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Bersin & Associates Predicts a Shift to a Borderless Workplace Will Drive New Talent and Learning Strategies in 2011 

Globalization, Innovation, Collaboration and Deep Specialization to Power Business Growth in the Coming Year 

Oakland, CA – December 9, 2010Bersin & Associates, a world-class research and consulting firm that empowers HR organizations to drive bottom-line impact, today announced that it predicts a shift toward a global, borderless workplace will demand new people strategies for business performance in 2011.  These new strategies include the use of social networking for recruiting, the adoption of informal learning and coaching models, a refocus on specialization and deep skills development, and a change in leadership models to promote innovation and collaboration.  

Bersin & Associates delivers the predictions in its new report,  Enterprise Learning and Talent Management 2011: Predictions for the Coming Year—Building the Borderless Workplace. The report provides an annual review of the key business, training and talent management trends, best practices and factors for learning and HR organizations to consider in strategic planning and budgeting for the year ahead. 

“Pressured by the globalization of most markets, Human Resource organizations are shifting toward a business focus on innovation, growth and new product development,” said Josh Bersin, president and chief executive officer, Bersin & Associates.  The firm’s comprehensive research shows that most businesses are going global, learning how to best manage a multigenerational workforce, and suffering skills shortages created by years of lackluster public education and high unemployment.  As a result, Bersin added, “High-performing HR organizations will learn to create a borderless workplace that encourages innovation, expertise, and collaboration by focusing on leadership strategies and programs that enable everyone in a company to become better at what they do.” 

Bersin research found that 17 percent of all organizations cited “globalization” as one of their top three business strategies in 2010 – three times the percentage of midyear 2009. With low economic growth in the U.S. and Europe, companies of all sizes are moving people and operations to Japan, India and other developing countries, and building a globalized platform of operations and talent movement. This is forcing HR to globalize learning and development and HR programs, as well as its own operational structure.

The 10 predictions included in the 2011 report address the dynamic changes in the economy and ongoing organizational changes as they relate to learning culture and talent management, integrated talent and learning strategies, informal and continuous learning, talent mobility, social networking for talent acquisition, new models of leadership development, the talent management software market, and HR alignment with business.  Among the predictions:

  • Innovation, empowerment and learning culture will become common themes for talent management and business growth. Bersin & Associates’ research found that 34 percent of all HR and business leaders now cite “driving innovation” as one of their top three talent strategies, up from only 14 percent in early 2010. This focus on innovation is driven by a backlash to the lackluster innovation and risk-taking seen in the past two years; a growing economy that has opened new markets such as green technologies and products; and a need for companies to reinvent their brands to meet the needs of buyers who may have less money and more conservative values.
  • Deep specialization and career development will drive integrated talent and learning strategies. Organizations that thrived over the last few years have one thing in common: they are very good at what they do. Organizations will realize that deep skills are critical to all major job roles (e.g. sales, finance, IT, marketing, engineering and HR), and companies will rethink their leadership and development and talent management strategies to build deeper skills.
  • Informal and continuous learning will drive further adoption of internal and social networking. The training industry is going through a renaissance. The topic of “informal and social learning,” has forced Learning and Development (L&D) to re-engineer its own skills and approaches.  With the availability of hundreds of new tools (e.g. blogs, wikis, internal social networks, etc.), we have entered the era of the “continuous learning environment.” This new model likely will drive the next 10 years of change in L&D. 
  • Talent mobility strategies will become highly strategic, often replacing the traditional approach to succession management. The companies that best survived the recession were those that could quickly reinvent themselves by restructuring and reengaging employees, and rapidly moving people into newly created positions. High-performing companies create programs to help people (and their managers) dynamically move people in order to meet individual and organizational demands. This movement also drives expertise and skills into the company.  

To download a complimentary copy of the report, go to  Enterprise Learning and Talent Management 2011: Predictions for the Coming Year – Building the Borderless Workplace . Register to join Josh Bersin as he shares his Enterprise Learning and Talent Management predictions for 2011 through a Webinar at  http://www.bersin.com/News/EventDetails.aspx?id=13415 

Those interested in learning more about Bersin & Associates predictions for 2011or its WhatWorks® membership may email  info@bersin.com  or call (510) 251-4400. 

For media queries, email laura.evenson@bersin.com or call (415) 465-2711. 

About Bersin & Associates 

Bersin & Associates empowers HR and learning organizations to drive bottom-line impact through world-class research and consulting. The company’s WhatWorks® membership is designed to give HR and learning professionals the tools they need to succeed in their organizations as full business partners. 

Bersin & Associates members use our insights and tools to benchmark themselves against best practices, to design and implement programs across the HR and learning spectrum, and to select and implement systems.  More than 5,000 organizations worldwide have used Bersin & Associates research and consulting to guide their learning and talent strategies.