885 people participated from 60 countries, casting a total of 2,364 votes for their choices of up to three of the 15 available options.

The L&D Global Sentiment Survey for 2017 saw the continuation of some old trends, but it also threw up some surprises.

The report considers the overall results, the split of votes across different regions, and trends that have developed since the report began in 2014. It goes on to reach these three conclusions:


1. Social goes mainstream

For the first time, personalization/adaptive delivery topped the table, pushing collaborative/social learning into second place. This is a continuation of a trend that began in 2015, and is most likely the result of the L&D function growing convinced that collaborative learning is an essential part of L&D’s role. This makes it less ‘hot’ than personalization, which is probably hotter than ever thanks to the possibilities offered by algorithms and artificial intelligence.


2. Technological controversy 

Micro learning is more popular, and more widely recognised, this year than last. That does not mean it is well defined, understood or implemented, so expect both more talk and controversy about micro learning. VR, AR and AI all featured highly. None is mature enough yet to impact mainstream enterprise L&D in 2017, but they will continue to be the subject of intense speculation.


3. L&D aims to be business-focused

The Other option attracted a number of business-focused answers, while consulting more deeply with the business and showing value both featured well on the survey results. This might suggest that L&D wants a greater involvement with the business. The catch: no evidence that L&D departments have the necessary skills for this, and developing the L&D function has slumped from 7th position in 2015 to 13th position in 2017. Perhaps the L&D profession has ambitions it is unable to fulfil.






The ability to innovate is now a top priority for companies everywhere. The speed at which innovation occurs is accelerating, and consumers are hungry for the new products, services and experiences coming their way. But the economic climate still presents considerable challenges.