Summary of The Practices That Set Learning Organizations Apart

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The Practices That Set Learning Organizations Apart summary

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Most companies weren’t prepared for the accelerated digitization forced on them during the COVID-19 crisis. A small group of organizations, however, navigated their digital evolution with aplomb. What did they have in common? Two HR management professors conducted an international survey to find out – and uncovered seven core characteristics of effective Learning and Development organizations in the process.

About the Authors

David G. Collings is a professor of human resource management at Dublin City University Business School. John McMackin is an assistant professor in human resource management and organizational behavior at Dublin City University Business School.


Companies with effective L&D programs better navigated the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift toward automation and digitalization, which has amplified the need to reskill and upskill workers. Companies with well-developed, forward-looking L&D programs were better able to adapt to these trends. A survey of CEOs and L&D professionals across several countries revealed that only a minority of organizations had suitable L&D programs in place pre-pandemic. These companies, in turn, are also better placed to thrive after the pandemic.

The survey identified seven aspects that make L&D programs effective in a fast-changing work environment.

Effective L&D curricula align with organizational strategy.

1. Synchronicity with organizational strategy – A company must train its workforce to have...

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