Trends. That word conjures up a lot of questions: How do we know that something is a trend and not just a fad? Can tools and methods that emerged several years ago still be considered a trend today?This issue of TD magazine is our annual trends issue, where we examine topics, tools, and innovations that have resonated with talent development professionals during the past 12 months. The trends we highlight—productivity and work-life balance, virtual and augmented reality, and microlearning—have been around for some time, but we are now seeing more talent development professionals experimenting with these methods.

As ATD writer/editor Alex Moore writes in his feature article, "In 2017, the profession has taken several challenges head-on. It has started looking at the relationship between productivity, work culture, employee wellness, and work-life balance in a comprehensive way, its flirtation with microlearning is turning into an all-out infatuation, and two exciting new technologies—virtual and augmented reality—are gaining steam."

He continues: "Although microlearning has existed for quite a while, it remains a hot topic in talent development. Why? After spending years as a buzzword or fringe technique, practitioners are starting to use it en masse."

You no longer can put your head in the sand when it comes to these new ideas, techniques, and technologies. Talent development professionals must achieve business results, so finding the most efficient and effective ways to do that is a must.

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Are any of the trends mentioned new to you? Which ones have you implemented into your practices?

Paula Ketter
pketter@td.org