Developing the Learning Professional of the Future — Today

Corporate learning is a business function and it has never been as important as it is right now. As organizations navigate COVID-19, the economic downturn, social issues and digital transformation, learning plays a critical role.

But the learning professional of today — and the future — has more responsibility and a larger role to play than creating learning solutions. 

Learning professionals must:

  • Be tuned in like never before to the needs of the business
  • Be change advocates, coaches and mentors
  • Reach out beyond the learning team and listen to all stakeholders about current needs and ways they want to learn
  • Collaborate and act as internal consultants
  • Leverage data to create learning strategies that attain desired business outcomes

In short, the learning professional must be a strategist with strong business acumen who helps organizations achieve goals for all stakeholders. This is no small task.

Brandon Hall Group research shows that:

  • Only one-third of organizations believe their learning strategy helps them achieve business goals
  • More than 75% of organizations believe they will need to increase the quality of experiential and informal learning in the next two years.
  • More than 70% of organizations believe virtual learning will be used at about the same frequency as it has been during the coronavirus pandemic.

This is why Brandon Hall Group, with 27 years of experience researching corporate L&D and advising Fortune 1000 companies, launched its Certified Learning Strategist program. 

Learning professionals who earn the CLS designation:

  • Are positioned as business leaders with expertise in strategic learning and development
  • Develop broad capabilities to assume a variety of roles to leverage learning to improve business outcomes
  • Expand their ability to collaborate with a broad group of stakeholders across the enterprise

The CLS program is a learning journey free of ratings or grades. It is focused solely on enabling learning professionals to learn and apply new competencies to drive business results in their organizations. Busy learning professionals can complete the certification at their own pace. And it is all done virtually.

Like all great professional learning programs, the CLS program benefits both the individual, who will be positioned for career growth, and the employer, who will gain a more engaged, strategic thinker focused like never before on the needs of the business.

And Brandon Hall Group’s learning and development experts, with more than 120 years of collective experience, are available throughout the certification process to answer questions and provide support.

For more information, contact us at [email protected]

-Claude Werder, Senior Vice President and Principal HCM Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

For information on Brandon Hall Group’s research and how we can assist your organization, please visit

Become a Brandon Hall Group member!

We are a human capital management research and advisory firm with more than 10,000 clients globally. For over 25 years, we have been delivering research-based solutions that empower excellence in organizations around the world. Our vision is to inspire a better workplace experience. Becoming a Brandon Hall Group member means our team joins your team. Membership provides a host of resources and services and – most importantly — a seasoned team of thought leaders and client support professionals dedicated to your success.

Click here for more information and to sign up for a free trial membership.

Click here for information on Brandon Hall Group’s Professional Certification Program

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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.