Executives will spend more on learning and development this year. This was the consensus among the responses to a January 2016 survey conducted by ExecSense.

Many affirmed the committed investment in learning and training to help improve the performance of individuals and the larger organization. 58 percent of Senior Executives said their organizations plan to increase the investment in executive learning activities, including spend on individual and team training, course subscriptions, and online education modules. 31% expect spend on executive learning will remain the same. Less than 5% plan to decrease spend.

These responses came from over 60 CEOs, CFOs, COO’s and other senior executives across a range of industries.

We also asked the ExecSense C-Suite audience their views on executive education and training as part of their professional development and team performance. 90% responded yes, there is a tied between learning and performance. Not surprisingly, respondents affirmed that executive learning would be an important part of their management priorities in the year ahead. What differed, however, were the top priorities.

Executive learning top priorities are leadership and strategy, reflected in the selection by over 70% of respondents. Readiness for organizational change is another top priority for over 50%. Managing risk, technology and innovation were selected secondary on the list.

Building the Leadership Bench

…have them trained and ready to go when we need them

When asked to identify their key management challenges or priorities, the number one answer was the need to build organizational bench strength. Some executives noted they have “few emerging leaders,” and noted the need to build “skills and capabilities.”

One COO noted his priority for learning initiatives for his leadership team is to, “have them trained and ready to go when we need them.”

Understanding the learning priorities of the individual executive, business teams and the larger organization is crucial to selecting the right content, platform and delivery mechanism in execution education. The upside can include having a strong leadership bench who fill succession plans, build the business, drive strategy and are responsive to major market and organizational changes.

In our next post, ExecSense examines how organizations measure Return on Training Investment.

2016 Execsense Copyright