“What’s in It for Me?” Building Individual Skills for the Learning Professional

Brandon Hall Group’s Certified Learning Strategist Program Builds Broad Capabilities to Equip Learning Professionals to Drive Business Impact and Grow Their Careers.

Some people may consider the phrase “what’s in it for me?” a negative response, especially in business. Organizations want employees to focus on the team, the business and the organization, and less on themselves. However, that simple question should be at the heart of everything the organization does that relates to its people. Employees should know how the tasks they perform, applications they use and learning they experience relate to them, their job and their journey. It’s not selfish. When employees relate and are engaged, outcomes improve dramatically. 

The same is true within the L&D function. Before learning organizations can fully transform learning to drive business performance, it must ensure its learning professionals understand what they gain personally while they help the organization advance. Brandon Hall Group’s new certification program focuses on competencies that empower learning professionals to build competencies that will drive their career growth while helping the L&D function and the company as a whole. It’s a compelling win-win-win.

If 2020 has shown us anything, it is that organizations must be able to adjust to business conditions very quickly. Yet, as in other, less urgent digital transformations, learning professionals often find themselves at the tail end of the process, following wherever the rest of the business leads them. But organizations that successfully navigate these environments put their learning teams on the front lines of change. When learning professionals can take on a strategic role in the transformation, they can ensure their organizations have the skills required to meet the challenges presented — now and in the future.

However, agility has not always been a strong competency among learning professionals, so this has been a difficult promise to fulfill. Having agility as part of your learning DNA means being able to adapt and roll with the changes. These skills can make anyone in any learning role a valuable asset to any organization.

Too often, companies looked at agility, resilience and adaptability as exclusively organizational or functional attributes, focusing on strategies, processes and technologies to get them there. But it begins with individuals. Companies need people who can manage change and mitigate risk at all levels. Without a strong understanding of what makes a learning strategy impactful, learning professionals cannot expect to contribute to their highest potential. And this is true regardless of their current role. 

To help achieve this, Brandon Hall Group, the leading  L&D research and advisory firm, is launching the Certified Learning Strategist Program. The program is designed to instill individual learning professionals with the attributes required to make learning more strategic and have a real, lasting impact on the business.

The Certified Learning Strategist program has 24 wide-ranging competencies that enable learning professionals at all levels to step out of their traditional roles and become agents of strategic change. The goal is to give people in any learning role the knowledge and skills to speak the language of the business and help shape the future of their organization, rather than serve as passive spectators.

Learning professionals who earn the Certified Learning Strategist (CLS) designation will gain knowledge, insight and understanding on a variety of key strategic areas, including:

  • Design Thinking
  • Data Science
  • Ideation
  • Strategic Planning and Execution
  • Learning Agility

All the skills incorporated are designed to help learning professionals build competencies that will drive their career growth while helping the L&D function and the company as a whole. It’s a compelling win-win-win.

The CLS program is a learning journey free of ratings or grades. It is focused solely on enabling learning professionals to understand and apply new competencies to drive business results in their organizations. 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, email 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.

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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.