This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

April 23, 2014

Global Training Finally Growing Again--Part 2

Last week we started a two-part series about the important topic of training budgets growing again. In fact, spending on corporate training in the United States grew by a notable 15 percent last year---its highest growth rate in seven years. Moreover, corporate training now represents over $130 billion USD worldwide. Since there is so much to share about this topic, here is Part 2 from the same source, the just-released "2014 Corporate Learning Factbook".

Spending on leadership development remains strong. The top areas of spending are management and leadership (35 percent) just as it has been in prior years. As Bersin's research on corporate talent shows, global leadership gaps continue to be top of mind for business and HR leaders. In addition, as Millennials assume positions of greater responsibility, companies will need to build leadership bench strength at all levels throughout the world.

In our experience at Employer of Choice International, Inc., high-performing organizations regularly spend more on training than others. Companies that invest in a total learning and development strategy spend more per employee than those that do not have such a commitment. This result clearly demonstrates that investment in learning and development provides a return on that outlay.

Technology is rapidly changing the learning and development playing field. There has been exponential growth in the number of training technology tools. Self-authored video, online communication channels, virtual learning, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs, including the platforms of Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, edX), are all growing fast as training tools. People still need formal classroom education for some subjects---especially those requiring hard skills, but face-to-face education now represents less than half the total "hours" people spend in training worldwide.

Plus, among those companies that are on the leading edge, as much as 18 percent of all training is now delivered through mobile devices. Expect mobile platforms to continue to gain in importance. As we have written in the past, people value their cell phones over their laptops.

Though the use of these platforms is growing extremely fast and we are thrilled that there is any investment towards the training, we remain unconvinced that these online platforms provide an effective long-term answer to the massive amount of training that is needed to bring people up to speed. There are two factors that remain unaccounted for: 1. The ability of the new generations to learn this way and their willingness to expend the effort required for success with these technologies.

Special thanks once again to Josh Bersin and for this important research. For a full copy of the report, visit

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