Published: January 4, 2018

5 Predictions For Global Learning And Development In 2018

The Financial Times | IE Business School Corporate Learning Alliance's annual predictions for the Learning & Development sector say that technology - machine learning, artificial intelligence and augmented reality – will be a dominant force.

FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance

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Our 2018 Predictions For Learning And Development

This year, the five annual predictions for the global Learning & Development sector from Financial Times | IE Business School Corporate Learning Alliance follow the general view that technology – in the forms of machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) – will be a dominant force.

But it won’t all be about AI in 2018.

The FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance’s 5 predictions are:

1. The return of the middle manager

While much focus has been placed on leadership skills and the ‘voice from the top’, the under-appreciated and often-maligned middle manager will come back in vogue and be recognised for an increasingly rare yet innate ability: managing other people.

2. The death of authenticity

It is often said that, if you can fake authenticity, you’ve got it made. In 2018, many more managers will stop trying to ‘be themselves’.

This will be a relief for staff who either did not like their line manager’s true nature or never believed the act in the first place. It will be replaced, hopefully, by a return to management basics – clear communication, constructive feedback and conflict resolution.

3. Individual learning for career development

Experience-based, flexible, individualised learning –and the means to transfer knowledge easily into professional life – will become stronger features of learning and development programmes.

Concepts of agility, disruption, digitalisation – while perhaps wearing thin through over-use – will continue to be part of the management lexicon and rationales for executive learning.

4. Gen Z hype

In 2018, so-called Generation Z, born around the millennium, will start to enter the workplace. Conferences, research papers and thought leadership articles will be devoted to this new phenomenon.

Despite the hype, they will say very little different from what was once said about Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers when they were young.

5. Embracing machine learning

Despite a certain scepticism about the motives behind concepts like artificial intelligence (AI), greater acceptance of machine learning and a closer understanding of AI will help leaders manage their companies better in 2018.

The AI ‘holy grail’ is strategic foresight: stronger insights into customer needs, better market-facing propositions, improved operations, improved management skills – all helping a company to get ahead of its competitors.

These predictions are also available here.

You can also see how accurate the FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance’s predictions for 2017 were.

About FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance

Financial Times | IE Business School Corporate Learning Alliance was formed in 2015 in response to growing calls for more flexible, practical, relevant and timely corporate learning. A joint venture of the Financial Times and IE Business School, it brings world-renowned business information and journalism, leading academic faculty and a global network of educators to co-create customised corporate learning and leadership development programmes in multiple languages, to almost any sector, anywhere in the world. Through expert learning frameworks, innovation and technology, it focuses on achieving measurable learning outcomes.

Further information from:

  • David Wells, Head of Communications, FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance
    +44 (0)7921 582419; [email protected]