Maturity’s Timeline

The paradox is that by not pursuing profitability to the exclusion of all else, the Great Engine companies in their Golden Age would achieve enormous increases in value...whereas, by single-mindedly pursuing profit...these same companies and their successors actually created less genuine, lasting wealth; indeed, they would often destroy it.
The Puritan Gift, by Kenneth & William Hopper

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Maturity in management is a very long story …..


Maturity as a management concept actually has a very long history. This timeline shows how the Maturity Institute evolved* and some of the major influences on management thinking.


  • MI launches its global Banking Governance & Culture Project
  • MI Value management System incorporates performance management
  • OMINDEX intellectual property shared under SIP protocol
  • MI’s measure of Total Stakeholder Value (TSV) created
  • MI CEO Remuneration Model launched
  • MI develops whole system management subject Leads




  • Professor David Collings publishes ground-breaking, academic paper “Towards Mature Talent Management: Beyond Shareholder Value” in HRDQ
  • MI has Associates in Australia, Chile, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, US and UK and has made keynote presentations to audiences in Australia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Singapore, UK, UAE and USA.
  • MI starts to shift the maturity dialogue into the financial and investment communities through initial presentation to CFA and pension funds.
  • HR Magazine recognizes MI’s work by including Dave Collings and Paul Kearns in its ‘HR Most Influential‘ rankings.
  • The first PhD in HR maturity is supervised at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada.
  • MI’s Academic Panel attracts world renowned academics Professors Jaap Paauwe and Paul Boselie
  • MI approves OMS LLP to carry out Organization Maturity Ratings
  • Rob Scott completes MI’s first, official maturity project for New South Wales State Water company


  • MI appoints its first group of Associates
  • Woollard completes first comprehensive human capital risk assessment using the maturity framework with private sector healthcare provider
  • Woollard completes pilot maturity assessment with major transport sector organisation
  • MI’s website launched in February and first Orientation Programme is run in September.


  • Asta Bjarnadottir joins the team to form MI’s first Council. Professor David Collings is appointed as Principal Academic to set up MI’s Academic Panel.
  • Kearns, Scott and Woollard discuss how to develop mature thinking and practice in human capital management. They agree to establish a brand new professional institution – the Institute of HR Maturity.


Businesses in Iceland begin to adopt mature thinking in their people practice.


The Puritan Gift becomes an FT best seller with its ‘25 Management Principles’ The Puritan Gift









Stuart Woollard sets up the Management Learning Board at King’s College London to bring research evidence into organizational decision making


  • First, prototype, organization maturity ratings presented to the HR profession by Kearns in Personnel Today.
  • The world’s first academic research study based on the HR Maturity Scale is undertaken by Reykjavik Business School. Their findings from 118 organisations – “Diagnosing the maturity of human resource management in the organization.” – are presented by Ásta Bjarnadóttir and Finnur Oddsson at the annual conference of the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology
  • Asta Bjarnadottir invites Kearns to deliver the HR Strategy course on the MBA programme at Reykjavik Business School.


  • In the wake of the failed Accounting for People Report, Kearns is commissioned by Personnel Today to write its first guide to human capital reporting HCM guide cover2
  • Professor Jaap Paauwe identifies societal role for HR functions & organisations in his book HRM & Performance
  • Rob Scott in Australia independently starts to explore the concept of HR maturity and how it can be applied in practice. Begins initial development that eventually made a significant contribution to ARC  – the maturity assessment tool.
  • Ásta Bjarnadottir, Assistant Professor (HR) at Reykjavik Business School is drawn to the Maturity Scale and invites Kearns to speak at the annual Cranet (Cranfield University HR Survey) Conference they are hosting.


Kearns’ book ‘HR Strategy’ introduces the HR Maturity Scale as a means for gauging the effectiveness of both HR and business strategy.


Kearns collaborates with Dean Spitzer of IBM to discuss these ideas. Spitzer illustrates the similarities to the CMM and P-CMM & the HR effectiveness scale is transformed into the HR Maturity Scale.


During 10 years of action-centred research on HR effectiveness, Kearns initiates development of the concept of a scale for gauging relative HR effectiveness.

1995 onwards

  • Academics begin to produce widely-recognised studies identifying links between HR & organizational performance
  • The People Capability Maturity Model evolves from the CMM


Maturity is recognized as an organizational issue, with a particular emphasis on software projects, with the advent of the ‘Capability Maturity Model (CMM): Guidelines for Improving the Software Process’ published by the Software Engineering Institute


TQM heralds the dawn of a new era in people management. The role of HR departments starts to shift and measurement becomes a key issue.


Kearns researches Toyota and its effectiveness vis a vis other manufacturers in the era of Total Quality Management, synonymous with the Toyota Production System and copied by firms around the world.


While working in an automotive supply chain manufacturer Paul Kearns is introduced to the Toyota Way. The difference between their management philosophy with its emphasis on relationships, compared to the largest US auto manufacturers, is stark and compelling.


Deming’s ‘14 Points’ published in ‘Out of the crisis’ and “Knowledge of psychology: concepts of human nature.” becomes a critical element in Deming’s “System of Profound Knowledge”


Quality Management Maturity Grid published in Philip Crosby’s ‘Quality is free’


Deming brings his quality thinking to Japan as it is rebuilt after WWII


The Toyota Motor Corporation is born and the Toyota Production System – based on never-ending improvement and PDCA gradually emerges. Read ’50 Years in motion’ by Eiji Toyoda


Walter Shewart introduces ‘The New Way’ in management with the PDSA cycle (Plan, Do, Study, Act)


The Puritan Migration to America – modern management, as a discipline based on the values of creating ‘a little heaven on earth’, is born. Read ‘The Puritan Gift’ by Ken and Will Hopper (see review of the greatest management story ever told) for a complete review of American management from 1620 to the present day.

*MI was originally called IHRM (Institute of HR Maturity) and changed its name in July 2014


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