Research Digested: Megatrends Reshaping the Future: The Crucial Role of L&D in Business Transformation, Mind Tools for Business

A snapshot of useful research for L&D and workplace professionals

Why read this report
Every year, Mind Tools for Business releases research into the state of L&D, based on the results of its annual benchmarking report. This year’s report is comprised of three parts. Part one reflects on 20 years of research, marking Mind Tools for Business’ 20 year anniversary. Part two focuses on L&D aligning itself strategically with the business. Part three, the Megatrends report, looks at L&D’s role in business transformation.

About this research
The report uses data from taken from 912 learning leaders across 19 different industries between December 2021 and December 2022.

Standout stats

The top three challenges for L&D teams in 2023 are:

  1. Reluctance by managers to make time for learning
  2. Being overwhelmed and under-equipped
  3. Many in organisations not seeing learning as a priority

Just over half of L&D teams (51%) are stuck in stage one (the lowest and least mature of four stages) of the Mind Tools maturity model.

Only 12% of L&D leaders work with business leaders to agree organisational metrics and KPIs.

Just one third say they understand the business’s strategic goals. Even fewer align with those goals.

90% of top-performing organisations have ‘safe environments for individuals to share ideas and work out loud’, compared to just 26% of organisations in stage one.

Top performing organisations are 22x more likely to gather feedback from learners and managers and 9x more likely to involve them when designing learning approaches and solutions. They are also two to four times more likely to work with others in the business than those at stage one.

82% of top performing teams had in-house coaching skills in 2023 and are twice as likely to have collaborative learning skills as other organisations.

The report looks at technology that supports learning in the flow of work. It also  details trending technologies that are yet to take off for L&D:

AI tools: 16% of L&D leaders were using/experimenting with them in 2020 and 2021, 19% in 2022 and back to 16% in 2023.

Augmented reality: 18% were using/experimenting with tools in 2020, 22% in 2021, 21% in 2022 and 15% in 2023.

Virtual reality: 17% in 2020, 15% in 2021, 22% in 2022 and 14% in 2023.

Blockchain: 7% in 2020 and 2021, 14% in 2022 and 9% in 2023.

Wearable technologies: 9% in 2020, 12% in 2021, 15% in 2022 and 7% in 2023.

There is a noticeable surge in usage/experimentation in 2022 across most of these technologies, followed by a fall in 2023.

The report also looks at climate change in relation to L&D. While only 15% of business leaders said a transition to a low-carbon economy is a top priority, it is a top priority for a lot of employees.

Final word

Here are a few stats from the other two reports:

Unlocking Excellence: The Strategic Business Alignment Blueprint for L&D

30% of L&D teams do not have a learning strategy

One of the things business leaders are most concerned about in 2023 is L&D lacking strategic influence to support transformation.

Learning and development in organisations: Reflecting on 20 years of research

In 2017, L&D leaders were most concerned about practical barriers to learning, such as cost, skills and IT infrastructure. In 2020, concerns were more around culture, such as managers being reluctant to make time for learning.

Report reading time: 20-30 minutes for each report

Media: PDF