Effective leadership development is a major factor in successful transformations—L&D must play a strategic role.
BOSTON (PRWEB) May 16, 2018
Harvard Business Publishing, developer of world-class leadership development solutions for global companies and organizations, today announced the release of its 2018 State of Leadership Development Report which explores challenges facing leadership development professionals. According to the study, organizational transformation has become the new normal, with 86 percent of organizations having had recent experience with transformation. Successful transformation starts with changing learning and development (L&D) programs to support new business objectives; however, 75 percent of those surveyed believe that these programs need improvement.
“In this year’s report, organizations that consider L&D as business-critical have continued to deliver top performance. In fact, 66 percent of those organizations indicated they had stronger market position than their competitors,” said Ian Fanton, senior vice president and head of Corporate Learning at Harvard Business Publishing. “What we’ve learned this year that really emphasizes the value of best-in-class L&D programs, however, is their role in successful transformations. That’s why it’s concerning that still today many leadership development initiatives are missing the mark with insufficient innovation, lack of top-down support and questionable program effectiveness. In this age of transformation, organizations that focus on agility and alignment with the business will be better positioned to transform their businesses today and tomorrow.”
Top survey findings:
Transformation is the New Normal:
Whether it’s developing new competitive strategies, redefining business models to adapt to changes in the environment, or rapid growth in a company, shifts and challenges must be addressed through transformation. To avoid becoming a transformation casualty – and to become a leader – there is more pressure than ever on L&D to generate the strategic alignment at the manager and executive level needed to gain a competitive advantage in today’s rapidly changing business environment.
- 54 percent of responding organizations are currently undergoing a business transformation
- 32 percent of respondents completed a transformation in the last three years
- When looking at the major barriers to success of leadership development in organizations, 32 percent of respondents identified “too much organizational change” as the top barrier, second only to “time constraints.” This is a 23 percent increase from our 2016 report.
Business-critical L&D Organizations Deliver Results:
In both the 2016 and 2018 study, results showed that revenue growth, market position, and future growth potential were all stronger in organizations where L&D was thought to be closely aligned and valued by the business.
- 66 percent of organizations that see L&D as critical to success felt they had a stronger market position than their competitors.
- For organizations indicating L&D was not critical to success, only 36 percent said they were better positioned than competitors.
- 69 percent of organizations that indicated L&D was “important to critical to their business’ success” stated their revenues have grown (up to 10 percent) in the last two years.
- 57 percent of respondents from such organizations reported that L&D has a major, positive impact on their organization’s ability to promote leaders from within.
More Work is Needed to Improve Quality and Make L&D a Strategic Priority:
Despite some conflicting perceptions among respondents regarding L&D’s effectiveness, as much as 75 percent of the L&D executives in the survey said they recognize the need for some improvement in the programs they design.
- 80 percent of respondents stated that greater innovation is still needed in learning techniques used in development programs.
- While senior managers in L&D cited a high level of C-suite support, LOB respondents expressed more skepticism about the amount of support their L&D teams receive from the C-suite. This misalignment is a significant challenge especially for companies undergoing transformations, as L&D programs are most successful when there is consistent and clear messaging from L&D and LOB leaders.
- Like in the 2016 study, program effectiveness is still in question, with only about 33 percent of LOB respondents saying they have become more effective as managers after L&D programs.
About the Survey
In August 2017, Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning, with independent research firm Stingray Research, conducted an online survey of 734 learning and development (L&D) and line of business (LOB) practitioners. All the respondents were from corporate organizations with more than 1,000 employees. Nearly 70 percent of the organizations were publicly traded, with the remainder privately held. The respondent mix was roughly half L&D and half LOB practitioners.
Geographically, half worked in organizations based in North America, while others were based in Asia; Europe, the Middle East, or Africa; and Latin America. Respondents’ organizations reflected a diverse array of industries. Manufacturing, financial services, and technology had the greatest representation, while other industries included healthcare, pharmaceuticals, energy, retail, transportation, leisure and media, professional services, telecommunications, consulting services, and construction.
About Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning
With more than 25 years of success delivering dynamic learning experiences to the world’s biggest brands, Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning partners with Global 2000 companies to co-create leadership-development solutions that align with strategy and engage learners. The company combines unrivaled subject-matter expertise and scale with unmatched flexibility and contextualization to bring the right programs to the right learners in the most useful ways. From highly focused executive leadership programs to enterprise-wide engagements for thousands of global employees, each learning experience leverages the remarkable depth and breadth of Harvard Business School and Harvard Business Review resources, industry experts, technology-enabled and user-friendly solutions, and a creative, collaborative mindset to help clients discover something new. The result is stronger companies better prepared to meet their challenges and thrive both today and in the future. Harvard Business Publishing is comprised of three market groups, Higher Education, Corporate Learning, and Harvard Business Review Group, and is an affiliate of Harvard Business School. For more information on Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning, visit http://www.harvardbusiness.org. Follow the company on Twitter @HBPCorpLearning and connect with other talent development leaders on LinkedIn through the Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning Group.