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Published March 2020
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The 2020 L&D Global Sentiment Survey asked “What will be hot in workplace learning in 2020?” The format of the question has remained unchanged since 2014.

Respondents voted for three of 15 suggested options, plus a free text ‘Other’ option. 2,278 voters participated from 86 countries, casting a total of 6,589 votes.
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2020 in brief...
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Data dominates
This year, four of the top five options in the results table rely on data. Only Collaborative/social learning (#3) can be done at scale without a reliance on data. This is a major shift for L&D, which traditionally has focused on the production and delivery of content. But this strong interest does not necessarily mean that L&D has the skills to find and query data sets. Is this a fundamental shift in L&D, or a passing whim, to be replaced by another big idea in two or three years’ time?

Two groups
Respondents to the survey can be split into two groups. Group B, the larger, appears to be made up of pragmatic decision makers, deciding which new ideas to adopt based on what is currently being discussed in the forum of ideas on blogs, at conferences, in trade media and online. The smaller Group A is engaged on social media, keen to share ideas and has often been an opinion leader for the L&D field, suggesting ideas which are then taken up by Group B. #

We see this behaviour in the survey, where Group B’s votes often lag one or two years behind Group A’s.

No cure for Curation?
Not all options on this table share the success of the data-driven ones at the top. At #14, Curation is in the same position in as 2019, after a slow descent down the table over the years. While it is supported by opinion leaders Group A, ranking it #10, this enthusiasm is not shared by the larger decision maker group, B, who place it firmly down at #15 in their own sub-ranking of options.

Given this lack of enthusiasm for curation among Group B, it looks unlikely to be more widely adopted as a methodology.

A push for value?
This year two key options rose up the table from a dip last year: Consulting more deeply with the business (#7) and Showing value (#9), following a dip in support in 2019. Group B did not support these options heavily. They languished in the bottom half of the Group B ranking. They were, however, strongly supported by the smaller Group A.

In 2020, will Group A’s enthusiasm for this focus on business transfer itself to Group B, and lead to an upsurge in support for these important ideas? Or will they fail the enthusiasm fail to stick, and these important ideas, like curation, slip further down in the estimation of Group B?

A caution
As noted in the report, our voters are most likely to be self-selecting Innovators and Early adopters. So while this emphasis on data is keenly felt among those thinking about these issues deeply, it is unlikely currently to be widely spread across the L&D community.


Using the report

Please feel free to share information from the report. When you do, please cite it like this:

Donald H Taylor’s L&D Global Sentiment Survey 2020,

On social media, please use this hashtag: #GSS20

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caption arrowL & D Global Sentiment Survey Results, 2020
2020 Sponsors & Media Partners
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The 2020 L&D Global Sentiment Survey was made possible thanks to these sponsors and partners.
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