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

The second instalment of our 2023 Annual L&D Benchmark Report explores the critical role of L&D in driving business transformation and its pivotal shift from “training provider” to “strategic business partner”.
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In the report, we illustrate how the most accomplished L&D teams forge deliberate and powerful connections between activities to amplify their impact on organizational outcomes. The findings reveal that top-performing L&D teams are twice as likely to collaborate closely with business leaders who recognize the alignment between learning initiatives and the overall business plan.

Based on data collected from L&D leaders, the report covers:

  • The challenges faced by L&D leaders in aligning their activities with business goals
  • How the landscape is evolving in 2023
  • What L&D teams can do to achieve greater synergy with core business objectives.

“Alignment is a process that needs constant attention, which is why top-performing organizations hold it at the center of everything they do. If an activity isn’t serving the business, it isn’t a priority to them. Alignment starts by getting to know the business better. Business acumen is an increasingly neglected skill for most L&D teams, but it’s essential for an effective learning leader. L&D teams cannot always rely on senior leaders in the business to define clear objectives, or to communicate them effectively across the organization. But business environments do predict organizational priorities, so with greater knowledge about the business, L&D teams can meet its needs without having to be asked.”

Anna Barnett, Senior Researcher at Mind Tools for Business

Meet our researchers

Anna Barnett

Senior Researcher, Mind Tools for Business
With a strong background in academic research, Anna completed her PhD in 2020 and is now a core member of our Impact & Insights team. Anna specializes in producing high-quality, comprehensive, and topical evidence-based reports for the L&D community.

Gent Ahmetaj

Head of Research, Mind Tools for Business
Gent is Head of Research for Mind Tools for Business. He's a mixed-methods specialist focusing on how learning and organizational development can have real positive impact on key business metrics. Gent and his team of qualitative and quantitative researchers are responsible for improving data collection and analysis, writing research reports, and building inter-disciplinary research partnerships.

Stats you can trust

Most of the data in this report is collected online from learning leaders who take part in the Learning Performance Benchmark. The Learning Performance Benchmark is a free resource that helps L&D professionals to reflect on their learning strategies, think about and prepare for the future, and compare their learning maturity against other organizations. Thanks to the many organizations that have taken part in the Benchmark over the last 20 years, today we have a growing dataset of responses from more than 11,000 L&D leaders.

For this report, we have also drawn on the Learning Performance Benchmark data for 2023, which is new for this year. This data has been collected from 912 learning leaders worldwide, across 19 different industries.

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