systems
  • Providing clear direction for staff in their learning journeys, setting directed pathways and holding interventions
  • Ensuring they are able to get management buy-in

Ultimately, stage 1 provides a foundation for stages 2, 3 and 4 to build on. So how can you ensure you are building a strong foundation? A great way to optimise your stage 1 training is to increase the mediums through which knowledge is delivered.

The first step of The Transformation Curve is to optimise your training

Our training solutions offer admins the ability to upload a variety of formats, from PDFs to podcasts to videos and much more. In fact, research states that a 1-minute video is worth 1.8 million words; Just think how much more training you could pack into your course if you transferred all your content to video?

By enhancing traditional learning with online learning, you’ll be offering what’s known as blended learning. 88% of L&D experts want to increase the amount of blended learning being offered. Classroom learners can finally put down the big dusty books and the training can be tailored to the needs of the modern learner.

The very best LMSs come with powerful classroom and calendar functionality. They are the perfect tools to help you build the perfect foundation for your Learning and Development strategy.

2. Taking Control

This is where the real work begins!

Towards the later phase of stage one, organisations typically move beyond looking at efficiency and recognise the importance of engagement. Delivering training at a reduced cost is all well and good, but how can you make sure your training is actually lodging in the minds of your learners?

At this stage learning managers typically care about the following:

  • Finding the perfect technical solution for their organisation and arming that solution with great content
  • Providing learners with more flexibility in their learning journey
  • Making use of internal marketing strategies to deliver effective learning campaigns
  • Building out the capability of the internal L&D function

At this stage, L&D managers start to see a change in learner behaviour and not just get boxes ticked.
The attention is on utilising the technology on offer to support both formal and social learning. But did you know that 49% of learners are reluctant to learn with new technology? Social learning will play a big part in overcoming this obstacle.

Learning managers will need learning technology that can support them in their journey. This means it needs the sophistication and flexibility to grow with the team as their goals become increasingly ambitious.

3. Letting Go

59% of L&D experts agree that their roles are shifting from delivering learning to supporting continuous learning. Stage three is all about bringing training to learners in their day-to-day work. The focus moves from training as an intervention to training as a continuous activity.

'Letting go' is the third step of the transformation curve

L&D have to change their role from deliverer to facilitator. This means that L&D teams need to listen to the businesses needs, not instruct the wider organisation on what it is they need to learn.

Facilitating social learning becomes an essential aspect of L&D’s role during stage 3. In fact, 56% of learning professionals encourage learners to share experiences and solve problems using online social tools.

With our learning solutions, we facilitate the building of knowledge-sharing cultures through social learning. For instance, our Experts area allows you to ‘enable your enablers’ and for your learners to mine their knowledge by proposing questions to in-house appointed experts.

4. Sharing Responsibility

Towards Maturity make clear that stage four isn’t the end goal or the final destination. Rather, organisations in this elite club have transformed L&D into a ‘means for equipping the business for continual growth and change’.

What can you expect from stage four organisations?

  • A clarity of purpose – everyone from the cleaners to the CEO are on the same mission.
    Continuous learning is not just the norm, it’s the culture. It’s expected of your learners and they expect it of each other.
  • A thriving ecosystem of individuals who all know what the business mission is, know the planned route there and are working hard to achieve that goal.
  • An approach to training which holds offline and online elements in harmony making sure learners have access to relevant training wherever and whenever they need it most.
  • Training is defined by engagement. Learners proactively seek out the information they need in a self-directed manner.

What Should You Do Next?

You’ve probably read through this and thought about where your organisation is at and where you wish it was. Hopefully, you’re inspired and not daunted!

Of course, no one stage is ‘better’ than any other – rather every organisation is on their own journey and working out which strategy fits them.

But what can you do now? Well, Towards Maturity provides a set of excellent questions to ask yourself. Perhaps take some time to sit down with a cup of tea and work through them (it might need to be a rather large cup of tea though… They’re big questions!)

  • Where are you now?
  • Is this where you wish you were?
  • Where do you want your organisation to be in one year?
  • What barriers are getting in your way?
  • How can you listen to your managers and staff better?
  • What ideas and preconceptions are holding you back that you need to let go of?
  • How can you use data to challenge your thinking and have better conversations with leaders?
  • How can you get your L&D team ready for change?
  • What actions do you need to take TODAY to make sure you follow through?

Final Words

Learning and Development has changed for the better. Your job isn’t to just deliver training, it’s not even just to aim for stage four. It’s to think bigger. To be ambitious for your own organisation and every learner in your team. Ultimately the Transformation Curve is a challenge to envision L&D at it’s very best within your own organisation. What might that look like? Who Knows! That’s for you to find out.

At Growth Engineering we love working with ambitious teams who have clear goals. Even more than that, we love working with them to help smash those goals and deliver way more than they dreamed was possible!

Why not download our tip sheet that’s designed to help organisations like yours maximise the effectiveness of a new project? You can grab a copy here!

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