Will 2019 be the year of transformation?

Written by Stephanie Morgan on 14 November 2018

Reading time: 3m 20s.

I don’t know about you, but this year I have been completely transfixed by transformation. 

It began when I first read The Transformation Curve, a game-changing Towards Maturity benchmark report that really cemented how important transformation and a counter-intuitive mindset is for the future of L&D. 

Later in the year, several other incredibly insightful reports were released, which for me, confirmed how vital a transformative approach is, not only for the learning industry, but for businesses to successfully navigate through a VUCA climate and the impending fourth industrial revolution.

And it’s not just research and reports that have inspired me to think about transformation. Recently, I have had several conversations with peers and clients around the role transformation is or will be playing in their end of year strategies.

Now is a great time to take stock and think about what we, as an industry, have learned in 2018, and how you can use this knowledge to propel your organisation into a successful future.

Among them, the consensus seems to be that 2018 was a big year for understanding the role of transformation, but 2019 will hopefully be the year we make it all happen. 

If this sounds familiar to you, or if you’re completely new to the concept of transformation, I think now is a great time to take stock and think about what we, as an industry, have learned in 2018, and how you can use this knowledge to propel your organisation into a successful future. I for one, am particularly excited about how the following findings could shape the future of L&D:

Business transformation

In today’s business world, transformation has become the new normal for organisations seeking to adapt and excel in the face of ever-accelerating change. At least, that’s how Harvard Business Publishing introduce their up-to-the-minute research on leadership development and the transformation imperative.  

This report is a bit of a love song for how crucial transformation is for business success. And it really was music to my ears to read that the best place for businesses to start their transformation journey is in fact, L&D – particularly leadership development. 

These findings could really help L&D departments (especially those currently viewed as a support facility) transform into a strategic business partner. The report emphasises that organisations who make L&D a true strategic partner are more likely to successfully transform. 



Workforce transformation

The Future of Jobs published a few years ago was such an eye-opening report on the changing skills demand. So, I was really excited when this year’s edition was released just a few months ago.

The World Economic Forum provides a glimpse at what a successful fourth industrial revolution workforce looks like, and this is another area where transformation and L&D is at the helm. The report emphasises how L&D need to help develop a transformative workforce by preparing their people with the tools they need to cope with a shifting skills demand. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if these findings shape a lot of 2019 strategies, as it seems imperative that businesses start future-proofing their people today, if they want to be successful in the years to come. 

L&D transformation 

And, if you haven’t yet read The Transformation Curve, I strongly recommend that you do. 

The report is groundbreaking in that it highlights the journey L&D departments need to go through in order to reach success. A key part of the findings shows that to mature, grow and ultimately succeed, taking a transformative approach is key. It’s all about letting go of what has worked well in the past and transforming in order to continue moving forwards. 

Hopefully, many in L&D have taken this report on board and will be making a transformative leap to success in 2019. 

Whilst we’ve acquired so much knowledge over the last few years about the role of transformation, for many businesses it’s still just a potential. That’s why I think (or hope) that next year will be the year businesses and L&D will make transformation happen.


About the author

Stephanie Morgan is director of learning solutions at Bray Leino Learning

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