Developing leaders who drive our companies’ performance may be one of the most strategically important programs that learning leaders manage. The impact of these programs can be profound if well designed, delivered and driven across the organization. To be successful, the programs need to be designed for measurement, aligned to the most senior levels in the organization, and mindful of the new hybrid, multi-modal work environment into which the programs will be introduced. When it comes to measuring the impact of our leadership development programs, we need to think beyond retention and focus on the impact the programs have on the performance of the leaders and the performance of their teams. This may sound like a tall order, but if leadership development is the most important program we support, then I believe it is L&D’s responsibility to do the heavy lifting.

In this edition of Training Industry Magazine, we’re taking a look at leadership in all its forms. You’ll find articles that explore the intersection of technology and leadership, with insights on the transformational power of artificial intelligence, how data can help leaders and their teams work more effectively, and a framework for what leadership could look like in our new, hybrid world. As technology advances at an increasing rate, one fact remains the same: L&D is there to help organizations weather change, grow their workforces and lead effectively.

With the next generation of employees exhibiting changing attitudes toward, and expectations of, the modern workplace, L&D leaders are faced with new challenges. L&D leaders are often called upon to help ensure that a business is living up to the changing demands and keeping pace with societal, as well as technological, trends.

Also in this edition, we look at the essential role of leadership in the effort to create more diverse and equitable workplaces, as well as strategies for identifying and supporting emerging leaders from within your organization. Leaders can affect far more than just the bottom line; they can model a way forward for their organizations that includes all voices and perspectives, ensuring that organizations stay relevant in the eyes of the public, as well as their team members.

Our goal at Training Industry is to provide you with the data and tools you need to excel as learning leaders. This edition should provide you with some ideas on how you can impact leadership development programs — perhaps the most important programs in our quickly changing world. As always, we would love to hear your thoughts on the perspectives shared in this edition, as well as any topics you would like us to engage with in the future.