BCG Henderson Institute

Companies face a Herculean challenge in today’s fast-evolving work environment. Such is the pace of change that businesses are disappearing more quickly than ever before. If they are to survive, never mind thrive, company leaders must learn to adapt. And here, the operative word is learn.

Much has been said about companies’ capacity to adapt. Much less has been said about companies’ capacity to learn. And yet, in our estimation, a company’s capacity to learn determines its capacity to adapt and, ultimately, its chances of surviving far into the future. If your company isn’t learning, it isn’t growing—and it’s probably on a losing path.

Of course, most companies have a learning and development function within their Human Resources department. Corporate learning has a long, albeit checkered, history. But, as we show in this report, some new forces require company leaders to take two urgent actions: first, rethink the purpose of learning within their business; and second, reinvent the organization of learning within their business.

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