Organisational transformation has become the ‘new normal’ with the vast majority (86 per cent) of organisations having had recent experience with transformation, according to a new study.
Harvard Business Publishing’s 2018 State of Leadership Development report, which explores challenges facing leadership development professionals, also found that organisations that view leadership and development as strategically critical continue to outperform their peers.
Nonetheless, while successful transformation starts with changing learning and development (L&D) programmes to support new business objectives, three-quarters of executives surveyed reckon their transformation programmes need improvement.
In both Harvard’s 2016 and 2018 studies, results showed that revenue growth, market position, and future growth potential were all stronger in organisations where L&D was thought to be closely aligned and valued by the business.
“What we’ve learned this year that really emphasises the value of best-in-class L&D programmes is their role in successful transformations,” said Ian Fanton, senior vice president and head of corporate learning at Harvard Business Publishing
“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 programme effectiveness. In this age of transformation, organisations that focus on agility and alignment with the business will be better positioned to transform their businesses today and tomorrow.”
Other key survey findings were:
But the report stressed that more work is needed to improve the quality of programmes and to make L&D a strategic priority in organisations. Despite some conflicting perceptions among respondents regarding L&D’s effectiveness, as much as 75 per cent of the L&D executives in the survey said they recognise the need for some improvement in the programmes they design.