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Bersin & Associates Announces the 2011 Learning Leaders® Winners and Complimentary Research Report Showcasing Lessons from the Best

Deep Skills, Global Capabilities, and Innovative Savvy Distinguish Winning Organizations

Oakland, CA – Feb 10, 2011 Bersin & Associates, a world-class research and consulting firm that empowers HR organizations to drive bottom-line impact, today announced the winners of the Bersin & Associates 2011 Learning Leaders Program, now in its fifth year.  The firm also announced the availability of the report, Learning Leaders® 2011: Lessons from the Best. The complimentary, 169-page report provides a detailed look at the 28 winners of the 2011 Bersin & Associates Learning Leaders® Program, which recognizes organizations that drove significant business improvement with innovative and effective approaches to employee learning and talent management.

Bersin & Associates’ 2011 Learning Leaders were selected from hundreds of applications spanning technology, financial services, healthcare, transportation and management consulting. Winners also include providers of training and talent management solutions and services.  In the face of an economic recovery, this year’s winning submissions were focused on finding and growing the right mix of talent, rather than on managing existing talent and learning needs as were last year’s submissions.  As in past years, the awards program was conducted by Bersin & Associates in partnership with Elearning! magazine.

“This year’s Learning Leaders demonstrate that today’s stellar organizations are more focused on securing and nurturing talent with the right mix of deep skills, global capabilities, innovative savvy and leadership,” said Josh Bersin, chief executive officer and president, Bersin & Associates. “These organizations clearly understand the benefits of creating a borderless workplace that fosters innovation and expertise, and that encourages employees, candidates and alumni to collaborate and interact with HR via mobile phones, social networking and online content in ways that enable every member of an organization to become better at what they do. We believe that all training and development professionals can gain valuable insight from their success stories.”

The complimentary research report details winning strategies and best practices for employee learning and development in a range of industries. For example, it demonstrates  how Air Products, with  its globally-consistent learning and development of talent and its demonstrated ability to run an efficient learning organization,  has captured more than $30 million in savings through targeted improvement projects. It shows how Cisco, with its Center for Collaborative Leadership, has significantly strengthened the company’s leadership pipeline and through its Action Learning Forum has generated ideas for new products and services valued at a potential $25 billion. In addition, it details the winning work of Underwriters Laboratories’ 12-week learning boot camp for product safety engineers.  The Underwriters Laboratories program  which includes hands-on labs, self-paced e-learning and field experience at customer manufacturing sites  has halved the time to qualification. 

Learning Leaders program partner Elearning! magazine featured the 2011 winners in its February special issue. “We congratulate the 2011 Learning Leaders,” said Catherine Upton, CEO and publisher of Elearning! “Readers, and the industry as a whole, leveraged innovative ideas and collaborative technologies to overcome huge challenges in 2010 and to drive success.”  

Additional Learning Leaders covered in both Elearning! magazine and the complimentary report were recognized for their work in one of six categories. They include:   

Operational Training and Development Excellence:

  • Accenture, for its recruitment capability development initiative, a blended training program that helped the recruitment team in India meet unprecedented hiring targets in less than a year.    
  • Amway, for its blended sales training program designed to improve early success of newly hired independent business owners. The program resulted in a 76% retention rate in its first year  46% higher than previous rates.
  • JetBlue, for its four-month, blended learning program to train 6,000 crewmembers and business partners on the airline’s new customer service system.  The changeover was heralded as one of the most seamless in the industry.   
  • Teradata, for Teradata MBA (Moving Business Ahead) for New Hires, a blended development program for salespeople which begins the first day on the job and provides a roadmap for continuous learning. 

Learning Organization and Governance Excellence

  • BJC HealthCare, for its Center for LifeLong Learning, which aligns learning efforts with key business initiatives to reduce hospital risk, save budgetary dollars, and increase hiring and development opportunities for 26,000 employees. 
  • Nationwide Insurance, for its strong organizational structure, governance models, and supporting process improvements, all focused on creating a single approach to managing talent needs from recruiting to development to rewards. 

Leadership Development Excellence:

  • Business Development Bank of Canada, for its transitional leadership program, designed to improve success of professional transitions in the organization. Almost 75% of participants have been successfully promoted.   
  • Grant Thornton, for its LEADS learning and leadership development initiative.  One element, the senior manager development program, has nearly doubled the business win rate for participants and represents nearly $12 million in additional revenue.
  • Raytheon, for its strong leadership development initiative which includes strategic, action-learning projects.  Results include improved cycle time on cross-functional projects, reduced turnover, increased promotions, and earlier identification of high potentials.  

Learning and Talent Initiative Excellence:

  • Deloitte, for its Deloitte University initiative designed to make an enterprise-wide change in talent development.  The initiative included the alignment of learning programs across all businesses, with greater emphasis on building leadership skills using competitive-team gaming, simulations and interactive scenarios.     
  • IBM, for its innovative interface designed to capture clear, concise, and meaningful feedback about the learning website.  Based on the feedback, improvements to the site resulted in greatly improved user satisfaction and more than $5 million in annual employee productivity savings. 
  • Vestas, for turning its employee training about wind power into free e-learning modules available to the public.  In 2010, the learning components were launched 100,000 times by 25,000 unique users. 

Learning and Talent Technology Excellence:

  • Diebold, for its successful talent management technology implementation.  The company has significantly improved turnover rates and reduced the time to competency for newly hired technicians from 18 months to three.      
  • MetLife, for its MAX sales development center, the company’s integration of three technologies into one learning and talent management system.  MAX offerings targeting sales advisor development have resulted in significant increases in advisor productivity and reduced learning costs.
  • Teradata, for its computer-based training allowing customer service associates to practice guided labs on a virtual machine.  The solution has produced significant savings on equipment and travel costs, while maintaining performance results consistent with traditional classroom training.

Vendor Innovation in Learning and Talent Management:

  • Altus, for Altus vSearch, an on-demand learning environment that combines an internal YouTube-like channel with strong search capabilities.  A new mobile release offers a video solution for storing and searching rich media generated from leading mobile devices. 
  • Blackboard, for Blackboard Learn, a single, open platform for course delivery, community engagement, content management and assessment. This continuous learning environment provides opportunities for collaborative learning through mentoring, peer exchanges and online social networking. 
  • BlueVolt, for its BlueVolt LMS platform, a training hub for vertical industries including building and construction, electrical, plumbing and telecommunications.  Industry association members, distributors, manufacturers and skilled professionals can share and access courses and content from multiple sources in one centralized system.  
  • Expertus, for ExpertusONE, a learning platform for social, collaborative, informal, and formal learning. Integrated social capabilities allow users quickly and easily to access and share knowledge; an adaptive interface provides users with contextual, on-demand access to all content.
  • Infosys, for its Sustained End-user Adoption & Learning (SEAL) solution, a formal approach for adoption of corporate change initiatives.  SEAL combines blended learning, a wave-based rollout approach, and a personalized learning portal to address key challenges impacting end-user adoption of new processes.
  • Intuition, for Intuition Mobile, a platform that enables organizations to securely deliver courses, surveys, assessments, podcasts and videos to handheld devices. The platform can be deployed as standalone or fully integrated with an organization’s LMS, HR or ERP systems.
  • Jambok, for its hosted online social learning platform that allows users to easily develop and distribute rich media content.  With built-in authoring tools, users can create video, capture their desktop to narrate presentations, open a wiki or forum, blog, or upload any type of file.
  • KnowledgeAdvisors, for Metrics That Matter, a talent development reporting and analytics platform.  The Web-based system streamlines the data collection and reporting for six key processes: recruiting, engagement, talent, performance, learning and leadership.
  • Saba, for Saba Live, an integrated enterprise business networking platform which integrates Web 2.0 social tools with Saba Centra Web Conferencing for real-time collaboration and includes rich personal profiles, competency-driven expertise, Twitter-like feedback, social learning, secure groups and workplace analytics.
  • Trivantis, for Lectora Inspire, an e-learning development tool that integrates Trivantis’ authoring software with e-learning development tools Camtasia, Snagit, and Flypaper.  The combined tool increases speed of development, streamlines editing, and is more cost effective than purchasing tools separately.

Learning Leader winners will be recognized at Bersin & Associates upcoming research conference, IMPACT 2011: The Business of Talent®. In addition, senior practitioners from Learning Leader winner organizations – past and present – will participate in panel discussions and present in-depth case studies on a wide range of topics. These organizations include Accenture, Booz Allen, Business Development Bank of Canada, Cisco, JetBlue, Kelly Services, MetLife, Nationwide, and Teradata.

To receive a complimentary copy of the Bersin & Associates Learning Leaders 2011: Lessons from the Best report, go to . For more information on the Learning Leaders Program, go to  To be added to the Bersin & Associates mailing list for Learning Leaders Program news, updates, and the 2012 call for applications, please contact

Those interested in learning more about Bersin & Associates or its WhatWorks® membership may email or call (510) 251-4400.

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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 gives human resources, learning, and talent acquisition professionals the information and tools they need to drive change in their organizations as strategic business partners.

Bersin & Associates members use our insights and tools to benchmark themselves against best practices, design and implement programs across the HR and learning spectrum and select and implement systems. More than 5,000 organizations worldwide, including more than half of the Fortune 100, use Bersin & Associates research and consulting to guide their learning, talent, and human resources strategies.