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October 2018
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TD Magazine

L&D: The Transformation Driver

If a company wants successful transformation, the L&D function must be involved.

Most organizations are aware that resisting positive and successful transformation around market needs leads to failure. That's according to Harvard Business Publishing's 2018 State of Leadership Development Report. Of the 734 employees surveyed, only 3 percent think that their companies currently have no need for transformation. The rest know that successful transformation is a must.

The trick is finding leaders who can develop the required change and align employees behind a corporate strategy. For many organizations, the best way to find these leaders is developing them. However, respondents cited time constraints (43 percent) and too much organizational change (32 percent) as the biggest barriers to leadership development's success.

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The study found that when companies see leadership development as critical to their success, they are 29 times more likely to have a successful transformation than those who don't. Further, two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents see L&D as a key factor to having better market position than their competitors. Conversely, more than one out of three (36 percent) organizations that indicated L&D was not critical to success said they were better positioned than their competitors.

Thus, L&D does have its challenges. Respondents representing the aerospace, transportation, and pharmaceuticals industries—all of which are experiencing some dramatic transformations—viewed L&D as having the least significant role in their organization's transformation.

That means the L&D function needs to work harder to tie development programs—especially leadership development—to the change programs the organization is launching.

About the Author
Fatine Mamouni is a senior coordinator for ATD Global. She supports the International department as the primary point of contact to all international inquiries. She works with international delegations through the registration process and manages the global village. Contact Fatine at fmamouni@td.org.
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