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Bersin & Associates Announces 2008 Learning Leaders Program And Call for Applications

Program Recognizes Innovation and Excellence in Critical Areas of Corporate Training; Also Seeking Success Stories of Using New Technologies for Learning on Demand and Social Networking

Oakland, CA – June 19, 2008 – Bersin & Associates, the only research and advisory firm solely focused on What Works® in enterprise learning and talent management, today announced the call for applications for the Bersin & Associates 2008 Learning Leaders Program, a research-driven program designed to recognize innovation and excellence in critical areas of corporate training. 

Organizations interested in applying may go to for information and to download applications.  The deadline for application submission is September 12, 2008.    

The Bersin & Associates Learning Leaders Program will recognize up to 25 winning organizations.  This includes organizations which have developed and implemented highly effective and innovative approaches to learning and development resulting in significant business improvement.  It also includes providers of training products and services whose customers have benefited from the latest technologies, content or approaches that make training more efficient and effective. 

Organizations may apply in one or more of the following categories:  (1) operational program excellence, (2) leadership development excellence, (3) initiative excellence, (4) technology excellence, (5) organizational management excellence, and (6) vendor innovation.    Each category (with the exception of vendor innovation) has three segments based on organization size:  global enterprise, enterprise, and mid-market.  Applicants are evaluated along with peers in the same segment.  

The vendor innovation category has been expanded for 2008 to include five segments.  In addition to platforms, content, tools, and business solutions, the category now includes a segment specifically for learning on demand, to encompass new social networking systems, content repositories, portals, collaborative games and learning on demand content.

“This is our third year of Learning Leaders, and we look forward to seeing applications with the ‘wow factor,’ as we like to call it,” said Josh Bersin, CEO and president of Bersin & Associates.  “This can be a company like last year’s winner Extra Space Storage, whose basic training for front line salespeople had a quick and high impact on revenues, or a vendor winner like Kognito Interactive, whose incredibly realistic simulations helped train NYPD officers to hone their leadership skills.   In 2008, we look forward to being impressed with more great examples of learning and development so we can recognize these organizations for their achievements and share their best practices,” Bersin added.  

A free report, Learning Leaders 2007: Lessons from the Best, details the best practices of the 2007 winners.  The report includes insight from the Bersin & Associates analyst team about what made these initiatives successful, followed by profiles of each of the 22 winners including Rockwell Collins, Wachovia, SAP, CA, Business Development Bank of Canada, SumTotal Systems and Hewlett Packard.

According to Bradley Samargya, senior vice president and chief learning officer for CA, the Learning Leaders program has served as a touchstone for progress.  “Our goal for the learning organization at CA is to take a market leadership position in leveraging technology to drive learning for employees, customers and partners.  The Learning Leaders program helped us measure our progress against that goal as well as celebrate our success internally and externally,” he said.  CA, one of the world’s largest independent software companies, was named a 2007 Learning Leader in two categories:  the technology category for the company’s implementation of a learning management system, and the initiative category for its high impact training program targeting all employees involved in sales, support, and services for the company’s robust IT security products.    

The winning organizations and their learning programs will be highlighted in a feature story appearing in the Winter 2009 issue of Elearning! magazine, the media partner for the Bersin & Associates Learning Leaders Program.   Winners also will be honored at an awards presentation at IMPACT 2009, the Bersin & Associates research conference to be held April 14-16, 2009 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  In addition, Bersin & Associates will develop its annual comprehensive report on best practices, findings, and observations collected during the evaluation process.  All applicants will receive a complimentary copy.   Other program-related activities include follow-on public webinars featuring specific training topic areas and leaders.   

The 22 winners of the Learning Leaders Program for 2007 range from large, public companies and global brands to smaller, private organizations.   In addition to the aforementioned companies, winners included Trinity Health, the nation’s fourth-largest Catholic health care provider with 44 hospitals in seven states, for its successful initiative to bring two organizational cultures together after a merger and to build a strong leadership pipeline; Citi Asia Pacific Consumer Bank for its well-executed regional learning and development system organized into eight learning academies, each designed to support specific functional areas such as retail banking, direct sales, and customer service; and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) for its highly methodological, systems-based approach to professional development for science teachers.  For a full list of the 2007 Learning Leaders winners, go to:

 “We’re pleased once again to be the media partner for this program,” said Catherine Upton, publisher of Elearning! Magazine.  “Our print and web features about the Learning Leaders winners have proven to be very popular with readers because we go in depth about their business challenges and the learning strategies and techniques they used.   We also had a large turnout for a new virtual summit we hosted this year, featuring webinars with the winners presenting their solutions.  We look forward to bringing audiences more great examples of training from the 2008 winners in a series of similar events in next year.”   


About Bersin & Associates

Bersin & Associates is the only research and advisory services firm focused solely on research in enterprise learning and talent management.  Bersin & Associates’ WhatWorks® research and research-based services are designed to deliver actionable direction and to help improve operational effectiveness and business impact.

Bersin & Associates research members gain access to a comprehensive library of best practices, case studies, benchmarks, and in-depth market analyses designed to guide professionals in making fast and confident decisions.  Research areas include planning and strategy, learning programs and delivery, talent management, technology and infrastructure, and measurement and analytics.  Member benefits include in-depth advisory services, access to proprietary webcasts, on-site analyst visits, and  workshops.  The company also offers a variety of strategic services for learning and talent management organizations.  For more information, go to or call 561 455 0622 x 224.  


About Elearning!

Elearning! brands are the exclusive voice of the $60 billion US e-learning marketplace.

Elearning! Magazine is a five-time award winning publication serving CxOs across the largest US enterprises challenged to build a performance driven organization. Elearning! helps readers and practitioners build smarter companies, one employee at a time. Elearning! Magazine e-zine, Elearning! e-news, Elearning! Alert, Elearning! Summit virtual trade shows and Web site are produced by B2B Media Company, LLC.  To learn more, visit: