Taking a step back to go forwards: The future of L&D

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Written by Stephanie Morgan on 5 July 2018

For the best part of a decade, L&D as an industry have faced uncertainty about what the future has in store. We have been heaped with challenges such as the immergence of new technologies, a new multi-generational workforce, and a quickening pace of organisational change. 

Despite new approaches such as blended learning and 70:20:10 being introduced and widely adopted in our industry, there has been no clear path to success – until now. Launched earlier this year, The Transformation Curve is a game changing model of maturity, born from decades of Towards Maturity’s impartial research surrounding L&D.

The Transformation Curve highlights the journey L&D needs to go through to reach its full potential. It does this by identifying four stages of maturity which most L&D departments will fit into, and it provides some clarity on what is needed in order to move forward through the stages.

A counter-intuitive mindset

There is one insight in the report which I found to be particularly eye opening, and potentially the most challenging – L&D needs to embrace a counter-intuitive mindset in order to progress and be successful in reaching goals and objectives.

You need to let go of what has been working so well for you and adopt a new approach and strategy, otherwise you will remain stagnant and the success you are experiencing now will soon start to fade.  

So, what does a counter-intuitive mindset look like?

Let’s say your current strategy and approach is working really well, you’re enjoying the success, and it’s led to some real business benefits.

The Towards Maturity data shows that, just as you are at this point of success, you need to let go of what has been working so well for you and adopt a new approach and strategy, otherwise you will remain stagnant and the success you are experiencing now will soon start to fade.  

Embracing this counter-intuitive mindset will take some getting used to – by definition it goes against common sense and therefore human nature. It also requires a rather large leap of faith. This is where the Towards Maturity data comes in, it can provide the reassurance you might need, and can also be used as a tool to back-up your strategy and approach when presenting to the board.  

A vital step to success 

A counter-intuitive mindset might be the key to propelling L&D into a successful future. After all, when you think about it, it makes sense for every industry to be a little more counter-intuitive.


When anyone has reached success, they can become complacent and even lazy. It’s easy to sit back and reap in the benefits while unknowingly losing the very drive, dedication, and motivation which got you there in the first place.  

By embracing counter-intuitive thinking, you will be constantly looking ahead, finding new ways and optimising current approaches to achieve the best possible outcome for your business.

The fast-moving business landscape is even more of a reason why this mindset is vital if you want to succeed. Having a counter-intuitive mindset sets up a foundation for you to adapt, transform and progress alongside organisational change and the emergence of new technology.  

Thinking counterintuitively is just one of the many insights The Transformation Curve has shared with L&D. The report really is ground breaking for learning and development – it’s the first time a clear path to success has been laid out. It’s an amazing resource which, if we embrace it, could really transform L&D for the better.

If you want to find out how you can apply The Transformation Curve to your organisation, our recent whitepaper the future of learning sets out some tips and approaches to help get you started on your transformation journey.


About the author

Stephanie Morgan is director of learning solutions at Bray Leino Learning



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