Staying at the forefront of change is a best practice in business. Long-term success relies on an organization’s ability to successfully navigate disruption – from updating business plans, redistributing budgets and shifting how the business operates. Effective change management is needed to overcome setbacks and keep the organization moving forward.

Change initiatives can range from short-term hiccups in business routine to long-term states of disruption, such as we’re experiencing with the pandemic. Regardless of the scope of the change initiative, there must be buy-in from leadership and employees to ensure success. Managing people is an important – but often overlooked – element of the change management process. It’s the people who execute tasks and achieve the goals of the business, yet employees are often uninformed and unprepared during change initiatives.

This issue of Training Industry Magazine examines the pivotal role of learning and development (L&D) in helping organizations navigate change and complexity. From building organizational resilience to weather economic instability to equipping leadership with the skills they need in times of uncertainty, this edition shares a variety of perspectives on how L&D can support and prepare employees to meet the needs of the business.

This issue also includes our annual trends report to help learning leaders plan for the future of learning in their organizations. This year’s report identifies seven trends that reflect the changing nature of work and the role of the learning function in guiding their organizations through these changes to achieve new levels of performance.

Maintaining a future-forward mindset is difficult in times of disruption. Instability can create a “firefighting” mentality due to the frequency and speed in which decisions need to be made. This keeps leaders focused on short-term survival – and less on innovation and business expansion. 2020 has certainly been the year of change, and the training function has been integral to managing organizational disruption and positioning the company for future success.

As you read through the collection of articles in this issue, consider how these ideas and approaches may be implemented in your organization. We want to encourage a healthy dialogue around the challenges and opportunities that are impacting the business of learning. We would love to hear your thoughts on the topics that you see influencing the industry.