Future-Proofing the Learning Function

It’s time for the learning function to step up as a strategic business function in the organization. For too long, learning has been complaining about getting a “seat at the table” but failed to bring anything substantial to that table. Learning will be a key element for helping organizations find their way through the COVID-19 pandemic, its aftermath and whatever comes next.

The L&D function cannot continue to offer the same, one-size-fits-all, check-the-box learning. It must partner with the rest of the organization to fully understand and align with the company’s needs to meet its goals now — and in the future. Brandon Hall Group research finds that 54% of companies say L&D’s lack of alignment with business goals keeps them from achieving critical outcomes. 

To remedy this, the learning function must:

  • Align with organizational performance
  • Become a center of performance consulting
  • Gain an understanding of data integrity and advanced analytics
  • Recognize the convergence of learning and performance
  • Create learning focused on real outcomes

In general, learning must look at the strategic reasons for leveraging people, processes and technology, always with an eye on how it helps the business. Many organizations are making efforts in this direction, but there is a long way to go.

According to our research:

  • Eighty-five percent of companies say that aligning the learning strategy with the business is either important or critical to achieving business goals.
  • Only one-third of organizations believe their learning strategy helps them achieve business goals.
  • Fewer than half (44%) of companies are optimistic about their ability to develop the skills required in the future and only 8% say they are completely prepared to do so.

To help foster this transformation of the learning function, Brandon Hall Group draws from our 27 years of experience in researching corporate L&D and advising Fortune 1,000 companies to launch the 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 professionals can complete the certification at their own pace. And it is all done virtually.

The CLS program is not a certification that only benefits individual learning professionals. It can also have a huge impact on an organization by ensuring the learning function is filled with agile, strategic professionals who are keenly focused on meeting 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]

-David Wentworth, Principal L&D Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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

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.