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Learning with business impact – is your organisation getting what it needs?


L&D is failing to deliver learning which has a lasting impact for two thirds of UK businesses.

This is the headline finding of research we have published this week into the opportunities and challenges facing L&D in 2014.

Our study also found that, as organisations face increasing pressure to transform – whether that is driven by new business models, culture or a drive for greater efficiency – L&D is the function they are calling on to help them build the capability to support that change.

This represents a challenge on two fronts which L&D must act on right now if the function is to successfully fulfil the greater strategic role which organisations are asking of it.

The first of these is the need for L&D to acknowledge the extent to which the demands of businesses which are going through change will require a change in the way L&D works.

Our research shows that in the majority of organisations, L&D is not proactive in working to the future agenda of the business concerned. What’s more, around one in four of those we surveyed said that L&D activity was not aligned to business strategy.

What this means is L&D functions have to sharpen their strategic focus and do a better job of identifying the behaviours, skills and knowledge which organisations need for the future if they are to be effective in supporting change.

The second area for L&D is to address the effectiveness of the learning mix they design for their organisations. The challenge is not only to do a better job of adopting interventions like business simulations which have a lasting business impact but to make those interventions more relevant by ensuring they are customised and targeted to deliver the behaviour and results a business needs. The focus also needs to move from “impact in the classroom” to “successful application of learning back on the job”.

In my view it is absolutely critical that business leaders and managers buy in and support these L&D initiatives to improve the realism and impact of learning interventions.  Our research showed this to be the biggest challenge to the effectiveness of L&D programmes.

You can download a copy of our research at:

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